A Plague on Words
Ben Marcus imagines a world in which language can kill
It should come as no surprise that Ben Marcus has written a novel about language toxicity—a language plague that kills any adult within range of words, speech, text, even emotive gesture. From the author of Notable American Women (2002), itself a venture in derangements of language, we should have expected no less. It should also come as no surprise that people who think about words all day, for whom locution is sexy and vital and, well, everything, have only to hear the words language toxicity to get all excited in the right places. To such people, I would say: You won’t be disappointed.
But here’s where it gets interesting. To people who just want to read a good yarn and who think Ben Marcus is too weird for them, I’d say: Think again. In what must have felt odd for a writer whose previous work has been
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