"Michael Kardos's soulful stories take place in that hard-luck corner of New Jersey where rock and roll dreams crash into blue-collar reality. One Last Good Time is a remarkable debut collection, full of stories that are funny and melancholy at the same time." - Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Abstinence Teacher. "One Last Good Time is one of the sharpest, funniest, and most compassionate debuts you will ever have the good fortune to read. Without a doubt, Michael Kardos is a truly gifted writer and a vibrant new voice in American letters." - Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.46(d)|
|Age Range:||1 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Michael Kardos co-directs the creative writing program at Mississippi State University. His short stories were cited as Notable Stories in the 2009 and 2010 editions of Best American Short Stories and have appeared in The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Blackbird, and many other magazines and anthologies. Kardos grew up on the Jersey Shore, received a degree in music from Princeton University, and for the next decade played the drums in a number of bands, including Thunder Road, “The Ultimate Tribute to Springsteen.” He has an M.F.A. in fiction from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. More information can be found at www.michaelkardos.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One Last Good Time based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I first became aware of Michael Kardos because of a spectacular story he wrote that appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Crazyhorse. In that piece, "Mediation," a woman becomes concerned that her husband, after joining Alcoholics Anonymous, has become puritanically self-righteous. In the end, she accepts that in order to keep him, she's going to have to become as rigid as he is. That piece is not in the collection ONE LAST GOOD TIME, but the collection displays all the same talent and ability to explore fascinating, complex relationships. Kardos' writing style never gets in the way of the story -- his writing is clear and confident and he quickly gets you to sympathize with the central character in each piece. All of the pieces occur in the fictional Jersey shore town of Breakneck Beach New Jersey, examining the failures and missteps of primarily lower middle-class boys, young men, and, in one story, a college aged woman. Synposes of some of my favorite stories in the piece: One Last Good Time: A bus driver hijacks his school bus when it's full of kids because he fears his sister-in-law is about to tell his wife about their affair. Powerfully told from each of their points of view - the bus driver, the wife, and the 19-year-old sister-in-law. The Castle of Horrors: A big man - the kind who can easily get a job as a security guard - starts to work at the house of horrors in an amusement park. He accidentally scares a young mother to death, as she's going through the tour, and then he's haunted by her ghost. What's Left of Musical Giants: Mr. Barrotta - the same teacher whose ashes appeared in another story - is working in a rundown mall, trying to help sell organs. He's been forced to leave the school where he taught for 40 years because he protested a principal demanding he rotate "first chair" assignments and solo performances across all the students in the orchestra and not simply grant them to the most talented ones. His form of protest - asking a student if he can touch her (more graphically requested than that) - has landed him in this unscrupulous store where his virtuoso playing is used to lure mall customers into buying expensive organs they can't afford and will probably never be able to play.