The kidnapper, Jonas Mabry, was himself a victim whom Bruno rescued as a small child. Now Mabry demands a fool’s retribution— a million dollar ransom and that Bruno put his life on the line to get the money. In this twisted turn of fate, Bruno returns to California as a wanted. Despite the risk of arrest and jeopardizing his life, he cannot turn his back on these kids.
Originally published in 1990 to wide critical acclaim, this extraordinary first collection of stories by A. M. Homes confronts the real and the surreal on even terms to create a disturbing and sometimes hilarious vision of the American dream. Included here are "Adults Alone," in which a couple drops their kids off at Grandma's and gives themselves over to ten days of Nintendo, porn videos, and crack; "A Real Doll," in which a girl's blond Barbie doll seduces her teenaged brother; and "Looking for Johnny," in which a kidnapped boy, having failed to meet his abductor's expectations, is returned home. These stories, by turns satirical, perverse, unsettling, and utterly believable, expose the dangers of ordinary life even as their characters stay hidden behind the disguises they have so carefully created.
But Ayres hides an even darker secret...
Rod Jones is the author of five novels, short stories and travel writing. His first novel, Julia Paradise, won the fiction prize at the 1988 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and was runner-up for France's Femina Etranger prize. It has been published throughout the world. His third novel, Billy Sunday, was the 1995 Age Book of the Year for fiction and won the 1996 National Book Council Award for fiction. Nightpictures was shortlisted for the 1998 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Swan Bay (2003) was shortlisted for both the New South Wales and Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.
'Jones should be counted amongst Australia's most interesting and talented novelists. His gift lies in his ability to write with crisp clarity about the murky and the intangible; with confidence and force about the uncertain; with detachment about passion and with passion about detachment.' Australian Book Review
'Utterly original...a remarkable accomplishment.' New York Times
'Marked by lush, erotic imagery and subtle, complex handling of motifs, this slim and powerful first novel from Australia is a carefully controlled psychological study.' Publisher's Weekly
"A masterwork of horror."— Time
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be.
Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. The journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.
Then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble...and finds her way to Charlie. That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's evil is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special—something Vic can never replace.
As a life-and-death battle of wills builds, Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all—or die trying.