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See Through: Stories

Reifler, Nelly

78 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 074326150X / ISBN 13: 9780743261500
Published by Simon & Schuster
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Mesilla Internet (Mesilla, NM, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: See Through: Stories

Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Book Condition:Fine

About this title


By turns electrifying and haunting, the stories in Nelly Reifler's debut collection, now available in paperback, imagine a world where the emotional logic of dreams and childhood fantasies rules our actions.

In the title story, an educated young woman sits behind the glass of a talk booth in a peep show and becomes a different girl for each man who visits. "The Splinter" posits a thorn in a little girl's scalp as the physical locus for a father's wrenching grief and helplessness following his wife's desertion. In "Teeny," an awkward, pubescent girl can't bring herself to perform the simple task of feeding the vacationing neighbors' cats. In "Baby," an infant asks his mother existential questions that are impossible to answer.

Exploring her characters' psyches with the precision of an anthropologist, Reifler illuminates physical urges, crippling fears, stark isolation, and overwhelming, often transgressive desires. Through it all, the author plumbs the deep chasm between expectation and reality with boundless hope, warmth, and wisdom.


Nelly Reifler's debut story collection, See Through, is a swarm of surreal tales, each buzzing with the friction of everyday people encountering atypical circumstances. "Baby" reveals with creeping horror the case of an overly intelligent newborn ("'Oh,' said the baby, wheezing, 'this is the tape with that bad Dutch cellist. Could you find the other, please? With Yo-Yo Ma?'"). "Teeny" is the harrowing story of a young girl beset with responsibilities she's not yet ready to tackle. "Personal Foundations" brings us a squirrel that feels such kinship with rats he begins to adorn himself accordingly (would that be a trans-species-ite?). Especially hair-raising is "Rascal," in which a young misfit bicyclist vents his roiling resentment on unsuspecting campers. Not all the stories are successful. Several end suddenly, just as it seems they're warming up, which is especially frustrating since the plots up to that point are so compellingly odd. The majority, however, are humorous or haunting (and often both), drawing their vivid, lasting imagery from a foundation in the all-too-real. --Brangien Davis

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