“Ben Greenman seems incapable of writing anything dry or familiar or expected. He is one of the most versatile, consistently surprising writers at work today.” —Dave Eggers
A diverse and moving collection of witty, fabular, haunting stories about love, infidelity, and the vanishing art of letter writing—from the acclaimed novelist and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman. Fans of the works of Keith Gessen, Ben Kunkel, Nathaniel Rich, and John Wray will find much to love in the beautiful, poignant stories of What He’s Poised to Do.
Fourteen very self-conscious stories from Greenman (Please Step Back) demonstrate the author's easy hand with formal manipulation, though his command over emotional terrain proves to be circumspect. The collection is bracketed by two very short stories (the title story and Her Hand ) built around picture postcards (indeed, postmarks appear at the beginning of each story), and the varied stories between them all move with transparency; Greenman's prose is polished to a fine gloss that handily guides the reader along. While some stories only get a few details two stories with cloyingly cute and very long titles are among the shortest; their titles virtual punch lines others spin on, dominated less by substance than by stylistic demands, as with Seventeen Different Ways to Get a Load of That, which documents a relationship breakdown in short numbered cuts. The strongest story, What We Believe We Cannot Praise, about changing dynamics at a law firm, hints at Greenman's talent and begs for a longer treatment than it gets in this chilly if playful collection.
Customer ReviewsSee All
All I have to say is that it was a great story. Definitely a must read, if not just a glance at the beginning.