Longtime Tendency contributor Jez Burrows’ Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings is a collection of very short stories, each composed entirely of example sentences from the dictionary. Organized alphabetically by theme from the everyday (dating, family, jealousy, memory) to the extraordinary (the apocalypse, fantasies, murder, the occult), and illustrated in glorious
technicolour black and yellow, Dictionary Stories is a giddy celebration of the wild, elastic potential of language. Noir thrillers, fantasy epics, love stories, horror stories, eulogies, recipes, and drawing room murder mysteries — each one a miniature literary remix of unlikely parts hidden in plain sight, created by flipping through the dictionary and knowing where to stop.
Seasonal Craft Cocktails
by Jez Burrows
The Caledonian Railway
Blended whiskey, balsamic resins, burnt orange, amber beads, beetle.
The Metric System
Overproof rum, vin mousseux, coastal waters, dendritic salt, medicinal herbs, nanoplankton.
Crappy wine, flat champagne, a piece of rebar.
The Goldbach Conjecture
Peach schnapps, seasonal rainfall, unbruised bananas, pasteurized milk, unpasteurized milk, larvae, spirochete, carbuncle.
A quadruple vodka, fancy molasses, desiccated coconut, generic aspirin, a pinch of snuff, a wafer of ice, a single red rose.
Why Does Elsbeth Not Bring Forth a Child?
Three shots of well tequila, virgin snow, milkweed floss, juniper berries, rosary beads, petrified wood, chocolate buttons, pentagram.
Fortified wine, immature fruit, nonfat buttermilk, grass tuffets, a soupçon of mustard, antimatter.
The Landed Aristocracy
A single whiskey, peach nectar, chlorinated water, reptile eggs, striated bark, bonfire smoke, semidarkness, cherries jubilee.
The Sorrowing Widower Found It Hard to Relate to His Sons
Draft beer, instant coffee, peanut brittle, geode.
The Birthday Boy
Powerful 132-proof rum, cocoa powder, tinned fruit, popsicle sticks, Mickey Mouse ephemera.
It Will Be Interesting to Hear What the Man in the Street Has to Say about These Latest Tax Cuts. A Tax Cut for the Wealthy Will Have a Much Smaller Multiplier Effect in the Economy Than One for the Lower Economic Classes
Straight brandy, licorice twist.
The Ethics of Euthanasia
Boric oxide, methyl bromide, cinnamon stick.
(Sentences taken from the New Oxford American Dictionary.)