Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR... SO FAR by The New Yorker
For readers of David Wong, Paul Beatty, and George Saunders, an electrifying and wholly original collection of satirical stories that create a bitingly funny portrait of American racism, capitalism, and politics
Framed as a reference work of humorous “entries” that offer trenchant social commentary, Everything Abridged presages a dark vision of the near future but tells jokes in the face of it: An intelligence agency operative uncovers a conspiracy to generate conspiracies and realizes his participation in the scheme. A Caribbean monarch meets four decades of American presidents and adjusts his country’s foreign policy accordingly. Experiment participants are asked to bring back a gun as quickly as possible. A copywriter on a space colony advertises a weapon with the potential to destroy his home during an intergalactic war.
These and other linked stories, many of which feature a speculative bent—about being Black in America, law enforcement practices in an android society, Olympic speed walking, consumerism, nuclear war, and more—are interspersed with hilarious, one-line definitions for words ranging from abolition to zygote, creating a sharply humorous portrait of American inequality. With his singular wit, sharp prose, and shrewd observations, Dennard Dayle captures the struggles his characters face to keep hold of their sanity in a society collapsing into chaos and absurdity.