The Visible Filth
Nathan Ballingrud
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
Nathan Ballingrud
Year Published
About the Title

The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud tells the story of a man named Will and his descent into a nightmare. Will is an affable and charismatic man, who is also a little shallow, and has been skating across the surface of life in a state of prudently-upheld contentment. After a violent brawl at a New Orleans bar in which he works at, Will discovers a cell phone that he decides to keep until the owner returns. Everything begins to change when text messages and strange images are sent to the device — and through all this, Will discovers a dark underside to life, a world where “inside it is all just worms”. The overall message of the book depicts that humans have an ugliness that is hidden inside them, and that it eventually all comes swarming out, just like how cockroaches do.

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