At the heart of Zsuzsi Gartner's exuberant prose is a cri de coeur for personal responsibility as the sun sets on a century in which the media was omnipresent and everyone felt like a victim. There are no innocent bystanders here, though. A woman calls in fake bomb threats from the nineteenth floor of a bank tower as revenge against her ex-lover. The mother of a girl killed by a teenage urban guerrilla thrives spectacularly in her industrious grief, transforming herself into a forgiveness guru and talk-show host. Lured into the wilderness by her desire for a man who rebuilds vintage airplanes, a young woman finds she lusts more for biscotti and city sidewalks. A small, heroic child makes a guileless request for pajamas and creates a psychic storm at the centre of her anxious, achievement-mad, parents' lives. These are deliciously noisy stories-high-octane, linguistic rocketry that takes on a world gone numb. Often both achingly poignant and funny, these remarkable tales dazzle with a unique sensibility shot through with intellectual verve and crackling black wit.