[PDF / Epub] ☃ Cataclysm Baby Author Matt Bell – Motyourdrive.co.uk


Cataclysm Baby quotes Cataclysm Baby , litcharts Cataclysm Baby , symbolism Cataclysm Baby , summary shmoop Cataclysm Baby , Cataclysm Baby 42227f6b Fiction Beset With Environmental Disaster, Animal Like Children, And The Failure Of Traditional Roles, The Twenty Six Fathers Of CATACLYSM BABY Raise Their Desperate Voices To Reveal The Strange Stations Of Frustrated Parenthood, To Proclaim Familial Thrashings Against The Fading Light Of Our Exhausted Planet, Its Glory Grown Wild Again As The Known World Disappears, These Beleaguered And All Too Breakable Men Cling Ever Tighter To The Duties Of An Unrecoverable Past, Even As Their Children Rush Ahead, Evolve Away Unflinching In The Face Of Apocalypse And Unblinking Before The Complicated Gaze Of Parental Love, Matt Bell S CATACLYSM BABY Is A Powerful Chronicle Of Our Last Days, And Of The Tentative Graces That Might Fill The Hours Of Our Dusk


10 thoughts on “Cataclysm Baby

  1. says:

    THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.The apocalypse comes in many forms Oh sure, there is acid rain and there is drought, the crops dry up and the world moves on, but what happens when you re alone with your wife or husband Nature takes over, as it always does, and always will And what becomes of the children In Matt Bell s haunting portrayal of twenty six moments in the afterbirth of a world gone wrong, Cataclysm Baby Mudluscious Press , we get to see how those days and nights roll on, when the waters are poisoned and furtive slick flesh seeks out a moment of passionate respite in many a dark and restless night.These stories are short, only a handful of pages each, but they are not slight or thin They are filled with fantasy and mythology that seems familiar and personal both in depth and scope But what has happened, exactly Bell gives us some clues, in Rohan, Rohit, Roho There are some who say it s the earth that s gone wrong, and some that say the seed, and it is this my wife and I debate after she pushes my wheelchair up to the dining table, after she sets the brakes my fumbling ngers are too weak to work There are glimpses of this world outside the broken shacks, the houses turned to islands surrounded by murky moats and poisonous skies But it is the eventual births of the deformed and altered children that reveal how much the world has changed in the shadow of destruction, and certainly, our lives of sin and depravity This, from Kidd, Kier, Kimball At dawn, we extinguish the ames so the candles will be there to relight tomorrow, and then again we pray Oh lord, just once Just once, deliver us a child not wrecked from the beginning Grant us a son not lousy with fur, not ruined with scales or feathers Give us a daughter made for the old world instead of this new one, this waste of weather and wild As you work your way though this collection of fables and future histories there are moments that resonate with the imagery of past tales, the wolf and the serpent, the lamb led to slaughter, ghosts with whispering voices that flit and puff against your ear These stories invite you to revisit the lyric voice of Cormac McCarthy in The Road and Blood Meridian, as well as a lost girl bent on survival, in Robert McCammon s Swan Song There is a pinch of Kurt Vonnegut s Harrison Bergeron tossed in with a smidgen of Shirley Jackson s The Lottery But Bell is his own voice, paying homage certainly, as much to the Brothers Grimm as the Holy Bible his is a unique siren song in a world of regurgitation and pale imitation.To all of the parents out there, this collection will be especially painful and daunting, but do not turn away from it, do not fear transference Instead, light a candle, and let the wind howl outside your window let the frame rattle and the hard rain patter at the glass Because you should be grateful that this is not your fate, nor will it ever be your destiny, God willing To witness the horror, the suffering of one set of parents after another, as they face the impossible decisions set before them, is unsettling But it is also powerful and fearless in its depiction of morality, parenthood, and the ways we love and lose.One of the most brutal stories in the collection is Isaac, Isaiah, Ishmael A father has trapped the only woman that exists, as far as they know And he has set out, with the aid of his brothers, to procreate to keep humanity alive Unfortunately, every child born from this woman comes into the world with bones of dust, splintered and fractured by the pressures and contractions of the birth These men feel their work is noble and needed, regardless of the horrors that are presented Even at birth they were already damaged, their brittle bones opened and crushed, powdered by their mother s powerful organs, her pressing canal All those thin ribs snapped and splintered upon the stainless steel of the operating room All those skulls crooked and cracked, all those twisted greenstick limbs We lifted each child out from the mother s body and into surgeries of its own, did our best to splint and screw our prides together.Unimaginable, the work that is being done in the name of the human race And then, Lie still, I say, and then, Hold her, brothers, hold her, and then, I will plant again in her this seed, until at last we grow the world we desire While the overwhelming feelings in this collection are helplessness, despair and loss, there are bright moments as well There is hope mixed in with the sacrifice Beasts and monsters are loved and embraced in spite of what they are In Svara, Sveta, Sylvana, Bell shows us a trio of daughters that have been turned to earthworms, burrowing into the ground, seemingly trying to escape But like all of the stories in this book, the children, the creatures, are not shown to us simply as sideshow freaks, to shock and appall, they are here to teach us about ourselves These girls dig their way out, abandoning the father and his sick wife for days But they return And in that moment, the eternal love we all have for our families, it is evident in this moment See how I crawl down into the dirt, into the sunken ruins of our home See me whisper into the center of the earth, see me beg them to come back, to visit their mother once before she is gone.See the day they emerge together, clothed only in grave dirt.See how they ve grown, how their toddling days have ended, how some new age is upon them.See next their sts clenched around ginger and burdock, around echinacea, around licorice and marshmallow See me gather them up onto my chest See me carry all three at once in my arms.See me take them into our bedchamber, their hands stu ed with the medicine they traveled so far to nd.See until you cannot see any.Listen Their rst words in turn, three broken intonations of cure and mother and save her, save her What stories they tell then, of places they have gone, of the things they have seen What hard hurt of my heart follows, what ungrantable wish shaping this trembling esh, this poor gravedigger again made quaking father Listen The sound of herbs hitting the oor is a whisper, then a word Roots collapse, tubers tumble, and what sentence can follow What good noise can I make for my daughters then, clinging reluctant to my body, this earth they no longer love These stories are not for the faint of heart But that is certainly a good word to dwell on for a moment heart Each of these stories tells a tale a fantastic, magical story of horror, struggle and perseverance But it shows us these moments with a love, and a passion that must be counted on in dark times like these It shows us how family comes together to survive, and it shows us our undoing, how fragile we really are There are lessons to be learned, images that will never be erased, justice dispensed, and parents left clinging to each other as they search for the strength to do better to survive and evolve In this world that Matt Bell has created, each day is a challenge, but the eternal truths remain as beacons of hope, rays of light that split the darkness and chase away our fears.


  2. says:

    Picked this up at AWP, and read it in one night Which isn t in itself such a huge accomplishment the book is only 105 pages , but the writing pulls in such a way that it s difficult to put down One of the blurbs for the book mentioned Bell s brutal compassion, and I wasn t sure what that meant, but after reading it, I understand And there isn t a better way to put it This isn t much of a review, but really there s only one thing you need to know You should read this book.


  3. says:

    If I ever survive my first cataclysm, I m naming the child Tremaine.Don t care if its a girl or a boy, Tremaine it is.


  4. says:

    Failure is a major theme running though Bell s dystopian landscape comprised of twenty six connected pieces, though Cataclysm Baby bearing some resemblance to a catalog of baby names is nothing short of a creative success In a collapsing, sputtering world, the adults are despicable and greedy, and their children those who survive birth are often feral or deformed, physically and sometimes supernaturally In Abelard, Abraham, Absalom a son is born covered in hair, inverse of our own nakedness, and in Yaretzi, Yasmina, Yatima a child is a puff of womb air that seeps into the world as a disembodied, menacing daughter voice that commands its broken, guilt plagued father to build a tower into the sky The children may be aberrations who are sometimes ritualistically sacrificed with the belief that the others might live on, but it s the men desperate for the continuance of their flawed bloodlines in a dying world who are the true monsters in this work The women in these pieces are often viewed as receptacles that need to be filled, if not willingly then by rape Over and over they re subjected to violations that usually lead to failed pregnancies The world Bell has created is bleak and violent Its overriding success is its ability to keep the reader rapt, not unlike a passerby on a highway drawn to an endless string of roadside carnage Bell s writing is surgical and smart, making great use of measured repetition to create an alluring cadence for its array of narrators What s curious then is Bell s decision to maintain a first person narration throughout, given that the voice is largely unchanging despite being spoken by twenty six different fathers It s a decision that allows the pieces as standalones to work exceptionally well, though when sewn together, some of the resonance of that early, unique cadence is lost as this cadence quickly becomes the standard As an allegory that focuses on the fear of parenthood and how it can be painful and destructive but also necessary for the growth of an individual as well as that of a society, Cataclysm Baby is powerful, original, and wholly mesmerizing.


  5. says:

    I literally loved this book It s impressive on a sentence language level, paragraph flow level, larger scope concept level, and It s dark, yet tender at the same time Facets of parenthood in an apocalyptic setting is definitely interesting in just the imagination, but it seems to be to also be a reflection though projected through a warping lens of trying to be a parent in a world constantly changing I mean these parents are torn between how they were taught to view their parental role in a world before cataclysm and the reality of the world they are in, but that seems like a magnified version of how parents struggle trying the image they formed of parenting by watching their own parents in a world where that may not make sense any Which, I suppose it never does I think I m rambling here, but I m sure you get the emotion behind what I m saying even if it isn t articulated well Really, Bell is the only one who can speak to this and the way that he speaks to it is through the words of the book Just read it and you ll get what I m saying.


  6. says:

    Click the image below to watch my video review


  7. says:

    Very impressed by this collection of short pieces about parenthood and apocalypse And some of the imagery is going to be stuck in my head for a long time to come.


  8. says:

    It is to Bell s credit that he can upend the reader s expected emotional response For example, in The Collectors, the reader is made to understand the emotional impact of hoarding, empathizing with characters whom we might have otherwise written off as disgusting, not worthy of mention, etc Certainly in CATACLYSM BABY we should empathize with these parents, literally figuratively torn apart by their Children of the Apocalypse But Bell is a master of absence what we don t know is how the world got this way But it is surely a world of the parents making That subtle shift of empathy, from parent to child, makes this a conflicted conflicting read And that little bit of unstated truth, a truth that defines confines his characters, is what makes all of Bell s works oh, so special Brilliantly executed, sir.


  9. says:

    In Cataclysm Baby, Matt Bell shows you what it means to hurt He shows what loss is He teaches us desperation, sorrow, and hunger He makes us accept these fates with no fight We learn to fight, but only to survive.These stories are short, most of them being 1 2 pages long But they convey so much And, as cliche as it is to say nowadays, Matt Bell really packs a lot into so few words.The stories themselves take place in a dystopian future I don t think they all take place in the same future or same setting, some of them seem to though But, in each of these futures he gives us, something terribly wrong has happened Every future that he comes up with is a horror It s as if we are being punished for something, because living has become torture.While the setting is this dystopian future, the theme is family What are we doing to hold our family together What is love driving us to do Which member in the family is the most important The most expendable We need to make choices and none of them are good But hopefully we can make the least bad choice.A lot of these stories deal with babies babies being born with too much fat, brittle bones, or totally covered with fur inside and out This alone conveys so many ingrained emotions As soon as a baby is mentioned you start feeling a certain way And then you realize the baby isn t right and emotions spring up But it doesn t come off as a trick to play with your emotions It s done just right It s simply good writing.Some of the stories are very strange I would say he is toeing the line of bizarro Maybe think of David Lynch There is a story about a ceremony, not unlike a bar mitzvah, where when a child reaches a certain age they have a party This party is about letting the child go literally The child fills with gas and floats away But everything is done so believably that we don t question anything.Is this book for everyone No way I think some people will be annoyed with the strangeness Some people will be too upset with some of the images.But the words, it s written so beautifully that it s begging to be read out loud Some people will appreciate the imagery Some people will appreciate the inventiveness of the scenarios Some people will just dig the stories.One complaint is that some of the stories are so short I think he could take almost any story in the book and expand it into a full length novel, or at least a novella.Either way, this book is one that I will be picking up from time to time to reread stories from It takes a lot for a short story book to win me over And this book did that plus some I really enjoyed just about every aspect of it.


  10. says:

    Why do I think I have anything to add to the brilliance of this book What praise could be heaped upon it that hasn t already been heaped There is, in this book, reason to celebrate the future of the independent publisher, for one Mr Tyler has given us such a beautifully made object anyone who leaves it on a coffee table or keeps it visible on a bus stop bench will certainly fetch inquiry from others It s just that arresting an object I love the size, I love the design, I love the font MudLuscious has been making such good books that this is, in some ways, no suprise, yet it seems that JA has upped the ante here.What s , Mr Bell seems at the top of his game I have been privileged to hear first hand that he considers himself not so much a writer of scenes but a writer of enhanced summary And what summary this is Much has been made of the Biblical cadences of his prose, but I would point too to his masterful employ of narrators who navigate a wavering line between reliable and unreliable Ultimately, for me, it s no so much what they say, but the manner in which they say it, and how Bell seems to vanish and into these characters voices elegant, thundering, and wise, while beset by calamities that only Mr Bell could devise.Last, let me say that I am no fan of apocalyptic literature and wondered, going in, if I d be wearied by the book s conceit sundry end of the world scenarios from A to Z I wasn t And I attribute this to the reading that seems supported by the book s dedication, to Mr Bell s parents, who survived five cataclysms of their own For while every father narrator of these twenty six segments reports the doom and despair of the end days, they also monitor the development of their offspring, and is it not possible that every parent, even the parent of children who are not sinister mimics no wonder I liked that story or lupine or possessed of brittle bones, indeed, suffers an apocalypse on a small scale And as that world ends, another begins, which perhaps is what we readers should be considering with all cataclysms that they offer an opportunity to conclude the business of one world and set up shop in another of limitless possibility Whatever, go and buy this book It rocks.


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