Short Lean Cuts: A Novella


America is sick. Maybe you wouldn’t even notice at first glance—all of the shiny, happy people with their smart phones and dumb ideas—but that’s just the honey glaze on a week old ham that is starting to rot in the heat of a summer that never seems to end. Take a razor, cut a slice or two, and see what lies beneath the gloss of modern life…

WARNING: For mature audiences. Explicit content.

$11.00 US (Paperback) or $3.99 US (eBook)


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So & So Books in Raleigh, NC – Call First – (919) 426-9502


Short Lean Cuts is brilliant flash fiction, centered around the same intriguing, self-destructive, anti-helvetican narrator. The themes here are post-modern nihilism, anti-consumerism, and cultural narcissism; the humor is dark and incisive. But more than anything, what stays with you long after are the narrator’s sharp insights, the surreal almost hallucinogenic scenes, and the staccato-like rhythm of the author’s voice. Each piece here is an allegorical snapshot of modern society–sliced razor thin.”

–Pat Pujolas, author of Jimmy Lagowski Saves The World

“The sentences in Short Lean Cuts are drunken slashing scalpels and by the time you finish reading this story you will be in shreds. And who doesn’t want a story to do that?”

–Robb Todd, author of Steal Me For Your Stories

“Pruteanu consistently bangs out bits of short flash that immediately rip and plunk the reader into another mindset, another scene. The thing that Short Lean Cuts displays so effectively is the one truth people mostly can’t stand to recognize.”

–Valerie Walter, Editor, Bong is Bard

“Pruteanu’s writing is minimalistic, elegant and wise; discerning readers will be richly rewarded by Short Lean Cuts. His surreal, poetic, dream-like visions will leave their mark on you. He brings to mind the likes of the great Barry Yourgrau and George Saunders. Reading this book will be a treat for bibliophiles and those of us who still revere the power and impact of the printed word.”

–Cliff Burns, author of So Dark The Night

“This is a dark, funny and brilliantly written novel, at moments weirdly surreal and at other times painfully realistic. The writing is really a pleasure to read.”

–Nancy Carolyn Heiges, Reviewer

“Alex M. Pruteanu’s Short Lean Cuts is not a small testament to Gore Vidal’s adage, ‘Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.’ It is, in fact, a small masterpiece…Where SLC seems cynical, it is dreadfully challenging and funny. Where SLC seems misanthropic, it is, in fact, hell bent on uplifting your right to laugh and live. I would go so far as to say that SLC, as a novella, holds up humanity to scrutiny, so that the narrator of the book can arrive at a place of unmitigated bliss, knowing that our time in life is short, and that of all bullshit that we must deal with, we must deal with it head-on. Like a Jeremiah Johnson on LSD, booze and stimulants, the author walks us through various modes of American being. SLC is a Dante’s Inferno, though in miniature. It the raving of a Dostoevsky’s Underground Man whose prose pours like lava from the volcanic, suprasensual brain of an outsider with an insider job: to reveal the bullshit factor in not only the characters’ moral ambiguities, but academia and the United States at large. SLC questions everything, and leaves no turn unstoned; it makes us laugh and reminds us how seriously stupid and ridiculously true a book can be. What starts as a rant ends in a resolution that is more than satisfactory, that we must press on to the next stage of our journey, for good, for ill, or ugly. Without doing so, as our hearts begin to die, we begin to die, and I think that is why Pruteanu, arguably one of the next best post-ethical neo-moralists of our time, renders what is mischievously good in us (even pragmatically magical in us) and also what’s despicable.”

–Paul Rogov, author of The Fallen Years

“There are some books that no amount of description, no matter how well worded or wise, can prepare you for, or even make you understand. Short Lean Cuts is definitely one of those books. Don’t take my word on how amazingly fluid the language and ideas are, how raw and yet finely tuned the prose is. Just read Short Lean Cuts and find out for yourself.”

–D.S. Atkinson, author of Bones Buried in the Dirt

Short Lean Cuts is a novella that blasts through the concrete of the brain from the first page. Alex M. Pruteanu is a master of language and the never-ending subterfuge of Americana that hides itself like a kid pretending to be a tree. Each chapter detonates with Pruteanu’s explosions of thought and brilliance. Pruteanu’s voice is inimitable, unforgettable and lean. It’s those fireworks you see from afar and wish you were closer to. Exceptional and they leave a lingering blinding circle of light where the spectacle once was! This is one novella that is not to be missed.”

–Meg Tuite, author of Domestic Apparition and Implosion

“In the work of Alex Pruteanu, one finds humor among desolation, which is the bravest sort. The work is fierce among savageries, and thus shows the kind of compassion available to those who’ve lived in the savage world awhile. This is no small feat, but rather a condition to which many writers may aspire. Pruteanu is not a fan of despair, but rather the ways we overcome it. On a more technical note, Pruteanu’s prose is unapologetic in its forthrightness. No mere craftsman is he but follows the old maxim, “Poeta nascuitur non fit.” The maker is born, not made. If you’re not reading him, you’re missing the boat.”

–Sundin Richards, author of The Hurricane Lamp

2 Responses to “Short Lean Cuts: A Novella”


  1. Year End Books Lists | Robert Vaughan - 08/12/2013

    […] your exceptional collection of short stories ( Gears: A Collection) as well as Short Lean Cuts: A Novella. Both were fascinating reads! And here is Alex’s list of his year end […]

  2. Ep. 35 Redux – Chinese Food Enlightenment | Retweets Aloud - 22/06/2014

    […] Food Enlightenment is a chapter in Short Lean Cuts by Alex Pruteanu and I decided to record it after he tweeted about it being on sale at […]

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