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Synopsis: A dozen stories feature a young man who discovers that Eden is not a permanent residence, a baseball player who accidentally becomes a killer, and a teenager from Phoenix who experiences an unsettling sexual awakening.
Review: A wrestler gets an erection and the crowd turns viciously against him. A young, beautiful prostitute thinks better of her latest client, a baseball player who has already killed 11 spectators with his foul shots, than she does of married men "playing the dark game that some men did, putting themselves closer and closer to the edge of their lives, until something went over." A warrior justifies a major tactical mistake (not leaving enough time for the cauldron of oil to heat) in a gung-ho bureaucratic report: "The problems of the day were not attributable to inappropriate deportment. My staff was good. It was when the Visigoths had approached close enough that we could see their cruel eyes and we could read the savage and misspelled tattoos that I realized our error."
Hotel Eden offers two hilarious stories, the boiling oil project and a complex variation on a suburban myth. A young couple necking in an isolated spot hears scratching on one side of the car, speeds off, and discovers the local psychopath's prosthetic hook on the door handle. In Ron Carlson's telling, the item belongs to an innocent mental-asylum watchman. And Mr. Howard Lugdrum is more than a little upset that everyone's sympathy is going to the kids! "I was lucky I was wearing my simple hook and the straps broke; if I'd been wearing my regular armature, those two little criminals would have dragged me to death." This is a seriously funny collection, but it is also serious. In several pieces, notably the title story, "Oxygen," and "Nightcap," the characters are led astray and into disappointment or unwanted knowledge. The college student delivering medical oxygen one summer vacation realizes, "I was young those nights, but I was getting over it." Carlson is also a poet of precarious lives, humiliation, and loss.
Title: The Hotel Eden: Stories
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Publication Date: 1997
Book Condition: Used: Good
Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1997. Book Condition: Good. 1st. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP2572414
Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1997. Book Condition: Very Good. 1st. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP67865282
Book Description Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Dust Cover Missing. Book has a small amount of wear visible on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0393040682I3N11
Book Description Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0393040682I3N00
Book Description Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Bookseller Inventory # G0393040682I3N10
Book Description Norton & Company, Incorporated, W. W. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good condition book with only light signs of previous use. Bookseller Inventory # G0393040682I4N00
Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000129047
Book Description Book Condition: Very Good. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97803930406853.0
Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 3148LU001WGS
Book Description Book Condition: Like New. Book Condition: Like New. Bookseller Inventory # 97803930406852.0