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Littlest Hitler: Stories

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Littlest Hitler: Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bette wore what I had come to secretly call her Star Trek uniform, a hideous white suit jacket with too-pointy collars. From her face hung a beard of bees. Everyone's seen these things on TV or in National Geographic. Some farmer standing shirtless in his field, a stalactite of writhing insects dangling from his grinning face. But on Bette, though. Our account manager for digital media. I wasn't even aware she raised bees.

Welcome to the world of Ryan Boudinot, where a little boy who innocently dresses up as Hitler for Halloween suffers the consequences. ("The Littlest Hitler"); a world where a typical office romance is destroyed by the female half's habit of coming to work covered in live bees ("Bee Beard"); where jacked-up salesmen go on murderous, Burgess-like rampages ("The Sales Team"); and the children of the future are required to kill off their parents — preferably with an ice pick — in order to be accepted to the college of their choice ("Civilization"). You may never want to leave.

In each of these fearless, hilarious, and tightly crafted stories, Boudinot's voice rings with a clarity rarely seen in a debut collection. He speaks to a generation that has tried to seem disaffected but can't help wishing for a better world. His characters shake their heads over the same messes they're busily creating, or lash out angrily at a sex-and-violence-saturated culture. But they can never entirely lose their sense of fun, however perverse it may be.

Review:

"Boudinot proves himself a twisted, formidable storyteller in his dark and surefooted debut. In the title story, fourth-grader Davy, with his father's assistance, dresses up as Hitler for Halloween ('I had gotten the idea after watching World War II week on PBS'), but realizes his terrible judgment after an encounter with a classmate dressed as Anne Frank. 'On Sex and Relationships' brims with irony as two yuppie couples get together for dinner; the evening is banal enough — board games, nostalgic chitchat — but festering rivalries, buried secrets and bitterness color the evening and threaten to sink the narrator's relationship with his girlfriend. In 'Civilization,' teens of the future receive 'duty papers' when it's time to kill their parents, so as to be accepted into college. Despite his parents' encouragement to kill them ('Don't let your nerves get to you!' reads a Post-it his father sticks to the refrigerator), narrator Craig has his reservations. Reminiscent of early Rick Moody or the short stories of Daniel Handler, each of Boudinot's 13 stories is a microcosm of weirdness imbued with imagination and maniacal wit. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Ryan Boudinot is some kind of new and dangerous cross between Vonnegut and Barthelme." Dave Eggers

Review:

"The funniest, most engaging, and original new voice I've read in a long time. Boudinot's stories are a joy." Stephen Elliot

Review:

"When Boudinot writes shtick, he's tiresome. When he writes fully developed stories, he's abrasive, thought-provoking and explosively funny." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Ryan Boudinot received an M.F.A. from Bennington College, where he studied with Rick Moody and Amy Hempel. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Black Book, nerve.com, and The Best American Non-Required Reading 2003 and 2005. In 2004 he was named one of The Stranger's "Writers to Watch" in their annual Genius Awards issue. He lives in Seattle, where he works at Amazon.com as an editor on the Media team. He is thirty-three years old.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

meema2121, July 15, 2009 (view all comments by meema2121)
This is an intriguing little book of short stories that are best suited for a rainy day when you need something disturbing, yet thought provoking at the same time. All of the stories that are part of this collection are full of symbolism, abstract metaphors and chilling comparisons to our modern society. Some of the stories make the reader find hope in mankind's more basic flaws, while others leave a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Overall, if you like things that are different, abstract and borderline disturbing, this is a great book to pick up. All of the stories in it are well written, so no worries there. It's the stories you shouldn't turn your back on.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Cedate, May 25, 2007 (view all comments by Cedate)
This interesting mix of stories makes for a unique reading experience that makes you think. From the title story that explores the dynamics of a school when two kids in the same class show up dressed as Hitler and Anne Frank on Halloween, to the story where society requires that kids kill their parents to obtain college admission and scholarships, it is a book you will not soon forget.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582433578
Publisher:
Counterpoint LLC
Subject:
General
Author:
Boudinot, Ryan
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 13.2 oz

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Littlest Hitler: Stories
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 224 pages Counterpoint Press - English 9781582433578 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Boudinot proves himself a twisted, formidable storyteller in his dark and surefooted debut. In the title story, fourth-grader Davy, with his father's assistance, dresses up as Hitler for Halloween ('I had gotten the idea after watching World War II week on PBS'), but realizes his terrible judgment after an encounter with a classmate dressed as Anne Frank. 'On Sex and Relationships' brims with irony as two yuppie couples get together for dinner; the evening is banal enough — board games, nostalgic chitchat — but festering rivalries, buried secrets and bitterness color the evening and threaten to sink the narrator's relationship with his girlfriend. In 'Civilization,' teens of the future receive 'duty papers' when it's time to kill their parents, so as to be accepted into college. Despite his parents' encouragement to kill them ('Don't let your nerves get to you!' reads a Post-it his father sticks to the refrigerator), narrator Craig has his reservations. Reminiscent of early Rick Moody or the short stories of Daniel Handler, each of Boudinot's 13 stories is a microcosm of weirdness imbued with imagination and maniacal wit. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Ryan Boudinot is some kind of new and dangerous cross between Vonnegut and Barthelme."
"Review" by , "The funniest, most engaging, and original new voice I've read in a long time. Boudinot's stories are a joy."
"Review" by , "When Boudinot writes shtick, he's tiresome. When he writes fully developed stories, he's abrasive, thought-provoking and explosively funny."
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