Publisher: Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
Author's first book. Collection of clever and humorous and, at times, dark short stories. Bookseller Inventory # 000132
Synopsis: This collection of marvelously incentive and surreal stories by a distinctive new voice blends the fabulism of Calvino and the contemporary angst of DeLillo with a geographic and metaphoric language that is his alone.
Review: Five stars and a 10-gun salute: Kalfus fractures the concept of traditional short fiction with this debut collection. Deservedly cheered by David Foster Wallace ("Infinite Jest"; "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"), Kalfus's audacious stories have both charm and vision in multiple formats that reflect fiction's fabulous future.
The premier vignette, "Notice," explores the concept of "thirst," the interminable yearning that shapes human curiosity and achievement. Cynically set in the language of copyrights and legalese, "Notice" depicts the love life of the printed word, from its visceral seductiveness to our jealous control of its activities. In "Bouquet," a young au pair's aversion to open sexuality leads to a strange gift from a man who has been following her: a bouquet of flowers with a surprise that separates the prudish from the practical.
"The Republic of St. Mark, 1849" is an absolute jewel, surprising in its juxtaposition of the horrors of war and the mystical capacity of the human spirit. Alexandro "has been dying his whole life," but the eerie weapons of balloons and braziers that torment his besieged city finally bring him to death's surprising threshold, lofted into thinnest air by his own imagination.
Ken Kalfus quenches one's thirst for entertaining and intriguing fiction.
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