Cut by Adam Chushman: a Review

Cut by Adam Cushman4 out of 5 stars

When I first saw the trailer for Adam Cushman’s debut novel, Cut I knew I had to pick up a copy. In case you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it first. I’ll wait.

The novel follows a failed actor into the surprisingly brutal world of suburban knife fighting. The sub-culture Cushman develops over the course of the novel echoes some of the themes in Fight Club – people with nothing to lose finally figuring out how to live through violence.

The book is precarious in the best of ways – there are few books able to keep me uneasy and wondering which way things are going to fall for Gabriel, the main character. Whether he’s on the run or gripping the sweaty handle of a knife in someone’s living room, you’re always waiting for the next slice to come and start the bleeding. I’ve never been in a knife fight, but based on the picture Cushman paints, this book is one giant allegory. An adrenaline rush that’s plenty crazy and soaked in blood.

I have no idea of suburban knife fighting actually exists. I imagine it’s not the type of thing you can check into on Foursquare. The thing I enjoyed most about this book is how, in a relatively compressed amount of pages (the book is on the same order as Drive short and direct), Cushman has fabricated an entire subculture with words alone. You can taste the blood, feel your heart race and can’t help but wonder if your neighbor is hiding scars under his dress shirt.

Shop for Cut on Amazon

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