Readers who already love Stephens and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will love that it's simply great storytelling. His impressive range and talent are richly apparent: He astounds with his command of language and pleasures us with unexpected and indelible images. Including the scientist tasked with doing harm to their own community in "The Job" to kids growing up in the south playing football in "Hard Four" to the presentation of true romance during a chance meeting on a flight to Ethiopia in "Lime Green." From science fiction to his erotica to his philosophical and gothic realism, all of these stories provide penetrating insight as a writer of explosive wit, merciless intuition, and a fierce empathy for painting the internal motives of his characters.
Stephens is grotesquely comic, unflinchingly sensual and surreal. Whether the story is being told by a critically withdrawn master narrator of the subconscious or in first person such as in, "That Thang" or "The Jethro Bodine," this is justly one of his best collections of short prose.