The Secret Society of Demolition Writers

As a choosy reader, I buy only the best literature that The Dollar Tree has to offer.  Actually, The Secret Society of Demolition Writers (Random House, 2005) shapes up as pretty decent literature.  And it makes use of a concept I’d never heard of:  A dozen previously-published writers, including volume editor Marc Parent, present twelve “anonymous” short stories.  “Anonymous” means that the reader knows the twelve authors wrote the twelve stories, but he/she doesn’t know which writer wrote which story.

Supposedly the writers’ anonymity gives them freedom to experiment and write on subjects, or in styles, their regular readers don’t expect of them.  Editor Parent calls them “demolition writers” because he compares them to the winner of a demolition derby whose car survives because he has no fear.

So far I’ve read five of the stories, and they mostly impress me.  As a reader I find myself in an odd position.  I’ve heard, for example, of Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm), and once I finish the book I will have read a story by him.  I just won’t know which one.


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