Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of the memoir Permanent Midnight and the novel I, Fatty comes a long-awaited collection of short stories. Jerrys Stahls perverse, yet often touching tales, many of which first appeared in publications ranging from Playboy to the Pushcart Prize to Best Erotic Fiction, plumb the depths of eccentric romance, sex-starved adolescence, mid-life crisis, and family dysfunction. From a teenagers tryst with a recently widowed middle-aged woman on an airplane, to a dissatisfied dentists attempt to find freedom on the road with a much younger woman, all the way to an intensely erotic love affair between an ex-junkie and an ex-circus midget with a sexual obsession with vegetables, this collection never fails to arouse and surprise. With a disarmingly immediate prose style, Stahl finds great eroticism, humor, and humanity in the wildest of encounters.
"'Stahl's 1995 memoir, Permanent Midnight (detailing his life as a drug-addicted TV writer), and three novels (I, Fatty the most recent), have won him a fan base that shares his glee for the comically deviant, but even his most ardent supporters will be disappointed with this hodgepodge of thin sketches and riffs. Several pieces trade in little more than shock value. 'Bunker Buster,' for instance, details a homosexual tryst with Dick Cheney in the backroom of a Wyoming gun shop. Readers will also meet a hirsute midget with a vegetable fetish, a religiously devout hooker whose creative interpretation of her virginity pledge allows her to work as a prostitute, and a woman who takes her cocaine in an unorthodox manner. These characteristically perverse entries are incongruously offset with more conventional but promising fare: an account of a straitlaced dentist spontaneously running off with a teenaged girl hints at a desire to go beyond the merely eccentric, while the handful of pieces about boyhood are deeply felt, if too slight to satisfy. The book is less a collection of fully conceived stories than a repository for half-baked ideas. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I had a great time reading this messy book. It's the antithesis of most collections being published these days, those cautious, disciplined efforts that nearly always seek the badge 'a novel in stories.'" Steve Almond, The Los Angeles Times
"Stahl's brilliantly demented riffs deserved to be read or screamed aloud." Entertainment Weekly
"A better-than Burroughs virtuoso....Stahl has earned the blurbs he's picked up along the way from James Ellroy, Hubert Selby Jr., and Jim Carroll, and has the right to be counted in their skanky, stylish company." Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker
"An unexpected collection of darkly comic, erotic short stories by 'the American hipster bard.'" James Ellory
A teenage boy's mile-high tryst with a middle-aged widow...
A love affair between a former junkie and an ex-circus midget...
A salacious encounter with the vice president...
The meth-frayed chronicles of a born-again call girl...
In stories of startling breadth and immediacy, Jerry Stahl plumbs the depths of romantic obsession, sex-crazed adolescence, family dysfunction, and other universals of American life. By turns vulgar and tender, wrenching and hysterical, Stahl mines his unique mix of savage humor, unflinching humanity, and unlikely eroticism from the wildest of encounters. Written over the past thirty years, this collection demonstrates why Jerry Stahl's voice remains one of the most vital and uncompromising in contemporary literature.
From the bestselling author of the memoir Permanent Midnight and the novel I, Fatty comes a long-awaited collection of short stories. Stahl's perverse yet often touching tales plumb the depths of eccentric romance, sex-starved adolescence, mid-life crisis, and family dysfunction.
About the Author
Jerry Stahl is the author of the bestselling memoir Permanent Midnight and the novels I, Fatty, Perv A Love Story, and Plainclothes Naked. He lives in Los Angeles.