Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever
  • Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever
  • Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever

Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever

3.5 2
by Justin Taylor
     
 

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Justin Taylor's crystalline, spare, and oddly moving prose cuts to the quick. His characters are guided by misapprehensions that bring them to hilarious but often tragic impasses with reality: a high school boy's desire to win over a crush leads him to experiment with black magic, a fast-food employee preoccupied by Abu Ghraib becomes obsessed with a coworker,

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Overview

Justin Taylor's crystalline, spare, and oddly moving prose cuts to the quick. His characters are guided by misapprehensions that bring them to hilarious but often tragic impasses with reality: a high school boy's desire to win over a crush leads him to experiment with black magic, a fast-food employee preoccupied by Abu Ghraib becomes obsessed with a coworker, a Tetris player attempts to beat his own record while his girlfriend sleeps and the world outside their window blazes to its end. Fearless and astute, funny and tragic, this collection heralds the arrival of a unique literary talent.

Editorial Reviews

Padgett Powell
“Mr. Taylor has perfect touch, to frightening effect, does not presume, has power, and promises us new things. There is a debt paid to Donald Barthelme...and a strange undertow of Philip Roth, which makes for a new literary beast.”
David Gates
“The characters in Justin Taylor’s stories may be lost, unmoored, out of control, but their creator is astonishingly sure-handed. He unerringly locates the center of these centerless lives, and discerns the shape of their shapelessness.”
Pank Magazine
"The book I keep comparing his collection to is another debut, Philip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus....a fantastic debut collection."
Boston Globe
“These short fictions by Justin Taylor give such a convincing account of the rough crossing of young adulthood that they practically induce seasickness. For his youthful protagonists, identity—emotional, intellectual, sexual—is unstable, constantly in motion.”
Oxford American
“In his first book of short stories, Taylor hones a dark-humored and character-themed collection in the tradition of Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior or Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son.”
Paste Magazine
“I’ll be surprised if we don’t find two standout pieces from this collection in prize-winning anthologies of 2010 short stories....Do we sense some sort of new fictional frontier?”
New York Times Book Review
“The most affecting stories in Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever are as unpredictable as a careening drunk. They leave us with the heavy residue of an unsettling strangeness, and a new voice that readers - and writers, too - might be seeking out for decades to come.”
Bookslut
“Taylor flirts with poetic language, teasing us with lines so lusciously packed that even a tattoo’s description can set the page on fire.”
Brooklyn Rail
“These stories...shine with tenderness, humor, and genuine insight.”
Los Angeles Times
“Justin Taylor is a master of the modern snapshot.”
Huffington Post
“Justin Taylor does irony and snark and thwarted idealism uncommonly well.”
Time Out New York
“Whether Taylor is exploring youth, human bonds or fantastical scenarios, he displays a gift for illuminating the connections between the mundane and the grotesque.”
Penthouse
“Beautiful lines leap from the pages, and we gladly enter Taylor’s vivid world, even as it transforms what we know about ourselves and others into something slippery and ever-changing.”
BookForum
“Taylor’s characters would like for time to both speed up and slow down - an impossible, inevitable wish that makes the moments he captures worth savoring.”
Pank magazine
“The book I keep comparing his collection to is another debut, Philip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus....a fantastic debut collection.”
Time Out Chicago
“There’s something of a frustrated chuckle at play, which is how Taylor manages to avoid … cynicism and imbue his characters with that slight glimmer of hope.”
Blogcritics.org
“A young author’s nearly perfect collection of short stories....leave[s] you amazed at the power of Taylor’s art and his ability to capture the heartbreak and hope for redemption that is the essential undercurrent of life.”
Todd Pruzan
…if you find yourself struggling to memorize the name of "Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever," at least try to remember the name of its author, Justin Taylor. This spare, sharp book—Taylor's debut collection—documents a deep authority on the unavoidable confusion of being young, disaffected and human…the most affecting stories in Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever are as unpredictable as a careening drunk. They leave us with the heavy residue of an unsettling strangeness, and a new voice that readers—and writers, too—might be seeking out for decades to come.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Taylor’s superb debut short story collection is explorative and fresh with well-crafted empathic characters. In “A House in Our Arms,” a young hedge fund assistant reconnects with his first love, Leah, in New York yet is drawn to Richard, an older man. “Whistle Through Your Teeth and Spit” has proud regulars of a Lower East Side coffee house commenting on and criticizing the new bourgeois clientele as they watch the neighborhood change around them. “In My Heart I Am Already Gone,” gives narrator Kyle the unpleasant job of putting down his uncle’s cat, Buckles, all the while feeling terror that he will never escape his hometown or his on again/off again girlfriend. Each story is spare and clean and speaks the truth in beautiful resonant prose. (Feb.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061881817
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/09/2010
Series:
P. S. Series
Pages:
185
Sales rank:
333,974
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are saying about this

David Gates
“The characters in Justin Taylor’s stories may be lost, unmoored, out of control, but their creator is astonishingly sure-handed. He unerringly locates the center of these centerless lives, and discerns the shape of their shapelessness.”
Padgett Powell
“Mr. Taylor has perfect touch, to frightening effect, does not presume, has power, and promises us new things. There is a debt paid to Donald Barthelme...and a strange undertow of Philip Roth, which makes for a new literary beast.”

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