Postmodern short stories from Wallace satirize the absurdities of contemporary pop culture.
In assessing this book, comparisons with Don DeLillo, Tom Robbins, and Robert Coover seem accurate, for Wallace is playful, idiomatically sharp, and intellectually engage. Overwhelming in his long, torrential sentences and his wit, he at times subjects us to overwritten, almost showy, passages, but his talent is undeniable. Included in this collection is a novella that examines, among other things, post-modernism. His (generally overlong) stories explore popular culture through the lives of a variety of characters: a lesbian with a three-year winning streak on Jeopardy, an actress anxious about appearing on David Letterman, a wealthy Republican yuppie who has a disturbing connection with some punk rockers; and Lyndon Johnson in a closeup that shows how well a historical figure can be used in fiction. Impressive in scope and savvy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Benjamin Button különös élete
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) 20. század egyik legjelesebb és legnagyobb hatású amerikai modernista regény- és novellaírója, aki az első világháború utáni évek generációjához, az úgy nevezett „Elveszett nemzedékhez” tartozott. Az 1922-ben íródott elbeszélés Benjamin Button életét mutatja be, születésétől halála napjáig, aki 1860-ban látta meg a napvilágot egy különleges rendellenességgel: aggastyánként született és előreláthatóan újszülöttként fog majd távozni a világból. F. Scott Fitzgerald megrendítő és elgondolkoztató novellája a másság elfogadásáról, illetve el nem fogadásáról szól, s érzékletesen mutatja be, hogyan változnak meg az ember kapcsolatai, amikor már kevésbé van rá szükség. A történet 2008-ban a három Oscar-díjjal jutalmazott azonos című film alapjául szolgált, melynek főszerepét Brad Pitt és Cate Blanchett alakították. A kötetben nem csupán a magyar fordítás, hanem az eredeti angol nyelvű elbeszélés is olvasható.
Jack London - The White Silence / A fehér csend
A kétnyelvű olvasókönyvek eredeti, átdolgozatlan irodalmi szövegeket tartalmaznak és magyar műfordításaikat. Az angol szöveg alatt szereplő szómagyarázatok és a szemközti oldalon közölt magyar fordítás a nyelvtanulók számára lehetővé teszik a szöveg szótárazás nélküli, folyamatos olvasását. A szómagyarázatokat, az egyes fordítási megoldásokat elemző kommentárokat és az angol és a magyar szövegben kiemelt, egymásra utaló kifejezéseket a nyelvtanulók sokféleképpen hasznosíthatják: a könyv fejleszti a szókincset, javítja a szövegértési készséget, és segítséget nyújt fordítási problémák megoldásához.
J. D. Salinger - Hapworth 16, 1924
Salinger mindezidáig utolsónak (1965-ben) kiadott elbeszélése, mely a New Yorker-ban jelent meg. Az írás a Glass-család egyik legellentmondásosabb tagja, Seymour Glass szemszögéből mutatja be az eseményeket. Az egész elbeszélés egy nagyon hosszú levél, melyet a kis Seymour (8-10 éves) ír egy nyári táborból szülei számára. Kissé elnyújtott, és "túl" intellektuálisan megfogalmazott, hosszú körmondatokkal tarkított írás ez, mely a kisfiú végtelen zsenialitását hivatott kiemelni - azon kisfiúét, aki majd házasságát követően öngyilkosságot követ el nászútján. Érdekes darab, de inkább csak a Salinger-műveket - és főleg a Glass-család karaktereit - jobban ismerőknek.
Thomas Pynchon - Mason & Dixon
Charles Mason (1728-1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that we know today as the Mason-Dixon Line. Here is their story as re-imagined by Thomas Pynchon, featuring Native Americans and frontier folk, ripped bodices, naval warfare, conspiracies erotic and political, and major caffeine abuse. We follow the mismatched pair--one rollicking, the other depressive; one Gothic, the other pre-Romantic--from their first journey together to the Cape of Good Hope, to pre-Revolutionary America and back, through the strange yet redemptive turns of fortune in their later lives, on a grand tour of the Enlightenment's dark hemisphere, as they observe and participate in the many opportunities for insanity presented them by the Age of Reason.
Thomas Pynchon - Slow Learner
Thomas Pynchon's literary career was launched not with the release of his widely acclaimed first novel, V., but with the publication in literary magazines of the five stories collected here. In his introduction to Slow Learner the author reviews his early work with disarming candor and recalls the American cultural landscape of the early post-Beat era in which the stories were written. Time magazine described this introductory essay as "Pynchon's first public gesture toward autobiography. /Synopsis from barnesandnoble.com/
Sarah Orne Jewett - The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories
In 1896, at the age of forty-seven, Sarah Orne Jewett published this classic novel of a female writer looking for seclusion and inspiration in the coastal town of Dunnet Landing, Maine. Returning to the women and men of small New England towns for the accompanying collection of short fiction, this remarkable volume weaves a colorful and moving tapestry of the grand complexities, joys, and beauties of life. "The young student of American Literature in far distant years to come will take up this book and say 'a masterpiece.'"-- Willa Cather
Ray Bradbury - The Toynbee Convector
A superlative new collection of twenty-two stories by the author of "The Martian Chronicles" includes the continuating saga of H.G. Well's time traveller and his Toynbee Convector, a ghost on the Orient Express, and a bored man who creates his own genuine Egyptian mummy
Robin Sloan - Ajax Penumbra
San Francisco, 1969. The summer of drugs, music and a new age dawning. A young, earnest Ajax Penumbra has been given his first assignment as a Junior Acquisitions Officer - to find the single surviving copy of the Techne Tycheon, a mysterious volume that has brought and lost great fortune for anyone who has owned it. After a few weeks of rigorous hunting, Penumbra feels no closer to his goal than when he started. But late one night, after another day of dispiriting dead ends, he stumbles upon a 24-hour bookstore and the possibilities before him expand exponentially. With the help of his friend's homemade computer, an ancient map, a sunken ship and the vast shelves of the 24-hour bookstore, Ajax Penumbra might just find what he's seeking...
Truman Capote - The Grass Harp
Set on the outskirts of a small Southern town, The Grass Harp tells the story of three endearing misfits--an orphaned boy and two whimsical old ladies--who one day take up residence in a tree house. As they pass sweet yet hazardous hours in a china tree, The Grass Harp manages to convey all the pleasures and responsibilities of freedom. But most of all it teaches us about the sacredness of love, "that love is a chain of love, as nature is a chain of life." This volume also includes Capote's A Tree of Night and Other Stories, which the Washington Post called "unobtrusively beautiful . . . a superlative book."
L. Frank Baum - The Marvelous Land of Oz
First issued in 1904, L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz is the story of the wonderful adventures of the young boy named Tip as he travels throughout the many lands of Oz. Here he meets with our old friends the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, as well as some new friends like Jack Pumpkinhead, the Wooden Sawhorse, the Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug, and the amazing Gump. How they thwart the wicked plans of the evil witch Mombi and overcome the rebellion of General Jinjur and her army of young women is a tale as exciting and endearing today as it was when first published over eighty years ago.
Jonathan Carroll - The Ghost in Love
A man falls in the snow, hits his head on a stone curb and dies. A ghost that's been sent to take his soul to the Afterlife arrives just as he falls. But something strange occurs: the man doesn't die. The ghost is flabbergasted. This is unprecedented. Going immediately to its boss, the ghost asks, what should I do now? The boss says, we don't know how this happened but we're working on it. In the meantime, we want you to stay with this man and watch to see if he does anything that might help us figure out what's going on. Unhappily, the ghost agrees. It is a ghost, not a nursemaid. The last thing it wants to do is hang around watching a human being walk through his every day. But a funny thing happens - the ghost falls truly madly deeply in love with the man's girlfriend and things get complicated. The Ghost in Love is about what happens to us when we discover that we have become the masters of our own fate. No excuses, no outside forces or gods to blame - the responsibility is all our own. It's also about love, ghosts that happen to be gourmet cooks, talking dogs, and picnicking in the rain with yourself at twenty different ages. It's tough being a ghost on an empty stomach.
Jonathan Carroll - A Child Across the Sky
Weber Gregston and Philip Strayhorn are best friends. They were at college together; they struggle as nobodies in Hollywood together. Weber soon becomes the most acclaimed director of his generation. Phil is unrecognised for years, and then makes a series of notorious horror films. He has everything; love, fame, money. Then he takes a gun and blows his head off. Why? Weber hopes the answer is on the video tapes that Phil has left him. But when he plays them, he finds messages from beyond the grave. Step by step, Weber learns that the evil Phil portrayed in his last film is not just slasher gore. He has created something which threatens his friends' lives. And if Weber doesn't put it right, and fast, that evil will extend far beyond a handful of people in Hollywood. Exploring love and cruelty, creation and ambition, A Child Across the Sky is a brilliant tale of wonder and fear. It is also one of the most important novels of fantastic fiction in recent years.
Jonathan Carroll - Kissing The Beehive
When bestselling novelist Sam Bayer decides it's time he wrote his "Great Book", he chooses as his subject the death of a teenage beauty, Pauline Ostrova - the 'Beehive'. The town of Crane's view never felt the same after he discovered her body, floating in the lake, over twenty years before. Her boyfriend, Edward Durant, was arrested for the murder, tried and imprisoned. He died in Sing Sing jail. Sam Bayer's new book will tell her story, bring her to life again, and restore something of what the town had lost. But, for Samuel Bayer, the journey into his past becomes a terrifying jolt into the reality of the present. Bayer's gesture of respect to his youth turns sour in the face of all that he unearths; for many of the people close to him, this leads to devastating - and fatal - consequences.
Caitlín R. Kiernan - Alabaster
An albino girl wanders the sun-scorched backroads of a south Georgia summer, following the bidding of an angel - or perhaps only voices in her head - searching out and slaying ancient monsters who have hidden themselves away in the lonely places of the world. Caitlin R. Kiernan first introduced Dancy in the pages of her award-winning second novel, Threshold (2001), then went on to write several more short stories and a novella about this unlikely heroine, each a piece, of which, has become an epic dark fantasy narrative. Alabaster finally collects all these tales into one volume, illustrated by Ted Naifeh (Gloomcookie, Courtney Crumrin)
Ed McBain - Mischief
A punk wielding a spray can is no match for a killer armed with a gun -- and a deadly aim to knock off the city's graffiti artists. One by one, the young scribblers are found murdered, maliciously coated with paint and blood. Detective Steve Carella can't see the writing on the wall -- yet. Meanwhile, the Deaf Man, the 87th Precinct's longtime tormentor, is leading its cops, clue by maddening clue, to uncover a heinous crime that will make the graffiti killer look like an amateur. It's all primed to go down at a raucous rock and rap concert -- but who's going to take the rap?
Ed McBain - Widows
The beautiful blonde in the penthouse apartment was dead, her face and body laced with slashes from a paring knife grisly evidence of the terrible things the city can do to pretty young women. What sordid web of money, sex, and greed had ensnared Susan Brauer? The stack of unsigned erotic letters in her possession was the first clue. Then the murder of Susan's lover, a married lawyer in his sixties, leads the cops of the 87th to the women left behind: the lawyer's wife, his ex, his daughters. And for Detective Carella, his own father's senseless death in a bakery holdup sears through the intense summer heat and sends him on a fevered hunt for the one who made his mother a widow and shrouded his family in grief.
Ed McBain - Vespers
In a walled garden surrounded by skyscrapers, Father Michael Birney met an unholy end, stabbed by an assailant who invaded his vespers prayers and then vanished as twilight overtook the big city. A stone's throw from the crime scene, a congregation of Satan worshipers chants its disturbing incantations -- an irony not lost on Detectives Carella and Hawes, who search among the cultists for a killer. But it will take more than a leap of faith for the cops of the 87th Precinct to expose the truth behind the deadliest -- and bloodiest -- of sins.
Ed McBain - The Last Dance
In this city, you can get anything done for a price. If you want someone's eyeglasses smashed, it'll cost you a subway token. You want his fingernails pulled out? His legs broken? You want him hurt so bad he's an invalid his whole life? You want him...killed? Let me talk to someone. It can be done. The hanging death of a nondescript old man in a shabby little apartment in a meager section of the 87th Precinct is nothing much in this city, especially to detectives Carella and Meyer. But everyone has a story, and this old man's story stood to make some people a lot of money. His story takes Carella, Meyer, Brown, and Weeks on a search through Isola's seedy strip clubs and to the bright lights of the theater district. There they discover an upcoming musical with ties to a mysterious drug -- and a killer who stays until the last dance.