While on a book tour in Philadelphia, a writer encounters an impaired reader with a bizarre obsession in ‘Wreckedge.’ On site with a framer’s assistant in ‘Get Big,’ a young man’s only highlights are fractured memories of weekend parties at his shared slum rental. ‘January’ embeds us into the mirrored collage of an oppressed bartender, as his job and dramatic girlfriend break down the remaining echoes of a future. ‘Glory’ goes deep into San Francisco’s Chinatown as a young deviant gets more from his sex addiction than he ever imagined, while ‘Retribution’ takes a sideways stroll through Manhattan with Sonny, a man at war with illusions he didn’t create and cannot escape. Wrap ‘Dead Birds Hot’ into your grey matter, and take a drive down these pages of sweat, dirt, and broken teeth.
“When the final boot drops, all any of us have are our unheard words, our experiences and encounters with life. Jeff Stewart gives voice to the nightmares and fantasies of people like me and you. Anybody can write a book. It’s rare that a writer can tell a story. The lives and the words coagulate. This brand of literature demands the true reader. The person like myself who doesn’t just read to while away the hours, but ingests the written word the way others stare at a train wreck. The power. The weave. The intent. From the first story to the last poem this is not a book to be skimmed. It’s a man’s work to keep himself from drowning.” —David Burdett, author, The Road To Happy Destiny, Seminal, and If Life Makes You Sad Commit Suicide
“Read Dead Birds Hot because: 1. You’ve never had your brain burned by poetic prose before and you want that literary high. 2. You desire to hear dirty, sexy, raspy voices in your ear telling you of dingy dreams and your place in them. 3. You want to meet the new, reluctantly misanthropic genius of literature.”
—The Independent Author’s Review
“Dead Birds Hot gives voice to those folks who occupy the fringes. Nomadic laborers. Bartenders. Artists. Thieves. Prostitutes. Jeff Stewart’s country is one littered with cigarette butts, empty bottles, and maybe even a little blood. There’s plenty of hard times and hard living. Fortunately for us, Stewart tempers all this brutality and vice with a big ol’ dose of levity. We get a little redemption; we have a little fun. There are some genuinely beautiful and lighthearted moments in the midst of the madness. You may feel a little abused by the end, but you’ll be grinning.”
—DP Review, Oregon
Selected Amazon Reviews:
An Unsettling Tour of Lives Lived Low
…The style varies from story to story…”January,” with its staccato voice told in lots of Subject-Verb-Object sentences, leaving those patterns engrained in your mind as though you’ve been listening to marching cadences…in the self-titled piece “Dead Birds Hot,” you’re led (and sometimes dragged) through a dark woods of catastrophic circumstances told at a furious pace that may cause you to forget to breathe.
As a whole, Dead Birds Hot is an intriguing and unsettling literary tour of modern life at the lower end, where good money is hard to come by, where bad people lurk in public bathrooms, and where life is never, ever fair. You’ll enjoy the prickly dialogue, and the details of characters who often use one another unfairly while simultaneously depending on them greatly.
Grab your socks, Avi!
Jeff Stewart does it again! He makes you ride bitch in his mind and forces you to look through the windshield of his eyes at an existence that is filtered through less disdain and more loathing of the disintegrated moral crutch that barely props up human existence.
Stewart takes a different approach in ‘Dead Birds Hot’ by formatting his prose in more of a poetic manner without an emergency brake. Rare pause makes for a more tangible cause, throwing the reader down the rabbit hole in this sticky and palatable work of modern literature.
‘Dead Birds Hot’ is not to far removed from ‘Hit, Break, Bleed’ in its gritty nature and honesty, eluding to Stewart’s possible ability to leave his own mark in this ferocious world of the written word.