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Dogwalker: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)by Arthur Bradford
Synopses & Reviews
The debut collection of an O. Henry Award-winning short story writer, Dogwalker assembles its cast from society's misfits: the disabled and the blind, the hapless and the troubled, and all species of mutants including a giant slug that almost breaks up a marriage, a preponderance of three-legged dogs, and a family of circus freaks who look remarkably like cats. Here, too, are hexes, voodoo, refrigerated dead puppies, and an unforgettable game involving a chainsaw. The stories in Dogwalker are narrated with surreal tranquility, with a pronounced lack of amazement at life's vicissitudes and an affable acceptance of its strangest circumstances.
With a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue and a sensibility as unique as his subjects, Arthur Bradford peels back a surface layer of depravity and violence to reveal a world of surprising gentleness, compassion, and innocence. In these twelve strikingly provocative and hilarious stories, he emerges as an utterly original new voice in contemporary fiction.
"Bradford conjures weird modern-Gothic worlds that obey the carnival logic of dreams. His stories are stealthily tender and strangely moving." Bookforum
"Bradford is a young writer with a very specific, deadpan aesthetic that will greatly appeal to some; the writing is unflashy but extremely sure of itself, and a few of the stories, especially 'Mattress,' are funny and thoughtful and perfectly successful on their own terms." Rob Walker, The New York Times Book Review
"[Bradford's] desire to talk about the heart in a way that's not navel-gazing, but rather earnest and real, burns through. Dogwalker soars." San Francisco Chronicle
"Bradford's bizarre, species-crossing debut collection of 12 stories hits the mark with its singular characters and odd scenarios, its eccentricities blissfully unforced....Frank, good-hearted, slightly naive, almost childlike in its simple chronicling of events, it will engage the reader immediately." Publishers Weekly
"Arthur Bradford is very tall, but this does not seem to have hampered his writing. His perfect, perfect stories remain in your head....How can stories such as these be...so funny, so full of something like joy? These are questions we may never, ever answer. If you don't like Arthur's stories you are not my friend." Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
From O. Henry Award-winning short story writer Arthur Bradford comes this strangely outlandish yet compassionate collection that signals a major new voice in fiction.
One young man steals his blind friend's truck and is caught by the cops, while another needing a roommate lands a cat-faced circus freak. One buys pot from a dealer who locks his customers in the closet, and another must choose between his pregnant wife and the ten-pound slug he's convinced will bring him a fortune. And then there are the divinely inspired dogs that fill these stories — three-legged, no-legged, dogs that talk and sing, and dogs that give birth to humans. Dogwalker daringly strolls along society's fringes and unearths strange beauty.
Tender and satiric, hilarious and humane, Dogwalker plunks readers down in a land of misfits and the circumstantially strange-where one young man buys drugs from a dealer who locks his customers in a closet, while another lands a cat-faced circus freak for a roommate, and yet another must choose between his pregnant wife and the ten-pound slug hes convinced will bring him a fortune. And throughout these stories moves a divinely inspired collection of dogs: three-legged, no-legged, dogs that sing, that talk, and that give birth to humans. Brilliant, perplexing, and moving, this is a daring debut that strolls along societys fringes and unearths strange beauty among its misfits
About the Author
Arthur Bradford’s fiction has appeared in McSweeny’s, Esquire, and The O. Henry Awards Anthology. His first feature film, a documentary called How’s Your News?, is scheduled for release on HBO/Cinemax in spring 2002. He used to live in Austin, Texas, but now he lives in Vermont.
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