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The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories

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The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780060007454
ISBN10: 0060007451
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This brilliant debut collection of stories by O. Henry Award winner John Biguenet is as notable for the rigor of its intellect as for the sweep of its imagination. Whether recounting the predicament of an atheistic stigmatic in "The Vulgar Soul" or a medieval torturer who must employ his terrible skills upon his own apprentice in the title tale, these stories decline to settle for ready sentiments or easy assurances.

Rather than add to the massive canon of the victimized, for example, "My Slave" takes the perspective of the victimizer. In "The Open Curtain," a man achieves intimacy with his family only when he recognizes — watching them dine as he sits in his car at the curb — that he lives in a household of strangers. Menaced by a gang of skinheads in a Jewish cemetery, an American tourist in Germany placates the Neo-Nazis with a formula he continues to repeat even after he is safely back home in "I Am Not a Jew." And as for love, it makes demands in such stories as "Do Me" that shake our very notions of what it means to love.

If these stories engage the world in sometimes shocking ways, they are virtuoso engagements, eloquent in their prose, surprising in their plotting, sly in their humor. Biguenet shifts among voices and narrative strategies and imposes neither a single style nor a repeated structure as he depicts the ecological catastrophe of "A Plague of Toads," the problem posed by a ghost in the nursery in "Fatherhood," and the ghastly discovery a grieving widower defends as "another kind of memory" in "Rose."

Such mastery of craft may come as a surprise in a first-time author, but even more impressive is the object of his art. For whether it seeks to prick or to tickle, each story in The Torturer's Apprentice addresses its subject with an authority unusual in contemporary literature as it entices the reader beyond the boundaries of the expected and the accepted.

Synopsis:

Whether recounting the predicament of an atheistic stigmatic in "The Vulgar Soul" or a medieval torturer who must employ his terrible skills upon his own apprentice in the title tale, this extraordinary debut collection of stories never settles for easy sentiments or assurances.

Fluent in a variety of narrative voices, the volume is notable for the rigor of its intellect and for the sweep of its imagination. These stories engage the world in sometimes shocking ways, elegantly surprising in their plotting, sly in their humor.

About the Author

John Biguenet's fiction has appeared in such publications as Esquire, Granta, Playboy, Story, and Zoetrope. The winner of an 0. Henry Award for short fiction, he lives in New Orleans. Ecco published his debut collection of stories, The Torturer's Apprentice, in 2001. Oyster is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

connie wright, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by connie wright)
I loved this book! Instead of turning me away, the title made me wonder what kinds of stories I would find inside. I'm not sure which is my favorite, the title story or "Do Me".
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060007454
Subtitle:
Stories
Author:
Biguenet, John
Author:
Bi
Author:
iguenet, John
Author:
B
Author:
guenet, John
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Location:
New York
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Short stories
Subject:
Science Fiction - Short Stories (Single Author)
Subject:
Science Fiction - Short Stories
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Ecco pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series Volume:
NASA TN D-5029
Publication Date:
20020219
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.02x5.35x.49 in. .38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure

The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories Used Trade Paper
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$1.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060007454 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Whether recounting the predicament of an atheistic stigmatic in "The Vulgar Soul" or a medieval torturer who must employ his terrible skills upon his own apprentice in the title tale, this extraordinary debut collection of stories never settles for easy sentiments or assurances.

Fluent in a variety of narrative voices, the volume is notable for the rigor of its intellect and for the sweep of its imagination. These stories engage the world in sometimes shocking ways, elegantly surprising in their plotting, sly in their humor.

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