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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

Great collection

McSweeney's #30 - Dave Eggers, McSweeney's Publishing

This is called McSweeney's "Forge-Ahead/Throwback" Issue, but there's not a single story I'd throw back.  


McSweeney's generally produces beautiful, cleverly-packaged works the artistic presentation of which occasionally overshadows the actual writing.  That's certainly not the case here.  I enjoyed every story.  They are well developed, well structured and the characters are fully-drawn.


The authors and stories are:


Bill Cotter- Pfaff II


Nick Ekkixogloy- Stowaways


Kevin Moffett- Further Interpretation of Real Life Events


Etgar Keret-Bad Karma


Shelly Oria- The Beginning of a Plan


Michael Cera- Pinecone (Canadian perhaps best known as an actor and this solid story about an aging actor may be a way of facing some of his own fears, although I hope not!)


Carson Mell-Diamond Aces (a real heartbreaker.  Excellent characters)


Matei Visniec-Madness


J. Malcolm Garcia-Cuts


Catherine Bussinger- Foothill Boulevard (a dangerous and brave story. A standout)


Wells Tower-Retreat


As an extra bonus, in the teeny-tiny front page print, generally reserved for the titlepage junk like publishing date and copyright information, and continuing on the back page, is a wonderful essay by Wells Tower about his story.  He rewrote a previous story, which was written from the perspective of another character.  Don't miss that.


These are clever stories, but they never sacrifice humanity, and I do so appreciate that.  I also loved the line drawing scattered throughout, although I can't find the name of the artist.