Apocalypse Then: Stories [NOOK Book]

Overview

Despite the world’s insecurities, the most common drama of all is not of apocalypse now, but of apocalypse deferred; the pain of living is having to wait it out. In Apocalypse Then, DeMarinis’s characters try alcohol, they try travel, and (most of all) they try off-limits love. They find themselves in harm’s way, or put themselves there—but in life, as the title story states, "sometimes the worst doesn’t happen."
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Apocalypse Then: Stories

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Overview

Despite the world’s insecurities, the most common drama of all is not of apocalypse now, but of apocalypse deferred; the pain of living is having to wait it out. In Apocalypse Then, DeMarinis’s characters try alcohol, they try travel, and (most of all) they try off-limits love. They find themselves in harm’s way, or put themselves there—but in life, as the title story states, "sometimes the worst doesn’t happen."
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A workmanlike collection (his fifth, after Borrowed Hearts, 1999) from DeMarinis, author of eight novels. The volume has three sections, the first and strongest consisting of seven takes on one man. In 1962, Moss is in college on the GI bill, trying to make his depressed wife Corliss happy and waiting for work with a Seattle defense contractor. When he and two buddies break into the physics lab at night to finish an experiment, they're radiated by high-velocity neutrons from an accelerator. Years later, Moss concludes that "Sometimes the worst doesn't happen." In "The Bear Itself," Moss and Astrid, his buddy Roddy's wife, save another friend from drowning. Roddy screams at Astrid, "Will you please put on some clothes, you goddamned whore!" With typical DeMarinis pithiness, Moss observes, "If a handful of words can end a marriage, Roddy had found them." "The Missile Gypsies" finds Moss, Corliss, and their baby son, Teller, transferred to North Dakota, where Moss collects data on the Minuteman missiles and betrays Corliss. In "Structure," Moss is desperate because Corliss has left him and he fears he has prostate cancer. He has another affair and loses his job. "Freaks" is the darkest, most conclusive story. Just as the now-13-year-old Teller is called a "freak" by cheerleaders, Moss develops weird symptoms (double vision, impotence, lactating breasts). He has successful brain surgery, recovers, reconnects with his son. Less satisfying as a unit, the second section offers nine stories about men who are dead either through electrocution ("Handyman"), heart attack "atop the bimbo" ("The Life and Times of a Forty-nine-Pound Man"), a vicious animal on the desert ("Bete Noire"), therepercussions of going wild on an airplane ("Desperado"), or from beating a woman to death ("The Horse Dealer's Lovers"). The last section-four rough-hewn coming-of-agers set in the '40s and '50s-could as well have been left out. And uneven and mismatched gathering. The best here remind us of the author's crisp mastery of the form.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609801656
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

RICK DEMARINIS is the author of several novels and collections of short fiction. His stories have appeared in Harper's, Antaeus, Story, Epoch, and many others. In 1990 he received a Literature Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
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Table of Contents

Apocalypse then 3
The bear itself 15
The missile gypsies 25
Payback 35
Structure 39
Freaks 53
Birds of the mountain west 67
Handyman 79
Bete Noire 95
Dead men 109
The life and times of a forty-nine-pound man 115
Hell's cartoonist 129
Desperado 141
Nightwork, 1973 161
The horse dealer's lovers 167
Palochky 187
Why the tears, Miss Earhart? 203
Svengali 213
Backsliders 231
A hot day in January 241
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