“I want these pages to fall apart in your hands.”

A review by Bex Peyton

The money is running out, and as you retreat into bodies, you’ll find you’re getting closer and closer to haunting yourself. Thomas Moore’s newest novel Forever (Amphetamine Sulphate, 2021), a short but rich suicide note, has officially entered the expanded field. This is a novel about futility, written with a harrowing scream muted to a friend’s whisper. Sex, love, and words have failed the narrator and as he lowers each into its grave, its obituary takes form. The lack of profoundness in public cruising, the ambiguity of an ex-boyfriend, the way in which a text or note or internet post or novel can’t ever explode when it needs to but just has to end with a period or reply or nothing— it all begs to disappear. The narrator simulates ghosthood with sleep and drugs and daydreams, convincing himself death is freedom, that nothingness is better than confusion is better than vagueness. The capitalist hellscape can’t wait. Does the truth hurt or is it barely the truth?

I’ll be honest, art about suicide and depression doesn’t particularly interest me anymore, but if anyone has the creative range and emotional depth, it’s Thomas Moore. Moore’s writing is economical but stinging, dense with bolt stunner sentences of emotional explicitness that never devolve into cheap shocks. Despite the novel’s subject matter, Forever opts out trauma-porn for tenderness without sacrificing transgressive interest, something I believe Moore does well in all his writing. Additionally, the novel works with strong secondary concepts that break up (or maybe contribute to?) the bleakness, particularly queer internet mythology, the hyper-analysis of death, and parasocial relationships. Overall, Forever is an exceptional addition to Moore’s sick, sad world.

Look, if you’re not keeping up with Thomas Moore or Amphetamine Sulphate, then what, may I ask, are you fucking doing here? AS continues to be a leading force in the dark/experimental/underground lit scene with every release, and if you care about evil, advanced faggotry, they can not be overlooked. I’d also like to point out Michael Salerno’s beautiful work which adorns the cover of Forever and continues to vex/intrigue me.

Find Forever here.

And Thomas Moore’s other works here:

Small Talk at the Clinic (With Steven Purtill)
Skeleton Costumes
When People Die