Author(s): Ben Marcus
With these thirteen transfixing, ingenious stories, Ben Marcus gives us timely dystopian visions of alienation in a modern world-cosmically and comically apt. Never has existential catastrophe been so much fun. In "The Grow-Light Blues," a hapless, corporate drone finds love after being disfigured testing his employer's newest nutrition supplement-the enhanced glow from his computer monitor. A father finds himself outcast from his family when he starts to suspect that his son's precocity has turned sinister in the chilling "Cold Little Bird." In "Blueprints for St. Louis," two architects in a flailing marriage consider the ethics of artificially inciting emotion in mourners at their latest assignment-a memorial to a terrorist attack. In the bizarre but instantly recognizable universe of Ben Marcus's fiction, characters encounter both surreal new illnesses and equally surreal new cures. Marcus writes beautifully, hilariously, and obsessively, about sex and death, lust and shame, the indignities of the body, and the full parade of human folly. A heartbreaking collection of stories that showcases the author's compassion, tenderness, and mordant humor-blistering, beautiful work from a modern master.