Continuing the proud tradition of stories of troubled fortune tellers, Rosch (But I Love You) invents a fresh–albeit upsetting–method of prognostication, with an anorexic-bulimic medium gorging for a glimpse of what’s to come. He leaves nothing to the imagination when depicting Casey putting away a whole bag of tortilla chips, a sixteen-inch sausage pizza, an entire chocolate cake, a double Philly cheesesteak burger, and so much more. The intensity with which Rosch focuses on these images and others, unabashed and unafraid, will please readers who prefer their fiction to break ground and boundaries, even at the expense of taste, though it goes without saying that others will balk at the depiction of a psychic using self-harming methods to increase the accuracy of readings.
Rosch’s prose is bold and brisk, attentive to telling details, high emotions, and violations to both body and spirit: “The sour mix of take-out, sex, bleach, and human sweat has been evicted. The metallic stench of blood and gunpowder reign supreme.” The dialogue slices, and playful, searching “interview” transcripts plumb Casey’s mind in fleet, engaging chapters. With its back and forth timelines, shadowy organizations, and troubled romance, Future Skinny finds Rosch committing whole-heartedly to his premise, building a pained, twisty, yet fascinating story that builds to setpieces–like the dinner party where “Nearly every North American meat dish is represented on the table”–with jolting surprises.
Takeaway: This inventive, defiantly not-for-everyone thriller ties seeing the future to an eating disorder.
Great for fans of: William Grehsam’s Nightmare Alley, John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-