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The View from the Seventh Layerby Kevin Brockmeier
Synopses & Reviews
Kevin Brockmeier--award -winning author of The Brief History of the Dead--has been widely praised for the richness of his imagination, the lyrical grace and playfulness of his language, and the empathic emotional complexity of his storytelling. And this dazzling collection once again affirms his place as one of the most creative and compassionate writers of his generation.
In the haunting title story, a young, asocial woman remembers the oddly honest things she wrote in her high school classmates' yearbooks and contemplates her scarred life, imagining an escape with an apparition she calls the Entity. In "Father John Melby and the Ghost of Amy Elizabeth," a formerly dull and turgid pastor is touched by a spirit that turns his sermons into crowd-pleasers--that is, until he discovers his inspiration is a little less than divine. "The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device" is a gorgeous homage to the classic, young readers' choose-your-own-adventure novels. But this one is for grown-ups who can navigate through imagery and dead ends, and toward a resolution that only Kevin Brockmeier could have invented. From the fantastical to the concrete, the range of this collection is breathtaking. It moves fluidly, finding beauty in the quiet, often overlooked corners of the world.
By turns daring and moving, The View from the Seventh Layer is crafted with the remarkable voice and vision that have become hallmarks of Brockmeier's acclaimed fiction.
A new compilation of short fiction from the author of The Brief History of the Dead features the title story about an asocial young woman who ponders her troubled life and imagines an escape with an apparition she calls the Entity, as well as "The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device" and "Father John Melby and the Ghost of Amy Elizabeth." 35,000 first printing.
Peering into the often unnoticed corners of life, Kevin Brockmeier has been consistently praised for the originality of his vision, the boundlessness of his imagination andthe command of his craft. Once again, in this new collection of fiction, Brockmeier shows us a fantastical world that is intimately familiar but somehow distant and beautiful. From the touching title story, where a young, antisocial woman imagines her escape into the sky with an apparition only she can see, to the haunting story of a pastor tempted by something less than divine, Brockmeier moves effortlessly from the extraordinary to theeveryday, while challenging us to see the world anew. Stunning, elegant, profound, and playful, The View from the Seventh Layer cements Kevin Brockmeier's place as one of the most creative andcompassionate writers of his generation.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
A fable ending in the sound of a thousand parakeets — The view from the seventh layer — The lives of the philosophers — The year of silence — A fable with a photograph of a glass mobile on the wall — Father John Melby and the ghost of Amy Elizabeth — The human soul as a Rube Goldberg device : a choose-your-own adventure story — The lady with the pet tribble — A fable containing a reflection the size of a match head in its pupil — Home videos — The air is full of little holes — Andrea is changing her name — A fable with slips of white paper spilling from its pockets.
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