With An Albanian Twist

Patty Osborne

In Slow Twisting (Impulse[b]) by Anonymous, a bunch of teenagers (who are identified only by the first letter of their names) narrate the story, which moves at breakneck speed and is full of raw honesty and profanity. All the teens do drugs and some of them have sex, and when one of them gets buried in an earthquake in Albania, death and near-death are added to the mix. Each short chapter is narrated by a different character, and as things unfold we learn that M thinks B really likes C, that J is the cool guy, and that T is the guy friend of B and C. And then there’s W, who doesn’t get to narrate but who has a place in the story. When C gets kicked out of school and then out of home, he and T fly to Albania (using a parent’s credit card) just in time for an earthquake that buries C under a building. Back home B, M and J drink tequila and smoke weed and end up in a threesome in J’s dingy apartment. As the plot hurtles along, the narrators ask the important questions—What is love? Who needs love? What is it like to be dead?—as well as the more generalized: What the fuck? I got hooked by the first scene and laughed all the way to the end.

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