'Warning: The following stories contain nudity, violence, pianos, amazingly radiant verbalising, venomous weather, and funny clanking noises in the tiled washrooms of the nation. Viewer discretion is advised.'
'Montreal author Barry Webster is a classically trained musician, a pianist to be precise, and in his writing, that fact couldn't be made more clear. The Sound of All Flesh, his first published compendium of short fiction, is ruled by rhythm, breathing imagery in and out like the dependable lungs of an accordion.'
'Barry Webster is a classically trained pianist. Parents of budding prodigies beware: If Webster's story collection reflects his experience, you'd do better to put your money on tap dancing. His story ''The Royal Conservatory Statement and Fugue for Eight Voices'' opens with a piano teacher gazing from her studio window at ''dangling icicles, dead squirrels, and tress reft by lightning.'' The hard chill, the little frozen corpses, the shattered trees preface an aria of beauties and horrors. In a fearless, magnificent run-on sentence, we encounter gold-buckled shoes, slit throats, tulips, scorpions and fresh hearts ''whose blood drips in straight lines down the wallpaper and coagulates in little puddles below the electric sockets.'' Enter the ice-pick-wielding mezzo-sopranos.'
'Both highly erotic and anti-pornographic, humanizing investing souls in objectified bodies.'
'Imagine a world threatened by clowns, enriched by music, and teetering on the edge of change, and you have a taste of the rich offering in this strong debut collection.'