A Kind of Flying: Selected Stories

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9780393324792: A Kind of Flying: Selected Stories

"These stories are full of surprises, jolts, and lightning strikes of recognition. Do yourself a favor and read Ron Carlson." ―Stephen King

Ron Carlson's stories, sometimes wicked or bittersweet, often zany, are rich with a hard-earned hopefulness frequently absent in contemporary fiction. In this generous gathering from collections no longer available, longtime fans and new readers alike can savor the development of a master of idiosyncrasy.

Properly celebrated for his range, Carlson offers us a rural sheriff who's wary of UFOs ("Phenomena"), a lawyer on a mission in remote Alaska ("Blazo"), a baseball player turned killer-by-accident ("Zanduce at Second"), and a nineteen-year-old who experiences an unsettling sexual awakening during an Arizona summer ("Oxygen"). Here also is a man accusing Bigfoot of stealing his wife, followed by Bigfoot's incomparable response. Not least of the treasures is "The H Street Sledding Record," a story perfect for family holiday reading, in which a young father creates the magic of Santa by throwing manure on his roof on Christmas Eve.

This book proves Carlson's axiom that "a short story is not a single thing done a single way," and it offers us―finally―a full view of his remarkable talents.

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About the Author:

Ron Carlson teaches creative writing at Arizona State and lives in Scottsdale. His stories, much anthologized, have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, Playboy, and other magazines.

From Publishers Weekly:

Comprising stories from three out-of-print collections (The News of the World; Plan B for the Middle Class; The Hotel Eden), this hefty compilation showcases Carson's chatty, often playful narrative style and his fascination with the tricky nature of male-female relationships. Most of the stories are written in the first person, and Carlson is a master at confessional narrators: men-husbands, fathers and boyfriends-befuddled by, but enchanted with, the women in their lives. "There's a lot inside a man that never gets out," notes the sheriff-narrator of "Phenomena," but the men hold little back in these pages. In the unforgettable "Bigfoot Stole My Wife," a man tries to convince himself that his wife didn't mean to leave him, but was instead kidnapped by the hairy beast. In "Milk," one of this anthology's finest stories, a father who refuses to let his infant twin sons be fingerprinted, thinking it smacks of paranoia, realizes that, because of his overwhelming love for them, "now I am afraid of everything." Carlson's offbeat, frequently hopeful stories stand out amid the starker work of contemporaries like Richard Ford and Tobias Wolff. He doesn't ignore life's rougher spots, though: in "The Hotel Eden" a na‹ve young meteorologist, in love with his girlfriend and thrilled with his new, enigmatic buddy, is forced by an act of betrayal to reconsider his optimism and trust. For fans of short fiction, this will prove a treat.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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