The fourteen stories gathered here, which have appeared in the
New Yorker, GQ, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and Playboy,
as well as in The O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Stories
volumes, display T. C. Boyle’s imaginative muscle, emotional sensitivity and
astonishing range. There are the whimsical tales for which Boyle is justly
famous, including “Swept Away,” which tells of a female ornithologist who falls
in love on the blustery island of Unst, and “The Kind Assassin,” about a bored
and loveless radio shock jock who sets the world record for most continuous
hours without sleep–and who may never sleep again.
Listeners will love the comedic drama and lyrical beauty of
the title story, about a young man who must contend with a vicious feral cat
from Africa that he has won in a bar bet. And who could resist the gripping
power of “Dogology,” about a young woman in suburban New England who becomes so
obsessed with man’s best friend that she begins to lose her own identity to a
pack of strays, or “Chicxulub,” a nerve-shattering tale of collision, whether
it be that of a young woman with a car or of huge objects from outer space slamming
into the planet. With these compelling and always entertaining stories, Boyle
proves once again that he is “a writer who can take any topic and spin a yarn
too good to put down” (Men’s Journal).
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