Book - 2004
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In "The Surfing Channel," a popular sculptor works in the medium of human excrement. Elsewhere, we encounter an ad agency manipulating public hunger for a cholesterol-laden product ("Mr. Squishy"), a possibly suicidal yuppie devoted to obsessive analysis of his own "fraudulence" ("Good Old Neon"), and the story (told in conversations overheard during a business flight) of an "omniscient child" born in a Third World rain forest and commercially exploited by his fellow villagers ("Another Pioneer"). In a blistering vignette he describes in charged prose the accidental severe burning of a toddler and his parents' panicked efforts to save his life ("Incarnations of Burned Children") In "The Soul is Not a Smithy," a lonely father sorrowfully recalls a violent episode at his son's elementary school that the distracted boy survived almost without noticing it: "Oblivion" is the narrative of a 40-ish husband whose wife objects to his nonexistent snoring, leading him to an Orwellian Sleep Clinic, and to question everything he thinks he knows about himself.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316919814
Branch Call Number: SS WALLACE DAVID
Characteristics: 329 p. ; 25 cm


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Feb 02, 2018

Impenetrable prose, cold and oppressive, with nothing to draw you in. Really awful, terribly written 'stories', with nothing at all to recommend them.

May 27, 2014

The description is simply the dust jacket blurb. The story Oblivion is about the wife's repressed experience of childhood incest.

Dec 09, 2012

Absolute crap. Absolute male self-absorbed sterile twaddle.

kkisrmsq211 Jun 18, 2012

An amazing compilation- Wallace is a true genius, so sad that he had to leave us. "Good Old Neon" is an unbelievable short story. Reminded me of the way Salinger wrote a bit- as if the writer's thoughts are so removed from this world that they are in an entirely different universe. Also- "The Soul is not a Smithy" was tremendous... The book jacket said it perfectly- he creates worlds as detailed and complete as if each story is a novel in itself. Brilliant.


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