Thomas McGuane's first short story collection; 13 stories of great range, verve and humor.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis collection of 12 stories seems to prove once more that McGuane is a writer who lacks consistency. When he is good, he is very good; at other times he can be underpowering. Some of these tales are highly interesting, imbued with power and the ability to startle; in others, McGuane seems to be coasting, failing to deliver the bite that makes the difference between a good and a great story. The title narrative, the last in the collection, has that bite. The tale of a jaded young man who aspires to become a pimp, it teeters on the edge of the bizarre until it finally crosses over. Another story, ``The Millionaire,'' exhibits a delicious tension as the parents of a pregnant teenager await the arrival of the child whose adoption has already been arranged as a sort of birth of convenience. Taken as a whole, the collection is entertaining, sometimes memorable. (October 14)
Library JournalIn this short story collection, McGuane focuses his Midwest perspective on the eccentricities of small towns and their inhabitants. A pregnant girl selling her baby, a man who steals his neighbor's dogs, a young boy imprisoned by bullies, and topics such as infidelity, hunting, and handicaps all are explored. McGuane is distanced from his characters, and the writing is self-conscious at worst, interesting at best. Though he seems to have something to say, his laconic style often muddles the meaning. The title story is quite different in tempo from the othersto the point of being anomalousand appears to parody something, but again the intention isn't clear. Buy for demand, though even his fans may be disappointed. Susan Avallone, ``Library Journal''
Michiko KakutaniThe finest stories in this volume...have the sad - funny sad-surreal texture of daily life; and the depth of emotion not only attached to the happy continuation of development from Mr. McGuane's last two novels, but hints at better things to come. -- The New York Times
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