Too Many Things Came to Nothing --- A Review

I can say with deep sincerity that Cody Sexton is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. Ever. That might sound slightly hyperbolic, but Sexton manages to navigate language, truth, and experience, with such a masterful ease and beauty, there is nothing not to love.

Too Many Things Came to Nothing is a memoir, written with a raw intensity that calls the reader to show up and invest in the experience. That’s what I loved most about what Sexton has created here. Reading should be an experience whereby the reader is drawn into the world, without shame or apathy. Presses like A Thin Slice of Anxiety (where Cody is the Managing Editor) or Outcast Press, for instance, refuse to sensor human experience. They hold the eye, mind, and heart to the flames of humanity’s terror, and challenge us to be shaped within such a crucible. Reading Too Many Things Came to Nothing changes you. And that is a good thing.

The book is divided into two sections, the first half a collection of personal essays, and the second consisting of seven stories.

Each essay is written with the starkness of a man who has accepted the reality by which he grew up in, and, as it turns out, how fucked up humanity truly is. As James Bergman says in the foreword, “All essays within this piece are written with refreshing sobriety and a complete rejection of false consolations to reconcile them.” Cody writes with the freedom that can only come when you refuse to surrender behind literary social conventions, or chase the mythical image of unhindered popularity and success. My god, we need more writers like this.

The stories that follow the essays are a wonderful addition, serving not only as a reminder of Cody’s gift and talent as a writer without boundaries, but also building upon and giving further meaning to the essays that precede them.

The whole book is, in many ways, an autobiographical portrait, a canvas that Cody has painted with words and blood, with searing honesty and the sweat of memory. When you stand back after reading—slick in the residue of your own memories brought out as a result of experiencing Too Many Things Came to Nothing—it is then you realise that you’ve witnessed a masterpiece.