3-Minute Book Review: Burgess on Barton

Three-Minute Book Review: Katie Burgess on The Quiet Part Loud by Tyler Barton (Split Lip Press, 2018)


If you planted this book in the ground, what would grow? I’m pretty sure this book would grow ginger. Like ginger roots, these stories all have their own weird, unique shapes. They’ve also got a lot of kick, and you feel cleansed after you consume them.


Is this book papyrus, typewriter, desktop computer, or iPad? This book is current like an iPad but intimate like papyrus. Maybe it’s more of a handwritten diary entry being projected onto the side of a skyscraper. Barton finds edginess in the seemingly mundane—it’s punk rock Kmart realism.


What dance would this book do? Like the characters in “K,” the third story in the collection, this book would breakdance on a rooftop, on cardboard from the Papa John’s dumpster. This book takes the odds and ends that usually get thrown out and turns them into a performance that will make your mouth drop open.


“An hour after it happened, I watched our house explode.”


“I nodded, reached for her hand, and found it gluey. She’d done an Elmer, still drying.”


“And in eight months we graduate and some of us are jailed and some of us die quickly in another country and some of us take much longer.”


Katie Burgess lives downwind of a mayonnaise factory in South Carolina. She does improv and is editor in chief of Emrys Journal. Follow her at @cupofstars

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