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Book Information: Severance

Severance (2006) [Collection]
by Robert Olen Butler Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

The human head is believed to remain in a state of consciousness for one and one-half minutes after decapitation. In a heightened state of emotion, people speak at the rate of 160 words per minute. Inspired by the intersection of these two seemingly unrelated concepts, Robert Olen Butler wrote sixty-two stories, each exactly 240 words in length, capturing the flow of thoughts and feelings that go through a person's mind after their head has been severed. The characters are both real and imagined: Medusa (beheaded by Perseus, 2000 BC), Anne Boleyn (beheaded at the behest of Henry VIII, 1536), a chicken (beheaded for Sunday dinner, Alabama, 1958), and the author (decapitated, on the job, 2008). These final thoughts illuminate and crystallize more about the characters' own lives and the worlds they inhabit than many writers manage to convey in full-length biographies or novels.

  • Mud
  • Medusa
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • John the Baptist
  • Valeria Messalina
  • Dioscorus
  • Paul (Saul of Tarsus)
  • Matthew
  • Valentine
  • Dragon
  • George
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • Ah Balam
  • Piers Gaveston
  • Gooseneck (Gansnacken)
  • Thomas More
  • Anne Boleyn
  • Catherine Howard
  • Lady Jane Grey
  • Mary Stuart
  • Walter Raleigh
  • Brita Gullsmed
  • Louis XVI
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Marie-Jeanne Becu (Comtesse du Barry)
  • Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier
  • Andre Chenier
  • Maximilien Robespierre
  • Pierre-Francois Lacenaire
  • Ta Chin
  • Jacob
  • Angry Eyes
  • Chin Chin Chan
  • Dave Rudabaugh
  • Agnes Gwenian
  • Charles H. Stuart
  • Rokhel
  • Pogorelsky
  • John Martin
  • Henri Landru
  • Paul Gorguloff
  • Benita Von Berg
  • Nguyen Van Trinh
  • Alwi Shah
  • Chicken
  • Vera Jane Palmer (stage name Jayne Mansfield)
  • Le Van Ky
  • Kimitake Hiraoka (pen name Yukio Mishima)
  • Robert Kornbluth
  • Jennifer Hadley
  • Nicole Brown Simpson
  • Mohammed Aziz Najafi
  • Lydia Koenig
  • Claude Messner
  • Lois Kennerly
  • Isioma Owolabi
  • Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat
  • Earl Daggett
  • Maisie Hobbs
  • Robert Durand
  • Tyler Alkins
  • Vasil Bukhalov
  • Robert Olen Butler

Original title: Severance
Alternative titles: Severance: Stories
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionGeneral FictionHumor

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Edition #1: Severance

Severance (2006)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "Humorous and beguiling, these stories eloquently capture the ways in which our most mundane thoughts spill out of us the moment we lose our heads." Library Journal
  • "Extremely well-executed (so to speak)." Kirkus Reviews
  • "Butler's singular perspective on human bloodshed and the power of the mind make Severance not only unique but also unforgettable." Booklist
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Manifested in:

Severance (August 2006)

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9780811856140
Dimensions: 5.94 x 7.26 x .98 in
Pages: 263

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