Rules To Win The Game

Matthew Burnside


ISBN  978-1-947980-70-9      144 pages        $16.00



"Curious, I dropped a twig into the earth-maw and heard no sound. No bottom. Then a rock. No bottom. Finally, I plucked a leaf on which a ladybug had settled and dropped it in, too. A few seconds after, the hole sealed itself and it occurred me that was the trick of it."

RULES TO WIN THE GAME lyrically lilts and sucks the marrow out of mind—drawing you into sublime (subliminal) surreal. Discerning what is real and what is reactive trauma becomes one’s captivating game with a wildly noir narrator. Roll the dice, start at any page. Taut, economic chapters, outstanding order, succulent dialogue, no words wasted with a profoundly-moving memorial end, Rules will leave you universally shuddering.


A disquieting marvel of form and structure with an abnormally large heart gurgling and panting under its ribs. Our hero wields imagination like a blade, hefts it like a shield, and ultimately, creates a new reality to protect him from his past. We, the readers, enable his quest by desperately hoping for him to succeed. I felt a part of this book, an active player in the game, and with every roll of the die realized how much we had to lose.

     Josh Denslow, author of Not Everyone is Special (7.13 Books)

Matthew Burnside is the author of a few books and chapbooks, including Postludes (KERNPUNKT). He resides in Texas and is currently writing a novel about a girl who raises wolves in an abandoned theme park.