- 10,99 €
A brilliant, inventive debut story collection in the vein of Kevin Wilson and Wells Tower.
Brimming with life and unforgettable voices, the stories in Austin Bunn’s dazzling collection explore the existential question: what happens at “the end” and what lies beyond it? In the wry but affecting “How to Win an Unwinnable War,” a summer class on nuclear war for gifted teenagers turns a struggling family upside down. A young couple’s idyllic beach honeymoon is interrupted by terrorism in the lush, haunting “Getting There and Away.” When an immersive videogame begins turning off in the heartbreaking “Griefer,” an obsessive player falls in love with a mysterious player in the final hours of a world.
Told in a stunning range of voices, styles, and settings—from inside the Hale-Bopp cult to the deck of a conquistador’s galleon adrift at the end of the ocean—the stories in Bunn’s collection capture the transformations and discoveries at the edge of irrevocable change. Each tale presents a distinct world, told with deep emotion, energizing language, and characters with whom we have more in common that we realize. They signal the arrival of an astonishing new talent in short fiction.
Bunn's debut story collection mixes genres and styles in 10 ambitious, impressive tales. Among the strongest are "Getting There & Away" a near perfect story that involves a honeymoon, a lost ring, an explosion, and the Bali nightlife and "Ledge," concerning a ship in the late 15th century that discovers the literal end of the Earth and a passageway between the living and the dead. Bunn drops his characters in a variety of locales: summer school, a basement, a Second Life like virtual world, and the Heaven's Gate cult just prior to its mass suicide in 1997. And while many of his stories speak to the ideas of physical and emotional loss, the author's fearlessness in constructing interesting protagonists prevents any moments of d j vu for the reader. These characters are uncomfortable in their own skin. Both "Ledge" and "Curious Father" contain men questioning their sexuality. And sometimes, these characters also create reader discomfort. "Griefer" finds a man so obsessed with technology that he fails to pay attention to his family, and in "When You Are the Final Girl," Bunn crafts a particularly threatening protagonist in Randy, a man bent on drugging a teenage girl after a car accident disfigures his face. This is a compelling collection, and several of the stories are breathtaking.