Were All In This Together: A Novella and Stories

Were All In This Together: A Novella and Stories

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by Owen King
     
 

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The stories in this collection, along with Owen Kings brilliant title novella set in Maine after the 2000 election, carry the weight of real emotion and revelation and showcase the impressive versatility of a rising talent.  See more details below

Overview

The stories in this collection, along with Owen Kings brilliant title novella set in Maine after the 2000 election, carry the weight of real emotion and revelation and showcase the impressive versatility of a rising talent.

Editorial Reviews

Andrew Ervin
King possesses a rare understanding of the macabre side of our workaday lives. He may one day take over the family franchise from his father, Stephen King, but We're All in This Together has enough moments of crystalline insight into human folly to prove he's finding a voice and an artistic sensibility all his own.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
From the 26-year-old scion of literary giant Stephen King comes a compelling, imaginative debut collection of four short stories both creepy and heartfelt, plus a compassionate novella about a 15-year-old son of a single mother. Set in Maine around the 2000 election, the title novella captures the teenage narrator's anger over his mother's impending marriage to Dr. Vic, while his family, led by a union organizer grandfather, seethes over Bush's election. George lays siege to his mother's relationship and helps his grandfather build a sniper's nest from which to attack the paperboy who defaces the old man's "Al Gore is the Real President" sign. Freaks and weirdos-external symptoms of his protagonists' inner struggles-people King's shorter stories, which strive to balance the lurid with a reach for emotional truth. In "Wonders," about a baseball player who takes his pregnant girlfriend to a Coney Island circus freak abortionist, the macabre and the heartfelt feel discordant, and the story ends with unearned violence. But in "Frozen Animals," King achieves a surreal blend of gory, vivid description of unanesthetized dental surgery layered with the drug-addicted dentist's intermittent memories of a happier past. This original collection heralds the arrival of the next generation. Agent, Amy Williams. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The title novella of King's first collection is its heart and soul: a powerful exploration of the flimsiness of political moral certainty compared to the strength of the unpredictable emotions that end up motivating individuals' actions. King sets his elegiac novella within a Maine family of idealists who, in the year 2000, have difficulty dealing with human imperfection. Resenting the well-meaning doctor to whom his mother Emma, an abortion clinic nurse, has become engaged, 15-year-old George hangs out with his recently widowed grandfather Henry, a retired labor organizer. Someone has vandalized the anti-Bush/pro-Gore sign Henry has put up in his yard; he suspects the ROTC cadet who was his newsboy until Henry had him fired for stealing the Sunday travel section. Now Henry plots paintball revenge. Meanwhile, George stops talking to his mother and rejects all friendly overtures from Dr. Vic. But when Emma threatens to leave Dr. Vic after Henry uncovers a donation the apolitical doctor made, under professional duress, to the Bush campaign, George begins to recognize that life isn't as clear-cut as he thought. The novella pitches readers a barrage of emotional and philosophical curveballs as the characters-all likable, however flawed-are forced to discard their most prized assumptions. The four remaining stories, unfortunately, don't live up to the novella. "Frozen Animals" is an ugly story about a dentist-somewhere in a northern wilderness-whose payment for treating a trapper's wife is sex. "Wonders," about a minor-league baseball team in the 1930s, shows the malleability of hate, while in "Snake," the unhappy teenaged boy who's a pale version of George never comes into real focus. "MySecond Wife," about the road trip a man takes after his wife leaves him, never pulls together, though it plays with interesting notions. The novella, though, like all great storytelling, has real strength. Newcomer King (son of Stephen, not that it matters) is a talent to watch.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596918337
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/11/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
305,203
File size:
734 KB

Meet the Author

Owen King grew up in Bangor, Maine. He is a graduate of Vassar College and holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and his stories have appeared in Book Magazine and the Bellingham Review. He currently resides in Brooklyn.

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