McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories

McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories

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by Michael Chabon, Mike Mignola
     
 

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Michael Chabon is back with a brand-new collection that reinvigorates the stay-up-all-night, edge-of-the seat, fingernail-biting, page-turning tradition of literary short stories, featuring Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Peter Straub, David Mitchell, Jonathan Lethem, Heidi Julavits, Roddy Doyle, and more!

Margaret Atwood- Lusus Naturae

David Mitchell- What You

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Overview

Michael Chabon is back with a brand-new collection that reinvigorates the stay-up-all-night, edge-of-the seat, fingernail-biting, page-turning tradition of literary short stories, featuring Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Peter Straub, David Mitchell, Jonathan Lethem, Heidi Julavits, Roddy Doyle, and more!

Margaret Atwood- Lusus Naturae

David Mitchell- What You Do Not Know You Want

Jonathan Lethem- Vivian Relf

Ayelet Waldman - Minnow

Steve Erickson- Zeroville

Stephen King- Lisey and the Madman

Jason Roberts - 7C

Heidi Julavits- The Miniaturist

Roddy Doyle - The Child

Daniel Handler - Delmonico

Charles D’Ambrosio - The Scheme of Things

Poppy Z. Brite - The Devil of Delery Street

China Mieville- Reports of Certain Events in London

Joyce Carol Oates - The Fabled Light-house at Vi–a del Mar

Peter Straub - Mr. Aickman’s Air Rifle

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With this varied collection of enchanting though not always astonishing tales, Chabon (who also edited McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales) aims for an anthology full of "genre bending and stylistic play." There's quite a lineup of writers taking a stab at "genre" fiction here: many expected (Margaret Atwood, Stephen King), but a few surprises as well, and a newcomer or two. Atwood offers a fantastical tale of a human "lusus naturae" (freak of nature) who suffers from a nameless disease that results in yellow eyes, red fingernails and fangs-how does such a creature fit into a family? Jonathan Lethem's charming "Vivian Relf," which concerns two strangers who seem familiar to each other and who continue to cross each others' paths, is a kind of love story, but there are also tales creepy (Jason Roberts's "7C") and strange (China Mi ville's "Reports of Certain Events in London"). Stephen King's "Lisey and the Madman" is full of engaging detail and feeling. While a couple of stories fail to reach the high-water mark, this collection will offer readers plenty of pleasure and perhaps even a sense of doing good (an endnote says that "this book benefits 826 Valencia," the San Francisco writing lab founded by Dave Eggers and Co.). Agent, Mary Evans. (Nov. 9) Forecast: McSweeney's is making a name for itself as a sponsor of quirky anthologies, which should help sales of all its series. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen stories-more from the A-list, several from the B-get down and dirty with the new McSweeney's genre compilation. Last year's McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales proved that you can actually gather a group of fine writers (or Michael Chabon and the cool folks at McSweeney's can) and get them to turn in a collection of ghost stories, mysteries, and thrillers without the least dash of condescension. This second volume proves no different, with a superb roster of talent and some creepy, inky illustrations from "Hellboy" creator Mike Mignola, to boot. The fun begins with a solid entry from Margaret Atwood, "Lusus Naturae," about a young girl, shockingly transformed into a literal freak of nature, who hides in the woods and frightens the local children before the inevitable approach of villagers with torches. Roddy Doyle proves adept in the genre with "The Child," about a man haunted by a spectral young boy. Quickly deciding that this must be an unknown offspring of his, he cycles through his memory of lovers, but the boy's preternatural pull can't be denied, a well of dark retribution soon to be unleashed. Stephen King's "Lisey and the Madman," about the assassination of a famous author, is entertaining if occasionally too familiar, featuring many of King's usual tropes (though its air of autobiographical verisimilitude gives an unusual chill to some of the lines). One of the more impressive entries is from pulper Poppy Z. Brite, whose "The Devil of Delray Street" is a well-nuanced and unsentimental piece about a young New Orleans dweller's haunting by a ghost or devil. Brite's matter-of-fact approach to some honestly terrifying scenes makes them all the more powerful.Strong entries from China Mieville, David Mitchell, and Charles D'Ambrosio (plus a good but less impressive one from Joyce Carol Oates) round out a first-rate collection. Thrills, chills, and otherworldly spectacles: a rare anthology that delivers on its superlatives-and then some.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400078745
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/16/2004
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,214,451
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.74(d)

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