After surviving the massacre of his pioneer family, ten-year-old Jack is adopted by an Indian chief who nicknames him Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne, he feasts on dog, loves four wives, and sees his people butchered by horse soldiers commanded by General George Armstrong Custer. Later, living as a white man once more, he hunts the buffalo to near-extinction, tangles with Wyatt Earp, cheats Wild Bill Hickok, and fights in the Battle of Little Bighorn alongside Custer himself—a man he’d sworn to kill. Hailed by The Nation as “a seminal event,” Little Big Man is a singular literary achievement that, like its hero, only gets better with age.
Praise for Little Big Man
“An epic such as Mark Twain might have given us.”—Henry Miller
“The very best novel ever about the American West.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Spellbinding . . . [Crabb] surely must be one of the most delightfully absurd fictional fossils ever unearthed.”—Time
“Superb . . . Berger’s success in capturing the points of view and emotional atmosphere of a vanished era is uncanny. His skill in characterization, his narrative power and his somewhat cynical humor are all outstanding.”—The New York Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Jack Crabb is now 112 years old, and he isn’t done spinning yarns. In this sequel to Berger’s beloved novel Little Big Man, one of literature’s wiliest survivors continues his breathtaking tall tales of the Old West.Crabb claims to have witnessed most of the great historical events of the western frontier: hiding behind a wagon after a drunken Doc Holliday provokes the shootout at the OK Corral; joining Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley on tour with their international Wild West show; even taking tea with Queen Victoria when she came out of seclusion after a quarter century. No matter where Crabb lays his hat, he keeps his wizened, wry, and sharp commentary at the ready. The Return of Little Big Man is a sidesplitting novel of surprising emotional depth.
This ebook features an all-new introduction by Thomas Berger, as well as an illustrated biography of the author including rare images and never-before-seen documents from his personal collection.
"Imagined with such ferocity and glee that we assent to it almost in spite of ourselves...a brilliant accomplishment by one of our best novelists." —New York Times Book Review
Georgie Cornell lives in a different world. Set in the not-so-distant future of the 2000s, Georgie has no choice but to wear the shoe on the other foot—it just so happens to be a spiked heel. In his world, women reign supreme.
Swept into the chaotic world of publishing, Georgie would like to rise to anything beyond the role of secretary, but under the mercy of his skirt-chasing female bosses, he wonders if it's the right place for him at all. Feeling scrutinized if even one inch of his pantyhose shows signs of wear or if his pencil skirt is a smidge too short, Georgie only has one male coworker he can lean on for a bit of support, and his friend Charlie’s fascination with gender roles borders on the scandalous for Georgie’s taste.
Still, when Georgie loses his job it’s Charlie he turns to for comfort. Spilling a drink on his expensive dress, he has no choice but to wear the women’s clothes Charlie keeps in secret on the way home. The simple journey quickly turns chaotic when Georgie is taken in by the police for the crime of being a transvestite. A prison escape is only the start of this piercing, insightful, and prescient look at gender norms.
Carlo Reinhart, a young American army medic stationed in Germany, confronts a disturbing new world following the end of World War II. Living in Berlin, a city fractured into barricaded sectors by the occupying powers, Reinhart begins to drive himself mad with memories of the evils he has witnessed and questions about how the atrocities took place. When he meets an idealistic Jew named Nathan Schild, Reinhart’s turmoil grows more acute. Schild works for both the Americans and the Russians, and he becomes a flashpoint for Reinhart’s anguish over the world’s vast contradictions. When Schild’s escapades lead to a powerful turning point, Reinhart is forced to come to terms with life’s ambiguities as well as with his own evolving identity. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Thomas Berger including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
“Berger’s style, which is one of the great pleasures of the book, is something like S.J. Perelman’s—educated, complicated, graceful, silly, destructive in spirit and brilliant.” —Leonard Michaels, New York Times Book Review
Russel Wren is a man of big words, only trapped in a small living space.
An unlicensed private eye with an equally unlicensed handgun, Russel’s one big case away from becoming a household name and being able to pay his rent. Until then, our loquacious hero is content with blending his work life with his home life—mostly by living in his office.
Or, he was content, until a huge man looking for a Teddy Villanova arrived not just to threaten Russel and pummel him senseless, but to mysteriously reappear as a corpse mere hours later. To make matters more complicated, Russel finds a letter addressed to Teddy Villanova from a man named Donald Washburn II posing a threat to Villanova as serious as the beating Russel endured on his behalf.
When the police who finally arrive to investigate the corpse in Russel’s office instead threaten to pin the murder on him and offer him his second beating of the day, Russel is certain of two things: First, that those are not real cops and second: someone, somewhere, has made a horrible mistake. Russel doesn’t just dive into this mystery to save his own life, but to fulfill his far-off dream of living on more than instant noodles.
“A cutting, ironic wit and a precision of detail so deadly it hurts when you laugh.” —Ms.
Mary Jane Jones doesn't like to meddle. She's content to stay out of the admittedly tame gossip of her suburban neighborhood, even in the fresh loneliness of widowhood. In fact, if it wasn't for the daily invites to dinner she receives from her sweet neighbor, Donna, she would be content to just stay home alone. Never one to risk being rude, Mary slowly finds herself not just a frequent guest in Donna's spotless house, but enjoying her company, and that of her three-year old daughter.
So when Donna doesn't pick up the phone during their usual dining hours, something's too amiss for Mary to stay put. Unable to depend on slow moving cops, Mary doesn't just come over, she breaks in.
What she finds is almost beyond comprehension. Donna and her little girl have been brutally slaughtered in their beds.
The innocent façade of the town shattered, two world-weary detectives must find the murderer before he strikes again. But as officers Nick Moody and Dennis LeBeau grill their two primary suspects, Larry Howland, the late Donna Howland’s husband, and Lloyd Howland, Larry’s half-brother, the harder it is for them to piece together the motive. Lloyd, who had been in love with Donna for as long as he can remember, forges a bond with one of the detectives, but can’t seem to keep away from oddball scenarios that put him at odds with the law. Between his misadventures and the mystery brewing in town, Suspects is a story that entertains on every single page.
Thomas Berger, author of Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Feud, masterfully blurs the lines around reality in this breakneck thriller following one man's encounter with pure evil in high tops.
John Felton is a creature of habit. His job in real-estate comes with no surprises; it’s respectable work he can be proud of. Routine has been kind to him, but when a normal Monday of looking after the kids gets interrupted by a ringing of his doorbell, John may have to kiss his life of habit goodbye forever.
Richie is a man in need of some help. His car stalled just at the bottom of a hill near John’s home, he asks John for a push start. John, “conscious of a lifetime urge to do right,” has a hard time saying no. But a push start soon becomes a running start, and when John’s shirt gets snagged in the car door, Richie doesn’t offer an apology. He offers John a ride.
Not entirely sure himself why he agrees to join Richie, John steps into his car and is driven far away from the reality he once knew. From the thin thread of a shirt, John gets dragged into Richie’s frightening world, one event at a time.
To make matters worse, the longer he spends in Richie’s company the harder it is for the people around him to distinguish John from this curly-haired devil in a baseball cap. Can John put an end to Richie’s mad and murderous adventure before it reaches the most terrifying place of all—John’s very own home?
Additional praise for Meeting Evil:
“Spare, meticulous prose...sharply evocative of human weakness and rage.”—The Washington Post
“Both a survival tale and a story of the redemptive power of love and nature, the novel exudes an optimism rare in contemporary fiction.” —Library Journal
On a fishing expedition with one friend he can barely tolerate and two other men he barely knows, Robert Crews is content to spend the entirety of the flight in the alcoholic haze he’s all too familiar with. But when the turbulence becomes something more, it’s clear that something is wrong.
Crash landing in unfamiliar territory, Crews is the sole survivor to emerge from the wreckage. Alone, and without a drop of alcohol for the first time in his life, he must face the wild and, worse—himself.
Crews salvages what’s left of his companion’s survival gear from the plane, learns to build his first fire, and fashions a makeshift shelter from the elements. Alone with his memories, Crews begins to lament the years he spent wandering aimlessly through life, unable to attach himself to a single thing, or a single person.
His new lessons in self-care and human understanding pick up the pace when he suddenly encounters a woman on the run from her violent husband. Sparking new feelings of compassion, protectiveness, and genuine love in Crews, he allows Friday to join him on the search for civilization—all while avoiding the husband that seems bent on getting Friday back into his abusive grasp. Even in their return to civilization, Berger crafts a conclusion that sets this surprisingly tender retelling apart from every other tribute to Crusoe.
“An original and powerful tale of a saintly murderer.”—Arthur Koestler
"Detweiler is one of the most complex characters in modern fiction...the eeriest thing about him is that he is wholly believable, which is to say, of course, that Thomas Berger is a magnificent novelist."—National Review
Meet Joseph Detweiler—a polite, sincere, and thoughtful murderer.
He believes in living in the moment, it’s just that every moment comes at a price.
So when he murders Billie Bayson, her mother, and a boarder in their home on Christmas Eve, he really means no harm. He’s also not the first suspect.
As the police delve into the sordid private lives of the Bayson family in the aftermath of this horrific event, seeking the real killer, Detweiler befriends Tierney, a detective assigned to the case. But as details of the case unravel, so does the chilling truth about Detweiler. He has not just committed the murder at hand. He believes he’s performed a kindness to Billie and to himself. In his mind has freed her from life, and himself from the flow of time.
Can Detective Tierney live with knowing the killer was right under his nose?
Advertising copywriter Fred Wagner lives a mundane existence, dreaming of being a novelist but making scant progress on his first literary effort. His career has stalled and his personal life is falling to pieces, but everything seems poised to change when, one day, Fred realizes he can will himself in and out of visibility. A world of possibilities seems finally within reach—that is, until Fred learns that invisibility isn’t the panacea he hoped it would be. Filled with humor and pathos, Being Invisible perceptively examines the life of a struggling writer and the power each of us has to change our own lives. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Thomas Berger including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Carlo Reinhart’s life has taken many turns. From his idealistic youth in Crazy in Berlin, to his entrance into adulthood in Reinhart in Love, through his uneasy tumble into middle age in Vital Parts, Reinhart has never lost his philosophical and even-minded disposition. Reinhart’s Women finds Reinhart divorced and living with his daughter, Winona, a successful model. His newest hobby is cooking, and he has become surprisingly accomplished for an amateur. But when he asks a woman over for a homemade lunch, Reinhart’s idyll is shattered. Adventures and misadventures conspire to put his nascent cooking skills to the test—and turn him into a postmodern celebrity. With Reinhart, Berger has created one of the great comic characters of the twentieth century—a man who beautifully represents, and parodies, his moment. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Thomas Berger including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
“Gripping and funny, and, like the Greek tragedies, it leaves us thoughtful” —San Francisco Chronicle
When Augie leaves to join the army, it’s the first time his family sees him as anything but a waste of space. Not too worried about the kids and fairly certain his wife is having an affair, Augie pulls up his bootstraps and enlists.
Years later, Augie returns a war hero. With his pictures on the wall at the local bar and medals adorning his army uniform, he’s welcomed home with arms wide open by the locals. His wife, however, is a different matter entirely. She wasn’t counting on Augie coming back, ever. Hatching a plan with Augie’s cousin, E.G., the two do the unthinkable. Planning to electrocute him and make it look like an accident, the two murder Augie in his own home, hoping to get rid of him and take his pension.
At the wrong place at the wrong time, Augie’s daughter Ellie finds out about everything. Enraged, she immediately accosts her brother Orrie on his visit from college, demanding revenge. What ensues is a tale truly worthy of the tragedy it is based on. Secrets are revealed and trusts are betrayed that change a family’s fate forever.
A phone call warning of a bomb threat is all Detective Russel Wren needs to get out the door. He makes it to the next block before an enormous explosion destroys his entire building. Without his Manhattan office, Wren finds himself forced to accept a strange mission to the tiny central European nation of Saint Sebastian. Saint Sebastian is unlike any country Wren has ever seen, and as his stay there continues, its oddities merely multiply: blond-haired citizens are consigned to the underclass; rudeness is a capital crime; and the Ministry of Clams is the go-to for any problem that can’t be solved by the Ministries of Hoaxes, Disaffection, Irony, or Allergies. No matter where Wren finds himself, he stumbles upon something puzzling, hilarious, and extraordinary—all leading up to a stunning turn of events. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Thomas Berger including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Carlo Reinhart returns home from his service in Germany expecting the Illinois he left not too long ago. What he finds instead is new technology, old attitudes, and people he’s not sure he can relate to anymore.
As Reinhart stumbles back into life as a civilian, he finds camaraderie in the most unlikely places. On reintroducing himself to former classmate Splendor Mainwaring, a man too smart for his lot in life as a mechanic, held back by his race, he finds a new, eccentric friend. His new boss isn’t just the most over-eager real estate agent in town. He’s also a seasoned con man. Not even settling down comes easy to the gentle Reinhart. Duping him into marriage, his new wife Genevieve Raven is a force to be reckoned with.
Endlessly surprising, this funny, sharp-edged narrative is Pulitzer-finalist Thomas Berger at his very best. With an over the top cast of characters, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the exact people that make Reinhart’s life impossible.
A moving story about childhood friendships falling under the strain of adulthood quickly becomes so much more in this tale that is as absurd as it is true to life from the author of Little Big Man.
Roy Courtright and Sam Grendy have been best friends for as long as either of them care to remember. As far as they’re concerned, they’re brothers, but sans the mess of a sibling rivalry. That they’re complete opposites has never mattered. Until now.
After Sam suffers a heart attack, Roy and Sam’s wife Kristen both find themselves wishing they had said more—to Sam, and to each other. Just as Roy begins to grapple with these new feelings for Kristen, things go from bad to worse. The woman Roy’s been meaning to break up with has been murdered.
What starts off as the charming tale of an oddball friendship quickly becomes a feast of shocking twists, heartbreak, and vengeance that only Thomas Berger could weave.
Additional Praise for Best Friends:
“Berger’s...style [is] at once elegant and casual, with his usual mix of sweetness and cynicism.”—Los Angeles Times
“[Berger’s] precise and exquisite dialogue [are] entertaining, even when the plot is ridiculous. And his deeply ironic view of the world we live in is refreshing, especially these days when irony is in short supply.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Incorrigibly subversive.”—The Hollywood Reporter
“[Best Friends] is, in fact, a compact accomplished novel of ideas. That Berger’s take on adultery, loyalty, friendship and myriad other intangibles is both deeply satirical and deeply felt is perhaps the book’s real wonder.” —LA Weekly
“No other writer can build a symphony of seriocomic confusion with such a sure touch. Berger’s terrific plot takes several unforeseen and unsettling turns en route to its savage denouement. And it’s capped by an absolute killer of a final sentence. Nobody writes them like Thomas Berger. Not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews
It is the late sixties in suburbia, and Carlo Reinhart’s life is a mess. He’s fat, broke, middle aged, and unemployed. His anarchist son hates him, and his wife has taken a younger lover and thrown Carlo out of the house. In fact, the only one who doesn’t consider him contemptible and ridiculous seems to be Carlo’s adoring, overweight daughter, who is almost as pathetic as he is. Even his affair with a twenty-two-year-old nymphomaniac is strangely unsatisfying.
Then, just as he’s reaching his lowest point, the self-styled Ultimate Human Irrelevancy is offered a golden opportunity to grab a piece of the American Dream, thanks to the reappearance of his old school chum Bob Sweet. Bob, who has a gift for success, is inviting Reinhart to get in on the ground floor of his latest venture: cryonics. But while Carlo loves the taste of the good life that his friend has suddenly provided, he’s not quite certain whether Sweet wants him as a partner . . . or as a human popsicle.
The third novel in Thomas Berger’s acclaimed Carlo Reinhart Series, Vital Parts is a stingingly hilarious swipe at twentieth-century culture and mores. Unrestrained and unapologetic, it is a tour de force from a master satirist that stands alongside Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, and the novels of Kurt Vonnegut as a trenchant and funny comment on American life.
Struggling with grueling hours and sudden life-and-death responsibilities, Basch and his colleagues, under the leadership of their rule-breaking senior resident known only as the Fat Man, must learn not only how to be fine doctors but, eventually, good human beings.
A phenomenon ever since it was published, The House of God was the first unvarnished, unglorified, and uncensored portrait of what training to become a doctor is truly like, in all its terror, exhaustion and black comedy. With more than two million copies sold worldwide, it has been hailed as one of the most important medical novels ever written.
With an introduction by John Updike
Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.
“A great artist.”—Cincinnati Enquirer
“A shaking up in the kaleidoscope of laughter . . . Reading Vonnegut is addictive!”—Commonweal
From the bestselling author of Fight Club comes a dark and brilliant satire about adolescence, Hell, and the Devil.
Madison is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire. Abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, she dies over the holiday, presumably of a marijuana overdose. The last thing she remembers is getting into a town car and falling asleep. Then she's waking up in Hell. Literally. Madison soon finds that she shares a cell with a motley crew of young sinners: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by their doomed fate, like an afterschool detention for the damned. Together they form an odd coalition and march across the unspeakable landscape of Hell--full of used diapers, dandruff, WiFi blackout spots, evil historical figures, and one horrific call center--to confront the Devil himself.
Clinging blindly to a bale of Jamaican pot, Joey Perrone is plucked from the ocean by former cop and current loner Mick Stranahan. Instead of rushing to the police and reporting her husband’s crime, Joey decides to stay dead and (with Mick’s help) screw with Chaz until he screws himself.
As Joey haunts and taunts her homicidal husband, as Chaz’s cold-blooded cohorts in pollution grow uneasy about his ineptitude and increasingly erratic behavior, as Mick Stranahan discovers that six failed marriages and years of island solitude haven’t killed the reckless romantic in him, we’re taken on a hilarious, full-throttle, pure Hiaasen ride through the warped politics and mayhem of the human environment, and the human heart.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey.
Meet Frank Cauldhame. Just sixteen, and unconventional to say the least:
Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim.
That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again.
It was just a stage I was going through.
The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist.
When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.
“The malaise of cubicle culture may be well-trodden comedic territory by now, but Neilan's debut skewers office life with a flourish for the grotesque.” —The Village Voice
Lauren changes boyfriends every time she changes majors and still pines for Victor who split for Europe months ago and she might or might not be writing anonymous love letter to ambivalent, hard-drinking Sean, a hopeless romantic who only has eyes for Lauren, even if he ends up in bed with half the campus, and Paul, Lauren's ex, forthrightly bisexual and whose passion masks a shrewd pragmatism. They waste time getting wasted, race from Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours to Dressed To Get Screwed parties to drinks at The Edge of the World or The Graveyard. The Rules of Attraction is a poignant, hilarious take on the death of romance.
The basis for the major motion picture starring James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel, and Kate Bosworth.
Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car-crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.
Darkly funny, surprisingly touching, and gory enough to satisfy even the most discerning reader, Breathers is a romantic zombie comedy (rom-zom-com, for short) that will leave you laughing, squirming, and clamoring for more.
“The Family Fang is a comedy, a tragedy, and a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family….The best single word description would be brilliant.”
—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto
“It’s The Royal Tenenbaums meets Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I’d call The Family Fang a guilty pleasure, but it’s too damn smart….A total blast.”
—Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way
Owen King (We’re All in This Together) calls author Kevin Wilson, “the unholy child of George Saunders and Carson McCullers.” With his novel, The Family Fang, the Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth comes through in a BIG way, with a funny, poignant, laugh-and-cry-out-loud (sometimes at the same time) novel about the art of surviving a masterpiece of dysfunction. Meet The Family Fang, an unforgettable collection of demanding, brilliant, and absolutely endearing oddballs whose lives are risky and mischievous performance art. If the writing of Gary Shteyngart, Miranda July, Scarlett Thomas, and Charles Yu excites you, you’ll certainly want to invite this Family into your home.
During his years in Hollywood West wrote The Day of the Locust, a study of the fragility of illusion. Many critics consider it with F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished masterpiece The Last Tycoon (1941) among the best novels written about Hollywood. Set in Hollywood during the Depression, the narrator, Tod Hackett, comes to California in the hope of a career as a painter for movie backdrops but soon joins the disenchanted second-rate actors, technicians, laborers and other characters living on the fringes of the movie industry. Tod tries to seduce Faye Greener; she is seventeen. Her protector is an old man named Homer Simpson. Tod finds work on a film called prophetically “The Burning of Los Angeles,” and the dark comic tale ends in an apocalyptic mob riot outside a Hollywood premiere, as the system runs out of control.
This is the darkly hilarious odyssey of an anonymous slacker. He's a perennial couch-surfer, an aspiring writer searching for himself in spite of himself, and he's just trying to survive. But life has other things in store for the fuck-up. From being dumped by his girlfriend to getting fired for asking for a raise, from falling into a robbery to posing as a gay man to keep his job at a porno theater, the fuck-up's tragi-comedy is perfectly realized by Arthur Nersesian, who manages to create humor and suspense out of urban desperation. "Read it and howl," says Bruce Benderson (author of User), "and be glad it didn't happen to you."
New York Times-bestselling author Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line. A Long Way Down is now a major motion picture from Magnolia Pictures starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots.
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.
In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.
Intense, hilarious, provocative, and moving, A Long Way Down is a novel about suicide that is, surprisingly, full of life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
For Ben Benjamin, all has been lost--his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. Hoping to find a new direction, he enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving, where he will learn to take care of people with disabilities. He is instructed about professionalism, about how to keep an emotional distance between client and provider, and about the art of inserting catheters while avoiding liability. But when Ben is assigned his first client--a tyrannical nineteen-year-old boy named Trevor, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy--he soon discovers that the endless service checklists have done nothing to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated teenager who has an ax to grind with the whole world.
Over time, the relationship between Ben and Trev, which had begun with mutual misgivings, evolves into a close friendship, and the traditional boundaries between patient and caregiver begin to blur. The bond between them strengthens as they embark on a road trip to visit Trev’s ailing father--a journey rerouted by a series of bizarre roadside attractions that propel them into an impulsive adventure disrupted by one birth, two arrests, a freakish dust storm, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious brown Buick Skylark. By the end of that journey, Trev has had his first taste of love, and Ben has found a new reason to love life.
Bursting with energy and filled with moments of absolute beauty, this big-hearted and inspired novel ponders life’s terrible surprises as well as what it takes to truly care for another human being.
Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother, George, a taller, smarter, and more successful high-flying TV executive, acquire a covetable wife, two kids, and a beautiful home in the suburbs of New York City. But Harry, a historian and Nixon scholar, also knows George has a murderous temper, and when George loses control the result is an act of violence so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives in which they both must seek absolution.
Harry finds himself suddenly playing parent to his brother’s two adolescent children, tumbling down the rabbit hole of Internet sex, dealing with aging parents who move through time like travelers on a fantastic voyage. As Harry builds a twenty-first-century family created by choice rather than biology, we become all the more aware of the ways in which our history, both personal and political, can become our destiny and either compel us to repeat our errors or be the catalyst for change.
May We Be Forgiven is an unnerving, funny tale of unexpected intimacies and of how one deeply fractured family might begin to put itself back together.
Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government—and in the heart. This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. Starbuck from Harvard to the Nixon White House to the penitentiary as Watergate’s least known co-conspirator. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times.
Praise for Jailbird
“[Vonnegut] is our strongest writer . . . the most stubbornly imaginative.”—John Irving
“A gem . . . a mature, imaginative novel—possibly the best he has written . . . Jailbird is a guided tour de force of America. Take it!”—Playboy
“A profoundly humane comedy . . . Jailbird definitely mounts up on angelic wings—in its speed, in its sparkle, and in its high-flying intent.”—Chicago Tribune Book World
“Joyously inventive . . . gleams with the loony magic Vonnegut alone can achieve.”—Cosmopolitan
“Vonnegut is our great apocalyptic writer, the closest thing we’ve had to a prophet since . . . Lenny Bruce.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“Vonnegut at his impressive best. . . . His imaginative leaps alone . . . are worth the price of admission. . . . His far-reaching metaphysical and cultural concerns . . . are ultimately serious and worth our contemplation.”—The Washington Post
On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a London crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday had been Molly's lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence: Clive is Britain's most successful modern composer, and Vernon is a newspaper editor. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had other lovers, too, notably Julian Garmony, Foreign Secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister. In the days that follow Molly's funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact with consequences that neither could have foreseen…
There are angels, and they are not beneficent or loving. But they do watch over us. They watch our lives unfold, analyzing us for repeating patterns and redundancies. When they find them, the angels simplify those patterns and remove the redundancies, and the problem that is "you" gets solved.
Carey doesn't much like that idea. As a punk living in New York City, 1977, Carey is sick and tired of watching strange kids with unnoticeable faces abduct his friends. He doesn't care about the rumors of tar-monsters in the sewers or unkillable psychopaths invading the punk scene—all he wants is to drink cheap beer and dispense ass-kickings.
Kaitlyn isn't sure what she's doing with her life. She came to Hollywood in 2013 to be a stunt woman, but last night a former teen heartthrob tried to eat her, her best friend has just gone missing, and there's an angel outside her apartment. Whatever she plans on doing with her life, it should probably happen in the few remaining minutes she has left.
There are angels. There are demons. They are the same thing. It's up to Carey and Kaitlyn to stop them. The survival of the human race is in their hands.
We are, all of us, well and truly screwed.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In the wry and subversive further journals of Nick Twisp, we reunite with America’s most literate teen diarist as he accidentally ignites criminal mayhem; seeks union with his love, Sheeni Saunders; and still has to live as a girl to avoid the police—an absolute must-read for all fans of the oddball humor of Youth in Revolt.
Praise for Youth in Revolt
"The funniest book you'll read this year." —Los Angeles Times
"This hilariously cynical sex farce about bright teenagers combines creaky Shakespearean plot twists with real insights about growing up in the present chaos." —The Oregonian
From the Trade Paperback edition.
When Noel Bostock—aged ten, no family—is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge—a thirty-six-year old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.
Noel’s mourning his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette. Wise beyond his years, raised with a disdain for authority and an eclectic attitude toward education, he has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war’s provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs—and what she’s never had—is a cool head and the ability to make a plan.
On her own, she’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team.
Together, they cook up a scheme. Crisscrossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to make a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war—and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all. . . .
An unforgettable work of fiction that peers into the soul of a tough Midwestern American town to reveal the sad, stunted but resilient lives of its residents. Knockemstiff is a genuine entry into the literature of place.
Spanning a period from the mid-sixties to the late nineties, the linked stories that comprise Knockemstiff feature a cast of recurring characters who are irresistibly, undeniably real. A father pumps his son full of steroids so he can vicariously relive his days as a perpetual runner-up body builder. A psychotic rural recluse comes upon two siblings committing incest and feels compelled to take action. Donald Ray Pollock presents his characters and the sordid goings-on with a stern intelligence, a bracing absence of value judgments, and a refreshingly dark sense of bottom-dog humor.
David Sedaris is an exceptional reader. Alone in his apartment, he reads stories aloud to the point he has them memorized. Sometimes he fantasizes that he wrote them. Sometimes, when they’re his very favorite stories, he’ll fantasize about reading them in front of an audience and taking credit for them. The audience in these fantasies always loves him and gives him the respect he deserves.
David Sedaris didn’t write the stories in Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules . But he did read them. And he liked them enough to hand pick them for this collection of short fiction. Featuring such notable writers as Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Jean Thompson, and Tobias Wolff, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules includes some of the most influential and talented short story writers, contemporary and classic.
Perfect for fans who suffer from Sedaris fever, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules will tide them over and provide relief.
A beautiful and complex love story between two characters, the narrator, "I," and their lover, A***, written without using any gender markers to refer to the main characters, Sphinx is a remarkable linguistic feat and paragon of experimental literature that has never been accomplished before or since in the strictly-gendered French language.
Sphinx is a landmark text in the feminist and LGBT literary canon appearing in English for the first time.
Anne Garréta (b. 1962) is a lecturer at the University of Rennes II and research professor of literature and Romance studies at Duke University. She joined the Oulipo in 2000, becoming the first member to join born after the Oulipo was founded. Garréta won France's prestigious Prix Médicis in 2002, awarded each year to an author whose "fame does not yet match their talent," for her novel Pas un jour.
Emma Ramadan is a graduate of Brown University and received her master's in literary translation from the American University of Paris. Her translation of Anne Parian's Monospace is forthcoming from La Presse. She is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship for literary translation in Morocco.
Here is the newly discovered novel by Iceberg Slim, the creator and undisputed master of African-American "street literature," a man who profoundly influenced hip hop and rap culture and probably has sold more books than any other black American author of the twentieth century (not that he saw the royalties from those sales). In many ways Iceberg Slim's most mature fictional work, Shetani's Sister relates, in taut, evocative vernacular torn straight from the street corner, the deadly duel between two complex anitheroes: Sergeant Russell Rucker, an LAPD vice detective attempting to clean up street prostitution and police corruption, and Shetani (Swahili for Satan), a veteran master pimp who controls his stable of whores with violence and daily doses of heroin.
At last, the mysterious, feared, and misunderstood being known only as “Death” talks frankly and unforgettably about his infinitely awful existence, chronicling his abusive childhood, his near-fatal addiction to Life, his excruciating time in rehab, and the ultimate triumph of his true nature. For the first time, Death reveals his affairs with the living, his maltreatment at the hands of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the ungodly truth behind the infamous “Jesus Incident,” and the loneliness of being the End of All Things.
Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, Death: A Life is not only a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a universe that, despite its profound flaws, gave Death the fiery determination to carve out a successful existence on his own terms.
The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, subversives, bears, revolutionaries, pirates, and a black ops team that does not exist. Where all that takes them you can’t even begin to guess, but the literary journey there is a masterpiece of inspiration, chaos, and unadulterated, well, lunacy. And they might even learn a lesson or two along the way.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As if all this weren’t bad enough, Peter soon learns that his automobile accident was no accident at all. Faced with the harrowing mystery of his death, Peter resolves to use his strange zombie “afterlife” to solve his own murder.
Skillfully combining the genres of horror, humor, and film noir, Zombie, Ohio weaves an enthralling and innovative tale that any fan of the current zombie craze is sure to relish. Followers of detective and horror fiction alike will find something to love about Zombie, Ohio—a tale of murder, mystery, and the walking dead.
Paddy Buckley is a grieving widower who has worked for years for Gallagher’s, a long-established—some say the best—funeral home in Dublin. One night driving home after an unexpected encounter with a client, Paddy hits a pedestrian crossing the street. He pulls over and gets out of his car, intending to do the right thing. As he bends over to help the man, he recognizes him. It’s Donal Cullen, brother of one of the most notorious mobsters in Dublin. And he’s dead.
Shocked and scared, Paddy jumps back in his car and drives away before anyone notices what’s happened.
The next morning, the Cullen family calls Gallagher’s to oversee the funeral arrangements. Paddy, to his dismay, is given the task of meeting with the grieving Vincent Cullen, Dublin’s crime boss, and Cullen’s entourage. When events go awry, Paddy is plunged into an unexpected eddy of intrigue, deceit, and treachery.
By turns a thriller, a love story, and a black comedy of ill manners, The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley is a surprising, compulsively readable debut novel.
From the Hardcover edition.
Forget the cud. They want blood.
It began with a cow that just wouldn't die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain's livestock into sneezing, slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies.
And if that wasn't bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn't recognize a scoop if she tripped over one.
As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world?
One outcome . . .
Yup, we're screwed.
So, when on New Year's morning she shuffles out to her backyard garden to plant a Norfolk pine, she is wholly unprepared for what happens next.
Amy falls down.
A simple accident, as a result of which something happens, and then something else, and then a number of different things, all as unpredictable as an eight-ball break. At first the changes are small, but as these small events carom off one another, Amy's life changes in ways that range from ridiculous to frightening to profound.
This most reluctant of adventurers is dragged and propelled by train, plane, and automobile through an outlandish series of antic media events on her way to becoming--to her horror--a kind of celebrity. And along the way, as the numbness begins to wear off, she comes up against something she has avoided all her life: her future, that "sleeping monster, not to be poked."
Jincy Willett's Amy Falls Down explores, through the experience of one character, the role that accident plays in all our lives. "You turn a corner and beasts break into arias, gunfire erupts, waking a hundred families, starting a hundred different conversations. You crack your head open and three thousand miles away a stranger with Asperger's jump-starts your career."
We are all like Amy. We are all wholly unprepared for what happens next.
Also, there's a basset hound.
An NPR Best Book of 2013
Set during the glorious days of the Bush Empire before they finally invaded and killed irony, The Writer’s Cut follows Stanley Hay, a joke writer. He has a girlfriend, a writing partner and a career going nowhere in particular. Wisecracking, ambitious and horny, Stanley decides that he is going to change that by writing a novel. This is where things start to spiral out of control.
Caught up in the excitement Stanley falsely confesses that the novel will be a kiss-and-tell (a kiss and sell?) featuring Hollywood’s most famous and glamorous actresses. Before long expectations are going through the roof, Stanley is a celebrity in his own right and he’s living the LA highlife. There’s only one little problem...
Funny and pointed, The Writer’s Cut is a manic satirical ride through the booze and sex fuelled world of Tinseltown from our one of the world’s best loved comedians.
One of the great collections, the range found here is impressive: from new journalism to absurd parodies and theatrical sketches; from absurd short riffs to Southern’s most classic and lyrical early works of fiction. “Red-Dirt Marijuana,” the insightful, funny, and moving story of the relationship between a white boy and a black man, is paired with the horrific knock-down, drag-out of “Razor Fight.” One of the most scandalous stories ever published, “The Blood of a Wig,” combines an insider’s look at the “Quality Lit” biz, the drug underground of Greenwich Village, and a vision of necrophilia involving one of America’s most sacred cows. There is an imaginary encounter between Freud and Kafka in “Apartment to Exchange,” a skewering of the liberal white man and his efforts to befriend a black jazz musician in “You’re Too Hip, Baby,” an exploration of race relations, moonshine, and the baton-twirling subculture in the personal essay “Twirling at Ole Miss” (identified by Tom Wolfe as the first instance of “New Journalism”), and many more pieces with Southern’s signature dark satire, unconventional storylines, and pitch-perfect dialogue. Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes is a wild, funny, and dazzlingly diverse trip through the American culture of the 1950s and 1960s. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Terry Southern including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.
Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works--a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn's bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.
Debut author Jonas Karlsson doesn't leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go--in a world ruled by conformity--to live an individual and examined life.
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the third in Kennedy’s Albany cycle, Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, and full-time bum with the gift of gab, has hit bottom. Years earlier he’d left Albany after he dropped his infant son accidentally, and the boy died. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and present.
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
Welcome to the world of Sellevision, America's premier retail broadcasting network. When Max Andrews, the much loved and handsome (that is, lonely and gay) host of a "Toys for Tots" segment, accidentally exposes himself in front of millions of kids, Sellevision faces its first big scandal. As Max struggles to find a new job in television, the popular and perky host Peggy Jean Smythe is receiving sinister emails from a stalker. Popping pills and drinking heavily, she fails to notice that her husband is spending a lot of time with the young babysitter who lives next door. Then there's Leigh, whose affair with married Sellevision boss Howard Toast is going nowhere until she announces their relationship on air. A blistering satire of our overcharged, scandal-obsessed world, Sellevision is "an absolute howl . . . wicked fun" (New York Daily News).
In the later years of her life, widow and grandmother Pearl decides to return to East Texas and move in with her sister, Wanda Gay—despite the fact that the two have never agreed on anything. (It is no wonder that brother Frank preferred the relative quiet of a prison cell.) A particular bone of contention seems to be the perceived saintliness or demonic nature of their late mother, Eugenia Fane. An unbending, overbearing, man-hating matriarch who not-so-stoically endured her own mother, Eugenia set a standard that the McAlister women would find nearly impossible—and quite mad—to try to live up to. Through the disputed remembrances, distortions, and wound saltings of Wanda Gay and Pearl, the twisted personal history of the McAlister dynasty comes to light, revealing what it is exactly that makes a family endure in spite of itself.
Like Faulkner in a funhouse, in Mother of Pearl, acclaimed author Edward Swift (Splendora) gives readers an extraordinary Southern gothic tale filled with unbridled dark humor, outrageous incidents, and wildly unforgettable characters.