- 9,99 €
"Combines the otherworldliness of Jeff VanderMeer’s “Annihilation,” the menacing irony of Shirley Jackson and the cold feminist fury of Margaret Atwood" --The New York Times Book Review
Named a Fall Read by The Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune
The mundane becomes sinister in a disquieting story collection from the author of The Grip of It
In Jac Jemc’s dislocating second story collection, False Bingo, we watch as sinister forces—some supernatural, some of this earth, some real and some not—work their ways into the mundanity of everyday life.
In “Strange Loop,” an outcast attempting to escape an unnamed mistake spends his days taxiderming animals, while in “Delivery,” a family watches as their dementia-addled, basement-dwelling father succumbs to an online shopping addiction. “Don’t Let’s” finds a woman, recently freed from an abusive relationship, living in an isolated vacation home in the South that might be haunted by breath-stealing ghosts.
Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense, and crafted with masterful restraint, these seventeen stories explore what happens when our fears cross over into the real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. “This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another,” the sadistic narrator of “Pastoral” announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.
Jemc's electric, nimble collection (after The Grip of It) plumbs its characters' most intimate relationships and unearths potent hidden truths. In "Delivery," a father's sudden spike in online shopping signifies a troubling development. In "Don't Let's," a woman stays in the Georgia Lowcountry, trying to clear her mind after leaving an abusive relationship, but finds signs of a ghost's presence in her house. "Pastoral," about the work of a porn actress who has a husband and two sons, defies convention by having no conflict at all ("There are no wolves at the door.... There is no obstacle that requires overcoming"). A woman's stay at a wellness retreat is impinged upon by an overbearing fellow retreater in "Maulawiyah." In "Hunt and Catch," a woman named Emily is ominously followed by a man in a garbage truck ("When he waved, Emily felt like someone had shoved the skin of her face in the direction of his hand"). In "Trivial Pursuit," an unnamed couple is irritated by the eccentricities of a couple known as the Board Game Couple before dumping them for the Artist Couple, followed by a succession of other couples, each with their own problems. Many of these stories are only a few pages, allowing Jemc to deliver a range of payoffs, some unsettling, some poignant, all evocative. This constantly shifting collection will leave readers beguiled.