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McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Storiesby Michael Chabon
Synopses & Reviews
Michael Chabon is back with a brand-new collection that reinvigorates the stay-up-all-night, edge-of-the seat, fingernail-biting, page-turning tradition of literary short stories, featuring Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Peter Straub, David Mitchell, Jonathan Lethem, Heidi Julavits, Roddy Doyle, and more!
Margaret Atwood — "Lusus Naturae"
"With this varied collection of enchanting though not always astonishing tales, Chabon (who also edited McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales) aims for an anthology full of 'genre bending and stylistic play.' There's quite a lineup of writers taking a stab at 'genre' fiction here: many expected (Margaret Atwood, Stephen King), but a few surprises as well, and a newcomer or two. Atwood offers a fantastical tale of a human 'lusus naturae' (freak of nature) who suffers from a nameless disease that results in yellow eyes, red fingernails and fangs — how does such a creature fit into a family? Jonathan Lethem's charming 'Vivian Relf,' which concerns two strangers who seem familiar to each other and who continue to cross each others' paths, is a kind of love story, but there are also tales creepy (Jason Roberts's '7C') and strange (China Miéville's 'Reports of Certain Events in London'). Stephen King's 'Lisey and the Madman' is full of engaging detail and feeling. While a couple of stories fail to reach the high-water mark, this collection will offer readers plenty of pleasure and perhaps even a sense of doing good (an endnote says that 'this book benefits 826 Valencia,' the San Francisco writing lab founded by Dave Eggers and Co.). Agent, Mary Evans. (Nov. 9) Forecast: McSweeney's is making a name for itself as a sponsor of quirky anthologies, which should help sales of all its series." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] superb roster of talent....[A] first-rate collection. Thrills, chills, and otherworldly spectacles: a rare anthology that delivers on its superlatives — and then some." Kirkus Reviews
"[M]any of the tales included are neither particularly astonishing nor accomplished....What this book's best stories possess...is a sense of the abiding mystery that envelops us all — the vast, terrifying, liberating enigma of the universe itself." Charlotte Observer
"The stories are a bit uneven...but most will keep even the most discerning reader entertained....
A stellar group of contemporary fiction masters offer their original takes on the tried-and-true genres of adventure, science fiction, crime story, romance, horror, and more. Contributors include Michael Chabon, Roddy Doyle, Heidi Julavitz, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, China Miéville, Peter Straub, and Jonathan Lethem.
About the Author
Michael Chabon's works of fiction include The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonder Boys, Werewolves in Their Youth, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, and Playboy and in a number of anthologies, among them Prize Stories 1999: The O. Henry Awards. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, also a novelist, and their children.
Table of Contents
"Lusus Naturae" by Margaret Atwood
"What You Do Not Know You Want" by David Mitchell
"Vivian Relf" by Jonathan Lethem
"Minnow" by Ayelet Waldman
"Zeroville" by Steve Erickson
"Lisey and the Madman" by Stephen King
"7C" by Jason Roberts
"The Miniaturist" by Heidi Julavits
"The Child" by Roddy Doyle
"Delmonico" by Daniel Handler
"The Scheme of Things" by Charles D'Ambrosio
"The Devil of Delery Street" by Poppy Z. Brite
"Reports of Certain Events in London" by China Miéville
"The Fabled Light-House at Viña Del Mar" by Joyce Carol Oates
"Mr. Aickman's Air Rifle" by Peter Straub
About the Contributors
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Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » General