The Pure Product

The Pure Product

by John Kessel
     
 

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Nebula Award-winner John Kessel brings together, for the first time in one volume, nineteen of his finest stories from the past decade: an extraordinary body of work by one of the field's most accomplished writers.  See more details below

Overview

Nebula Award-winner John Kessel brings together, for the first time in one volume, nineteen of his finest stories from the past decade: an extraordinary body of work by one of the field's most accomplished writers.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Speaking of time travel and screwball comedy, Willis's only real rival in this arena is John Kessel, whose collection The Pure Product brings together some of his best stories. Kessel is a master of the kind of neat, goofy ideas that time-travel or alternate-history scenarios are really good for: baseball players George Bush and Fidel Castro face off in the World Series; Herman Melville becomes a pulp SF writer; screwball movie director Preston Sturges is found dead and alive at the same time; Marilyn Monroe is rescued by a time traveler. But there are also serious stories here, including a moving tribute to Kessel's father and the title story of a terrorist from tomorrow.
—Gary Wolfe
Kirkus Reviews
Fifteen reprinted stories, 198096, one new tale, two poems, and a play that's blurbed as "award-winning," even though it's listed as original to this collection. More problematic yet, the publishers failed to notice, or didn't care, that no fewer than eight of these yarns, including the title piece, appeared in Kessel's 1992 collection, Meeting in Infinity. Those eight aside, then, what's left? Well, several yarns reflect Kessel's ponderously allegorical tendencies (a search for enlightenment; a relativistic joke; people owned by aliens), while the remainder play literary games with famous names: Marilyn Monroe rescued by corrupt time travelers; Herman Melville as a pulp sf writer; Lemuel Gulliver's wife reflects (the new story); in the 1959 World Series, Giants hurler Fidel Castro goes head to head with Senators' first baseman George Bush; and director Preston Sturges turns up dead, having been replaced by a superior doppelgänger.

No matter what the merits of Kessel's material, this sort of lazy and indifferent publishing does everybody a disservice.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312866808
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
08/14/1999
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.28(h) x 1.03(d)

What People are saying about this

Bruce Sterling
Kessel's darkly comic vision is wackily funny, brilliantly cruel, and joltingly powerful--like Silly Putty cut with high tech plastic explosives.

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