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Scissors, Paper, Rock

Posted on

Scissors, Paper, Rock

Current Status:
In Season
Fenton Johnson

We gave it an A+

Read the 11 brief pieces of this brilliant novel and you’ll never again hear its title phrase without feeling chills. Yet nothing’s original about the beginnings and the ending, and the living between, of this Kentucky family. No unexpected plot twists occur in Scissors, Paper, Rock, but emotional jolts lurk on every page. Even the order of the tales devastates: ”All Fall Down,” about a son’s war death, is followed by ”The Way Things Will Always Be,” about the same son six years earlier. That cruel succession focuses you on the 13-year-old, because that’s all there is of him. Every few pages you’ll pause, realizing you’ve just read one of the best paragraphs you’ve ever come across. Yes, the book’s about dying, but in the same way that birthday parties are about getting old. A+