Without a Hero

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T.C. Boyle was first feted as a master of the short story for his critically acclaimed Greasy Lake. With these stories applauded by People magazine as "wickedly comical," he displays once again a virtuosity and versatility rare in literary America today. Without a Hero zooms in on American phenomena such as a center for the treatment of acquisitive disorders; a couple in search of the last toads on earth; and a real estate wonder boy on a dude safari near convenient Bakerfield, California.

Sharp, guileful, and malevolently funny, Boyle's stories are "more than funny, better than wicked," says The Philadelphia Inquirer. "They make you cringe with their clarity."

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
May 1, 1995
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781101651575
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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When Asa Holbrook Staggs stepped into the cold-water spring that would later bear his name, he was drunk. The date was November 18, 1914. He pulled himself from the water, sober, cold and converted to a new life in the Lord. And thus began the legend of Asa¿s Spring, a pool indiscriminately dispensing favoritism to those who believed (or wondered about) the curative power of its water. These are stories of people born in Cuttercane, Georgia, the place of Asa¿s Spring, and who earned minor celebrity from the townsfolk¿s highest praise: ¿He (she) is something else, ain¿t he (she)?¿ The ¿something else¿ is what a Southerner might call a catchall phrase, for it can apply to saint and sinner alike. It means exactly what it implies: the person referenced has made a name for him (her) self in some manner ¿ Asa, the drunk, becoming a war hero; the reigning heavyweight lard watermelon champion and Indian terror, Newell Proudfoot, in a grudge match against the Prichard twins; Felton Eugene Weaver¿s rise from whiskey runner to Hollywood movie fame; Elmo Parker and Monroe Dawson in a showdown baseball game between the Claybank Textile Tigers and the Jefferson Bluejays; and, last, the stunning Mattie Mae Blair¿s career as the strip-tease artist, Princess Salome. Written in the edged-in-humor style of caricature, these stories are shared daily in cafes and other gathering spots in rural communities in the South. It is a practice embedded in the culture, and all it takes for a casual mention to become a tall tale is one storyteller trying to outdo another. If you find yourself in the company of such men and women, pause nearby and eavesdrop. When the snickering turns into a cackle, you will know that someone has been elevated to being ¿something else.¿
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND BUZZFEED
 
These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
 
Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Praise for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Readers who already love Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”—Booklist

“The real reason to check out this collection is that it’s simply great storytelling. Martin crafts a living, breathing world in a way few authors can. . . . [Gianni’s illustrations] really bring the events of the novellas to life in beautiful fashion.”—Tech Times

“Stirring . . . As Tolkien has his Silmarillion, so [George R. R.] Martin has this trilogy of foundational tales. They succeed on their own, but in addition, they succeed in making fans want more.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pure fantasy adventure, with two of the most likable protagonists George R. R. Martin has ever penned.”—Bustle

“A must-read for Martin’s legion of fans . . . a rousing prelude to [his] bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga . . . rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series.”—Publishers Weekly
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