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Tunneling to the center of the earth : stories

by Wilson, Kevin, 1978-

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 3 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Brentwood Library Fiction FICTION Wilson
Location  Brentwood Library
 
Collection  Fiction
 
Call Number  FICTION Wilson
 
 
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC WILSON
Location  Northland Public Library
 
Collection  Fiction
 
Call Number  FIC WILSON
 
 
 
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Penn Hills Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Penn Hills Library
 
Collection  Fiction
 
Status  CHECKED OUT
 
 
Summary

A debut short story collection in the tradition of writers like Kelly Link, Aimee Bender, and George Saunders--strange, imaginative, and refreshingly original



Kevin Wilson's characters inhabit a world that moves seamlessly between the real and the imagined, the mundane and the fantastic. "Grand Stand-In" is narrated by an employee of the Nuclear Family Supplemental Provider--a company that supplies "stand-ins" for families with deceased, ill, or just plain mean grandparents. And in "Blowing Up On the Spot," a story singled out by Ann Patchett for Ploughshares, a young woman works sorting tiles at a Scrabble factory after her parents have spontaneously combusted.

Southern gothic at its best, laced with humor and pathos, these wonderfully inventive stories explore the relationship between loss and death and the many ways we try to cope with both.

Contents
Grand stand-in
Blowing up on the spot
The dead sister handbook: a guide for sensitive boys
Birds in the house
Mortal kombat
Tunneling to the center of the earth
The shooting man
The choir director affair (the baby's teeth)
Go, fight, win
The museum of whatnot
Worst-case scenario.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Four mutually loathing brothers fold hundreds of paper cranes for a contest to determine who will own the family plantation house. A young man counts every step to and from a factory in which he winnows the Qs from heaps of new-minted Scrabble tiles. Three new BAs spend months after graduation tunneling beneath the hometown of one of them. A professional substitute grandmother gets queasy about her new family when she discovers they also retain a faux child. That last story, Grand Stand-In, is the creepiest in the book, though the bad-dream pulp-noir exercise, The Shooting Man, is a close, gritty runner-up. Two stories of teens and sex, Mortal Kombat and Go, Fight, Win the only third-person narratives here express great though measured sympathy. Wildly imaginative in the manner of new weirdness fiction (see Feeling Very Strange, 2006), Wilson's work is also warmly compassionate in tenor. He creates an appealing voice for each first-person narrator he invents, and in third person, he is flat-out magisterial, with more than a hint of the magical. Watch him closely.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Wilson's captivating debut collection paints an everyday world filled with characters obsessed by weird impulses. Whether it's Guster, the narrator of "The Shooting Man," who goes to great lengths to discover the secret of a sideshow performer whose trick is to shoot himself in the face, or the three bored college grads of the title story who compulsively dig a tunnel beneath their town, Wilson creates a lively landscape with rich and twisted storytelling. A few stories satirize the odd ways families react to tragedy, for example, "Grand Stand-in," which revolves around an elderly woman hired by families who wish to avoid telling their children about an unforeseen death. Two of the best stories involve teens: in "Mortal Kombat," two unpopular quiz bowl stars become enamored of a video game and each other, while "Go, Fight, Win," features a cheerleader who prefers building model cars to the company of her schoolmates. While Wilson has trouble wrapping up a few stories ("Blowing Up on the Spot," "The Museum of Whatnot"), most are fresh and darkly comedic in a Sam Lipsyte way. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Short stories.
Publisher New York :Harper Perennial,2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Notes "An Ecco book."
"P.S. insights, interviews & more"--Cover.
Description 208, 16 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9780061579028 (pbk.)
0061579025 (pbk.)
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