This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You: Stories

Bloomsbury Publishing USA
2
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The powerful first collection of short stories by Jon McGregor.

From the publication of his first Booker-nominated novel at the age of twenty-six, Jon McGregor's fiction has consistently been defined by lean poetic language, a keen sense of detail, and insightful characterization. Now, after publishing three novels, he's turning his considerable talent toward short fiction. The stories in this beautifully wrought collection explore a specific physical world and the people who inhabit it.


Set among the lowlands and levees, the fens and ditches that mark the spare landscape of eastern England, the stories expose lives where much is buried, much is at risk, and tender moments are hard-won. The narrators of these delicate, dangerous, and sometimes deeply funny stories tell us what they believe to be important-in language inflected with the landscape's own understatement-while the real stories lie in what they unwittingly let slip.


A man builds a tree house by a river in preparation for a coming flood. A boy sets fire to a barn. A pair of itinerant laborers sit by a lake and talk,while fighter-planes fly low overhead and prepare for war. This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You is an intricate exploration of isolation, self-discovery, and the impact of place on the human psyche.


Praise for Even the Dogs:


"A rare combination of profound empathy and wonderful writing." -Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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3.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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Published on
Apr 3, 2012
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781608194261
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Fiction / Small Town & Rural
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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I’ve been a problem baby, a lousy son, a distant brother, an off-putting neighbor, a piss-poor student, a worrisome seatmate, an unreliable employee, a bewildering lover, a frustrating confidante and a crappy husband. Among the things I do pretty well at this point I’d have to list darts, re-closing Stay-Fresh boxes, and staying out of the way.

This is the self-eulogy offered early on by the unwilling hero of the opening story in this collection, a dazzling array of work in short fiction from a master of the form. The stories in Love and Hydrogen—familiar to readers from publications ranging from McSweeney’s to The New Yorker to Harper’s to Tin House—encompass in theme and compassion what an ordinary writer would seem to need several lifetimes to imagine.

A frustrated wife makes use of an enterprising illegal-gun salesman to hold her husband hostage; two hapless adult-education students botch their attempts at rudimentary piano but succeed in a halting, awkward romance; a fascinated and murderous Creature welcomes the first human visitors to his Black Lagoon; and in the title story, the stupefyingly huge airship Hindenburg flies to its doom, representing in 1937 mankind's greatest yearning as well as its titanic failure.

Generous in scope and astonishing in ambition, Shepard’s voice never falters; the virtuosity of Love and Hydrogen cements his reputation as, in the words of Rick Bass, “a passionate writer with a razor-sharp wit and an elephantine heart”—in short, one of the most powerful talents at work today.
Includes the stories “Uncle Otto’s Truck” and “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”—set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

Features “The Mist” now a TV series event on Spike

The #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 1986 Locus Award for Best Collection, Skeleton Crew is “Stephen King at his best” (The Denver Post)—a terrifying, mesmerizing collection of stories from the outer limits of one of the greatest imaginations of our time.

“Wildly imaginative, delightfully diabolical…King once again proves to be the consummate storyteller” (The Associated Press).

A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against destruction. A trip to the attic becomes a journey to hell. A woman driving a Jaguar finds a scary shortcut to paradise. An idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil. And a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged. This “wonderfully gruesome” collection (The New York Times Book Review) includes:

-“The Mist”
-“Here There Be Tygers”
-“The Monkey”
-“Cain Rose Up”
-“Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”
-“The Jaunt”
-“The Wedding Gig”
-“Paranoid: A Chant”
-“The Raft”- “Word Processor of the Gods”
-“The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands”
-“Beachworld”
-“The Reaper’s Image”
-“Nona”
-“For Owen”
-“Survivor Type”
-“Uncle Otto’s Truck”
-“Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)”
-“Big Wheels: a Tale of the Laundry Game (Milkman No. 2)”
-“Gramma”
-“The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet”
-“The Reach”

King is best known for his iconic, immersive long novels, but he is also a master of the short story, and this is a magnificent collection.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND BUZZFEED • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • New York • The Telegraph • BuzzFeed • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.

In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.

Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.

Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”

GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE
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