My fifth book of Jan. 2012 : The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus – There is so much to be astounded by in this novel, yet there is also so much to be confused by. Imagine the words that eminate from your childs mouth causes such sickness it rivels that of a zombie creating virus novel. No sooner does the sickness become transmitted by language alone, no matter who speaks, be aware this includes the written word and sign language. How does the human race figure out how to communicate. Thats the plot. If you can figure out the rest let me know. The author is so verbose that much of the time I didn’t even know the characters were having sex :). His use of language to convey everything covers the entire spectrum from how touching and beautiful to “I truly have no idea what is hapening right now”. There is a lot of interesting momoments of scientific method balanced evenly with more confusion. Much of the novel is biblical allagory and symbolic of the Jewish struggle from biblical time through the holocaust. It is not a poorly written novel, in fact I do believe that it is written by one far smarter than me that I did not understand it completely and fully. That is not to say I am too stupid to critique it. I found some of the telling of the plot to be disjointed and characters to be one dimensional. There are elements of speculative fiction that needed to be fleshed out and explained better. Please someone explain the “listener” to me. Maybe one day, now knowing the story I can go back and dechipher all the references to salt (Lot and his wife?) and those damn sermons in the hut. If you have the patience give it a try.