Synopses & Reviews
Riotously funny, beautifully written, and charged with emotional intelligence, this well-crafted debut investigates the world from the fringe through characters who stray so far from convention they seem to inhabit another universe. Whether it's Alston Goldstein ferrying drugs around Florida on his yellow moped, a young man fighting his entire neighborhood to find a suitable husband for his pregnant sister, or a man preparing to arm wrestle Jesus, these 13 stories hinge on the interplay between middle-class normality and capricious heroes, transporting readers to a tenderly evoked world where the real and the absurd at last make peace. This fictional masterpiece is for readers who love Americana, root for the underdog, and delight in the approach of the next great voice in southern eccentricity.
"Ockert's debut features 13 stories, a host of quirky characters and strange plots grounded in a reality that is as disturbing as it is whimsical. In one story, a young boy feeds ticks into a sleeping child's ear while a man prepares to arm wrestle Jesus. Though Ockert's voice is still developing, his beautiful and unexpected imagery make him a writer to be watched." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The writing is hip but not terminally hip, fun, at times very fun, and contains signs that the author is disturbed enough to be worth watching." —Padgett Powell, author, Mrs. Hollingsworth's Men
"Ockert forges a comic dialectic of alienation and integration in this quirky southern universe. —Mary Caponegro, author, Tales from the Next Village
"Crack scribbler Jason Ockert hits the ground running with this mordant knee-slapper." —J. Robert Lennon, author, Mailman
About the Author
is the winner of the Atlantic Monthly
Fiction Contest and the Mary Roberts Rinehart National Fiction Award. His stories have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Black Warrior Review,
. He lives in Farmington, New York.