A History of Sarcasm
by Frank Burton

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Sometimes stories that I’ve used to mythologize my childhood resurface in my mind as actual memories … Perhaps if you tell a story enough times, it will become the truth.

This admission by Mark Greensleeves, the compulsive liar in the story, Some Facts About Me, sums up Frank Burton’s sharp, surreal and subversive short story collection, A History of Sarcasm. The seventeen stories in this collection blur the boundaries between fact and fantasy through a series of obsessive characters and their skewed versions of reality. Among them are a man who insists on living every aspect of his life in alphabetical order, a girl who believes she is receiving secret messages through the TV, a paranoiac who is pursued by an army of giant lobsters, and an academic who turns into a cat

Funny, dark and relentlessly off the wall, this collection brings together the best of Frank Burton’s published work with some brand new stories.

Acclaim for this Collection

“Much of the writing in these stories is rather knowing and self-aware. It reminds me at times of the self-reflexiveness and experiments with form and the boundaries of fact and fiction in the short short stories of Dave Eggers . . . In the end it distinguishes itself mainly by flaunting its quirk. It’s good to see these experimental lunges amongst the more conventional story-shaped writing.”
— PAULINE MASUREL (The Short Review)

“A wonderful collection of decidedly weird short stories. Every single one of them is a gem. If you don’t believe me, why not linger for a while and read the first one, a dysfunctional love story told in alphabetical order? I think you’ll like it.”
— Scott Pack of the Me and My Big Mouth blog

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Filed in Books on April 1, 2012