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Demonologyby Rick Moody
Synopses & Reviews
Demonology is the brilliant new collection of short stories by Rick Moody. Infused with a humane comic sense, these stories dig deep into American society and reveal the loss of connection that lurks under the surface.
The stories are about language, grief, car crashes, love. They are cast in many diverse forms — domestic comedy, pseudofairytale, philosophical arguement — but the underlying elements that link them together concern loss and pleasure, and the difficulty of really expressing love. Often they are fierce and unflinching — yet characterized by an antic humour and a vibrancy of language that is uniquely Rick Moody's.
Writing in Harper's magazine, Vince Passaro named Rick Moody as one of a handful of writers who have "presented us with some of the best and formally most innovative short fiction in our literature." Named by The New Yorker magazine as one of the most talented American writers under forty, Moody's stature in contemporary fiction is confirmed by this volume.
"Accomplished, fearless short stories that examine the exchange of energy between language and loss; inhabited mostly by young people whose heads are smarter than their hearts, and illuminated, sometimes, by barrages of emotional and rhetorical fireworks." The New York Times Book Review, Summer Reading 2001 selection
"Rick Moody is one of those writers you can't ignore because you don't know what he'll come up with next....Yes, on the surface it's Moody's daring and talent that exhilarate us, but on a deeper level we recognize the effort his people make to memorize their losses, to somehow keep alive what can't be saved, to placate their demons." Stewart O'Nan, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"By turns terrifying and wickedly funny....A delightfully quirky collection." Michael Shelden, Baltimore Sun
"Demonology, both the story and the collection, is a shriek of pain, a rending of garments, a howl....It seems totally beside the point to ask whether these stories are good, or bad, or entertaining. They're overwhelming. For me, the appropriate response to a book like this is an answering cry, a matching confession." Nan Goldberg, New York Observer
"Mr. Moody at his best." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A writer of tremendous virtuosity." Onion
"...further scrutiny reveals [Moody's words] are also as well-chosen as the syllables in a sonnet..." Boston Sunday Herald
"...displays Moody's uncanny ability to perforate the surface of the seemingly ordinary lives of his characters. In doing so, he creates extraordinary work." Rocky Mountain News
"Sending wry, heartbroken characters across the slightly tilted landscapes of his fiction..." Publishers Weekly
"...admirably evokes the grace concealed within petty routines...and the generosity of spirit detectable within our facile and feeling-challenged age." Washington Post
"Demonology is a fine introduction to one of the better writers working today." Library Journal
In Demonology Rick Moody writes with equal force about the blithe energies of youth ("Boys") and the rueful onset of middle age ("Hawaiian Night"), about midwestern optimists ("The Double Zero") and West Coast strategists ("On the Carousel"), about visionary exhilaration ("Forecast from the Retail Desk") and delusional catharsis ("Surplus Value Books: Catalog Number 13").
This exuberantly praised collection, full of deep feeling and stunningly beautiful language, firmly establishes Rick Moody as one of the leading literary voices of his generation.
Rick Moody's novels have earned him a reputation as a "breathtaking" writer (The New York Times) and "a writer of immense gifts" (The San Francisco Examiner). His remarkable short stories have led both the New Yorker and Harpers to single him out as one of the most original and admired voices in a generation.
These stories are abundant proof of Rick Moody's grace as a stylist and a shaper of interior lives. He writes with equal force about the blithe energies of youth ("Boys") and the rueful onset of middle age ("Hawaiian Night"), about Midwestern optimists ("Double Zero") and West coast strategists ("Baggage Carousel"), about visionary exhilaration ("Forecast from the Retail Desk") and delusional catharsis ("Surplus Value Books: Catalog Number 13.") The astounding title story, which has already been reprinted in four different anthologies, is a masterpiece of remembrance and thwarted love.
Full of deep feeling and stunningly beautiful language, the stories in Demonology offer the deepest pleasures that fiction can afford.
About the Author
Rick Moody is the author of Demonology, Purple America, The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven, The Ice Storm and Garden State, which won the Pushcart Press Editors' Book Award. He is a past recipient of the Addison Metcalf Award and a Guggenheim fellowship. Moody has contributed fiction and essays to most major publications and has been widely anthologized. He lives in New York.
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