Child Again

Overview

Casey returns to bat. The Pied Piper pipes again. Little Red Ridinghood is not safe yet.

Robert Coover returns with a new collection of short fiction, reexamining our shared narrative heritage — myths, fairytales, and favorite childhood stories — unearthing the underlying hope, fear, and wonder at their core.
Simultaneously playful and systematic, satirical and empathetic, Coover uses the stories of our past ...

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Overview

Casey returns to bat. The Pied Piper pipes again. Little Red Ridinghood is not safe yet.

Robert Coover returns with a new collection of short fiction, reexamining our shared narrative heritage — myths, fairytales, and favorite childhood stories — unearthing the underlying hope, fear, and wonder at their core.
Simultaneously playful and systematic, satirical and empathetic, Coover uses the stories of our past to point towards a fiction of the future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inverting and perverting popular folklore and fairy tales is a constant of Coover's prolific, pyrotechnic career, from Pricksongs & Descants in 1969 to last year's Stepmother. A dazzling writer, he's in tip-top if familiar form with this collection of 18 outlandishly skewed tales that veer from slapstick hilarity ("McDuff on the Mound," in which mighty Casey still strikes out) to macabre despair ("The Return of the Dark Children," in which the children paraded away by the Pied Piper come home, with the rats, to haunt their town). "Sir John Paper Returns to Honah-Lee" expands the universe of Peter, Paul and Mary's cryptic "Puff the Magic Dragon" song; "Alice in the Time of Jabberwock" posits a Wonderland even more absurd than the original; "The Invisible Man" leads a lonely interior life; and Little Red Riding Hood is menaced and mesmerized by her "Grandmother's Nose." Fans of Coover's riotous wordplay and fondness for the grotesque, the satirical, the scatological and the erotic will feel right at home with this collection that, though entertaining, is more of the splendid same rather than something new. "Shuffleable deck-of-cards story" that comes with the book not seen by PW. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
With his characteristic deadpan irony, acclaimed short story writer and novelist Coover (Pricksongs and Descants) here works his metafictional magic on fairy tales and children's stories. In "The Dead Queen," he uncovers the latent sexual perversity in the story of Snow White (e.g., the prince, the seven dwarfs, and the princess enjoying a night of conjugal fun) and addresses the timeless theme of fading beauty. "The Presidents" further reveals his masterly command of language and black humor: these creatures are "actually capable of altering their external shape and changing their spots and colors even as they busily slither, flutter, and honk." Meanwhile, Little Red Riding Hood's encounter with her unrecognizable grandmother (now a woman in a wolf's body) serves as a parable for both a child's first encounter with death and the voracious nature of disease (which gobbles us up and makes us look like different creatures). The collection also includes a shuffleable, deck-of-cards story (not seen by LJ). Coover's sly manipulation of language and his Swiftian sense of irony will appeal primarily to fans of the postmodern fiction of David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers-both of whom are indebted to Coover-so most libraries will want a copy.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932416220
  • Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Coover, Robert Series
  • Edition description: with Story CARDS
  • Pages: 276
  • Sales rank: 1,166,455
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Table of Contents

Sir John Paper returns to Honah-Lee 7
Punch 33
The invisible man 41
The dead queen 51
Playing house 65
Puzzle page : riddle 89
The fisherman and the jinn 97
Alice in the time of the Jabberwock 101
The fallguy's faith 139
The return of the dark children 141
The presidents 157
Puzzle page : Chicago cryptogram 163
McDuff on the mound 167
Grandmother's nose 185
Puzzle page : suburban jigsaw 195
Stick man 217
The last one 237
Aesop's forest 253
Heart suit
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