From the author of the instant New York Times best seller Swamplandia! (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), a dazzling new collection of stories that showcases Karen Russell's gifts at their inimitable best.
In the collection's marvelous title story, two aging vampires in a sun-drenched Italian lemon grove find their hundred-year marriage tested when one of them develops a fear of flying. In "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979", a dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left in a seagull's nest. "Proving Up" and "The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis" - stories of children left to fend for themselves in dire predicaments - find Russell veering into more sinister territory, and ultimately crossing the line into full-scale horror. In "The New Veterans", a massage therapist working with a tattooed war veteran discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the images on his body. In all, these wondrous new pieces display a young writer of superlative originality and invention coming into the full range and scale of her powers.
“An eight-tale adrenaline-delivery system packed with long-married, problem-beset monsters, abandoned children whose lives are in dire peril, teens with creepy sixth senses, and masseuses with inexplicable healing powers…Darkly inventive, demonically driven narratives set in the author’s inimitable imaginative disturbia.” (Elle)
“Consistently arresting…startling…profound…Even more impressive than Russell’s critically acclaimed novel." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“Russell doesn’t work small. She’s a world builder, and the stranger the better…Russell’s great gift - along with her antic imagination - is her ability to create whole landscapes and lifetimes of strangeness within the confines of a short story.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Stylish modern magic realism
- Ryan "Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good."
Haunting, engrossing stories
This is by far one of the best audio books I've listened to! The stories were all quite different, with different narrators to match. The best of them were utterly haunting. The words and voices cast a spell on me, and linger with me still.
My favorite stories really stayed with me. The stories themselves are lovely, dark, beautiful things, and the actors reading them were perfectly chosen.
My favorite stories were the silk weaver, the massage therapist, and the scarecrow ones. They seemed to get at a dark, true element of human psychology in a way that realism never could.
I highly recommend this audio book!