Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles: A Novel

( 5 )


A bold and arresting story about the impossibility of love and the inevitability of grief by the acclaimed author of Everything Matters!

Ron Currie, Jr.’s first two works of fiction, God Is Dead and Everything Matters!, dazzled readers and critics alike with their audacity, originality, and psychological insight. Hailed by the New York Times’s Janet Maslin as a “startlingly talented writer,” Currie once again moves and provokes us with his ...

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Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles: A Novel

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A bold and arresting story about the impossibility of love and the inevitability of grief by the acclaimed author of Everything Matters!

Ron Currie, Jr.’s first two works of fiction, God Is Dead and Everything Matters!, dazzled readers and critics alike with their audacity, originality, and psychological insight. Hailed by the New York Times’s Janet Maslin as a “startlingly talented writer,” Currie once again moves and provokes us with his latest genre-bending novel, one that asks why literal veracity means more to us than deeper truths.

The protagonist of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is named Ron Currie, Jr., and as you’d expect, he’s a lot like the guy who wrote the book. Both of them are writers; both of their fathers are dead; both are deeply in love with women whose beauty and allure are matched only by their elusiveness. When Currie the character travels to a small Caribbean island to begin a new book about the woman he loves, he inadvertently fakes his own death, which turns out to be the best career move he’s ever made–until he  learns that the one thing that the world will not forgive is having been told a deeply satisfying lie.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Sharp and sarcastic, Currie’s dramatic story keeps you tethered in place…it’s a truly genuine love story wrapped in a series of comically improbable events.” —thedailybeast.com
“A powerful, brilliant, compelling novel about love, writing, fame, fiction and shame that is emotionally effective and intellectually engaging, coming as close to anything I’ve read, to meeting David Foster Wallace’s call for fiction that makes the head beat like the heart.” —bookslut.com

“So blisteringly funny that I laughed as I hadn’t laughed in years:  we’re talking demonic, unstoppable, don’t sit next to that guy howls.” —The Washington Post

“Resounds with humor and insight into love, loss, and reality…An astonishing feat of innovation with surprises on nearly every page, Currie’s entrancing novel marks the work of a scathingly comic virtuoso.” —ALA Booklist
“A postmodern love story, self-consciously playful…things get both crazy and interesting…moving and hilarious.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A metafictional tangle of debauchery and technological anxiety…Told in a bouncy, pinball style, this darkly droll novel is never boring.” —Publishers Weekly
“Currie stays true to his gutsy, thoughtful, and unconventional self in this brilliant meditation on life, death, truth, and imperfection. Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is flimsy like a brick sh*thouse. Ron Currie, Jr. is a fearless and inspired writer at the top of his game.  Read him.” —Jonathan Evison, author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving and West of Here
“Both a brilliantly constructed inquiry into the nature of reality and a soulful ode to the free fall of obsessive love. These two spines interweave ever more tightly till they fuse into a dazzling question mark with no easy answers. This is a beautiful book.” —Kate Christensen, author of The Astral and The Great Man

The Washington Post - Chris Bohjalian
…I was nearly asked to leave the waiting room outside the endoscopy clinic at a Vermont hospital, thanks to Ron Currie Jr.'s new novel, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles…I reached a scene so blisteringly funny that I laughed as I hadn't laughed in years: We're talking demonic, unstoppable, don't-sit-next-to-that-guy howls…any novel that can make time fly in an endoscopy waiting room has real merit. I wasn't always proud of myself for liking this book, but most of the time I sure did.
Library Journal
Trust the author of the acclaimed and decidedly unorthodox God Is Dead and Everything Matters! to craft an arresting bit of metafiction. His protagonist, a blend of fact and fiction from his own life, is so distraught by his father's death, a book lost to fire, and an unreciprocated love that he hides out on a Caribbean island to write a new book about the mess. Then he fakes his own death, which brings him fame, fortune, and big trouble. In our crusadingly transparent world of tweets and reality TV, playing with facts is not appreciated.
Kirkus Reviews
A postmodern love story, self-consciously playful in a Vonnegut-ian way. At the beginning of the novel, Ron, the narrator and a writer, promises us a work that will be "capital-T True," though he's also careful to make a distinction between Truth and Fact. The object of his affection, adoration and obsession is Emma, someone he's known for over 20 years, since well before he escorted her to the senior prom. Now they're in their mid-30s--he's still besotted, and she's coming off a divorce. Although they've briefly gotten back together, she now feels the need for some "distance," so Ron hies himself to a Caribbean island, in part to write about their complex relationship in a new novel. While there, he temporarily takes up with Charlotte, a college student who finds it impossible to comprehend Ron's continuing infatuation with Emma. On the day he breaks up with Charlotte, Emma comes down to the island, and eventually Ron confesses his relationship with Charlotte. Emma is understandably pissed, so she leaves, and Ron tries to commit suicide by driving his Jeep off a pier. And here's where things get both crazy and interesting: While everyone thinks he's dead, he gets a fake passport and leaves for several years to Sinai. Meanwhile, his manuscript is discovered and published--and it sells 3 million copies. When he decides to return to assume his former life, everyone is outraged--his mother, Emma and the reading public, who feel they've been manipulated. (Some of his readers even sue him for "mental anguish.") But Currie's narrative is not just about the self-conscious act of writing a novel about Emma--it's also about the death of his father and the possibility of machines themselves becoming conscious beings in an act called a singularity. Free-wheeling--and at times both moving and hilarious.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143124429
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 683,570
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Currie, Jr., is the winner of the Addison M. Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the New York Public Library Young Lion’s Award. The author of God Is Dead, Everything Matters!, and Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, he lives in Waterville, Maine.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I did not read any of Currie¿s earlier works, so I did not know

    I did not read any of Currie’s earlier works, so I did not know until now that his first novel, Everything Matters!, was so well received. But I could tell upon beginning this book that this was someone who bumped up hard against sudden celebrity—those moments when strangers seem to think they know you intimately. Not so fast, Currie seems to say.

    The book tells of a character named Ron Currie who is perpetually “in recovery” over the love of a woman, Emma, who returns his love but marries another. The book’s narrator leads a life of dissipation on a Caribbean isle while ostensibly writing another book. The book he ends up writing is all about Emma.

    This is a book about the nature of fiction. A novel, by its very definition, is fiction, or lies, or “not factual.” But Currie goes to some lengths to point out that it is not necessarily “untruth.” Fiction may be more truth than real truth, he seems to say.
    “From the perspective of a novelist, there is a brand of lying that feels more honest than the actual facts of an event. Lying as a way to move closer to the truth, or to illuminate how something actually feels in a way that mere facts cannot.”
    At its best, this novel could be read as a defense for James Frey, whose fictional memoir, A Million Little Pieces, about his time battling drug addiction, hit the world stage like a bomb. Frey was giving a better truth, a more real truth, and those truths were no less true than the truth.

    Fiction, Currie tells us, does not tell us how much he loves his Emma. It tells us how much we readers love our own special person. It gives us words for things we cannot articulate, but that we feel none-the-less. The closeness we feel with an author is illusion, since they are lying and we are not. The feelings the author evokes are real. The author sets us up for connection, and if he succeeds, we do connect.

    Anyway, to get to the end, we spend quite a lot of time navel-gazing…at Currie’s navel. This is self-conscious literature by someone who suggests that fiction succeeds when the author writes “honestly,” and allows readers to believe. If so, that bit about dissipation on the island felt too honest, and evoked in me the feeling that Currie knew a little too much about drinking, fighting, rough sex, and driving off piers with the intent to kill. True or not, it’s a l-i-t-t-l-e too close for comfort, and I want to tell him to knock it off. I want to tell him to have a look at Saunder's new book, Tenth of December: Stories. This is someone who came out on the other side of "what fiction is" with his sense of humor intact.

    So, what are Flimsy Little Plastic Things? I’m not telling. You go find out for yourself. But I’m sort of scratching my head over the title still. I have no idea why they didn’t name it The Singularity.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014



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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I've heard great things about Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by

    I've heard great things about Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie, Jr.

    This is a novel veiled as a true story about a fictional (but very close to real) Ron Currie, and how after the love of his life Emma banishes him to a remote island, he ends up faking his death and selling millions of books.

    Really interesting concept.  But in reality, it was Ron Currie pining over his love for Emma, which is not my thing.  I also didn't love the characters of Ron or Emma.  Both seem very selfish.

    I wasn't a fan of this book, but then again, I'm not a fan of anything love-story-like.  And even though this wasn't traditional love story, it was, in essence, a man pining for a woman.

    You can check out Leah's review from Books Speak Volumes for a much different perspective (she gave it 5 stars!).

    What's the craziest thing you've done for love?

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2015

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2013

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