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Bang Crunch (Vintage Originals)by Neil Smith
Synopses & Reviews
In Neil Smiths nine stories, average people find themselves in decidedly unusual situations, as the mundane and the fantastic collide. A woman mourning the loss of her husband finds solace in talking to his ashes, entombed in a curling stone. The title story zeroes in on a girl with Fred Hoyle syndrome, whose age expands and contracts like the universe. The members of a support group for people with benign tumors begin to suspect that their meekness has caused their medical woes.
Bang Crunch creates an extraordinary world inhabited by all-too-human characters, and heralds the arrival of a literary talent with an unfailing, exacting concern for the profundities of our lives.
"Montreal-based translator Smith debuts with nine stories, some of which hit the mark. In 'The B9ers,' a man forms a support group for people who have had benign tumors removed, and that's where the action stops: a weak subplot involving fraud by a representative of an orphanage fails to give the story much bite. In 'Isolettes,' a woman has a baby with the use of her friend's sperm, yet when catastrophe strikes after the birth, the general airlessness of the writing makes it hard to access her feelings. Similarly, the collection's longest story, 'Jaybird,' profiles an ambitious actor led into an extremely revealing performance by his agent's secretary under false pretenses, but the denouement unfolds mutedly. Smith's poise finds its best home in 'Extremities,' which follows a pair of gloves from one owner to another and finally through a murder, and in the title story, in which a woman ages forward too rapidly, and then backward just as rapidly." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Neil Smith is a Montreal writer. He has won an honorable mention at the National Magazine Awards in Canada, first prize at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, and was nominated for the Journey Prize, one of Canada's most prestigous literary awards, three times. He is also a French translator.
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