Catalogue

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The heyday of the insensitive bastards : stories /
Robert Boswell.
imprint
Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2009.
description
258 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1555975240, 9781555975241
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2009.
isbn
1555975240
9781555975241
contents note
No river wide -- Smoke -- Miss Famous -- A walk in winter -- A sketch of highway on the nap of a mountain -- Supreme beings -- In a foreign land -- City bus -- Guests -- Almost not beautiful -- Skin deep -- Lacunae -- The heyday of the insensitive bastards.
catalogue key
6861186
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
PEN Center USA West Literary Awards, USA, 2010 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-03-30:
In this imaginative story collection, author Boswell (Century's Son) examines the limits and losses of ordinary souls with technical mastery and profound sympathy. In "No River Wide," a widowed woman visiting a longtime friend in Florida discovers that their friendship is over; her story unfolds in overlapping narratives that form a startling, resonant meditation on the nature of time. Another story finds a 30-something returning to his North Dakota home to identify the body of his missing mother; what he finds instead frees him from the long shadow of his embittered father. In the title story, a gang spends the summer squatting in the home of a vacationing family, with dire consequences; in "Supreme Beings," a priest's attempts to intervene in the lives of three troubled youths lead him to confront personal and professional failure. Boswell conveys the sordid but hopeful inner lives of average people with insight and care; his shorter stories ("Miss Famous," "Skin Deep") showcase his pleasure in language and invention, and his longer tales pack the emotional weight of a novel. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2009-04-15:
Boswell vividly depicts characters whose problems in coming to terms with life and love are complicated by the fact that meanings and perceptions keep shifting in unexpected ways. The title story is arranged as a document written by a man undergoing rehab or seeking a parole from prison. As he confesses to a life of drug-induced confusion and violence, he more than once comes upon someone who appears to be dead, only to have that person come surprisingly to life. That he remains under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms for much of the story only partially explains his misperceptions. Some of the stories are very short sketches or vignettes of brief encounters of a sexual or violent nature, while the longer stories are more novelistic and include large casts of characters and complex narratives. Boswell, whose style and subject matter is somewhat reminiscent of Tobias Wolff and Robert Stone, is a virtuoso of descriptive prose, and handles the psychological and emotional imagery with skill.-Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Boswell is an exuberant and enormously talented writer . . . With dazzling technical skill, intelligence, and moral seriousness, he mesmerizes us." The New York Times Book Review Praise for MYSTERY RIDE: "Boswell has a marvelous ability to create [people] who are rich in both psychological detail and idiosyncrasy. . .Mystery Ridereads so effortlessly that it often feels as though it had been written in a single sitting, just the amount of time it should take the reader to finish this absorbing story." Michiko Kakutani,The New York Times
"Boswell is an exuberant and enormously talented writer . . . With dazzling technical skill, intelligence, and moral seriousness, he mesmerizes us." The New York Times Book Review Praise for MYSTERY RIDE: "Boswell has a marvelous ability to create [people] who are rich in both psychological detail and idiosyncrasy. . . Mystery Ridereads so effortlessly that it often feels as though it had been written in a single sitting, just the amount of time it should take the reader to finish this absorbing story." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, March 2009
Library Journal, April 2009
New York Times Book Review, June 2009
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
An enthralling and wise new collection from the author of Century's Sonand one of America's most respected writers I was twenty-nine years old and wanted to change before I hit thirty. Clete and I developed a plan for me . . . a plan that would work all that summer and beyond. Even after I left the mountain, it stuck. Robert Boswell's extraordinary range is on full display in this crackling new collection. Set mainly in small, gritty American cities no farther east than Chicago and as far west as El Paso, each of these stories is a world unto itself. Two marriages end, one by death, the other by divorce, and the two wives, lifelong friends, become strangers to each other. A young man's obsession with visiting a fortune-teller leaves him nearly homeless. And in the unforgettable title story, a man dubbed Keen recounts the summer he spent on a mountain with his best friend, Clete, and a loose band of slackers, living in a borrowed house, abstaining from all drugs (other than mushrooms and beer) - and ultimately asking just what kind of harm we can do to one another.
Main Description
An enthralling and wise new collection from the author of Century's Sonand one of America's most respected writers I was twenty-nine years old and wanted to change before I hit thirty. Clete and I developed a plan for me . . . a plan that would work all that summer and beyond. Even after I left the mountain, it stuck. Robert Boswell's extraordinary range is on full display in this crackling new collection. Set mainly in small, gritty American cities no farther east than Chicago and as far west as El Paso, each of these stories is a world unto itself. Two marriages end, one by death, the other by divorce, and the two wives, lifelong friends, become strangers to each other. A young man's obsession with visiting a fortune-teller leaves him nearly homeless. And in the unforgettable title story, a man dubbed Keen recounts the summer he spent on a mountain with his best friend, Clete, and a loose band of slackers, living in a borrowed house, abstaining from all drugs (other than mushrooms and beer)and ultimately asking just what kind of harm we can do to one another.
Main Description
An enthralling and wise new collection from the author ofCentury's Sonand one of America's most respected writers I was twenty-nine years old and wanted to change before I hit thirty. Clete and I developed a plan for me . . . a plan that would work all that summer and beyond. Even after I left the mountain, it stuck. Robert Boswell's extraordinary range is on full display in this crackling new collection. Set mainly in small, gritty American cities no farther east than Chicago and as far west as El Paso, each of these stories is a world unto itself. Two marriages end, one by death, the other by divorce, and the two wives, lifelong friends, become strangers to each other. A young man's obsession with visiting a fortune-teller leaves him nearly homeless. And in the unforgettable title story, a man dubbed Keen recounts the summer he spent on a mountain with his best friend, Clete, and a loose band of slackers, living in a borrowed house, abstaining from all drugs (other than mushrooms and beer)and ultimately asking just what kind of harm we can do to one another.
Main Description
An enthralling and wise new collection from the author of "Century's Son." Set mainly in small, gritty American cities, each of these stories is a world unto itself.

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