Robert Stone, author of the National Book Award winner Dog Soldiers, returns with this collection of stories and novellas involving violence, longing, black humor, and various vices.
In Fun with Problems, Robert Stone demonstrates once again that he is "one of our greatest living writers" (Los Angeles Times). The pieces in this new volume vary greatly in length—some are almost novellas, others no more than a page—but all share the signature blend of longing, violence, black humor, sex, and drugs that has helped Stone illuminate the dark corners of the human soul. Entire lives are laid out with remarkable precision, in captivating prose: a screenwriter carries on a decades-long affair with a beautiful actress, whose descent into addiction he can neither turn from nor share; a bored husband picks up a mysterious woman only to find that his ego has led him woefully astray; a world-beating Silicon Valley executive receives an unwelcome guest at his mansion in the hills; a scuba dive guides uneasy newlyweds to a point of no return. Fun with Problems showcases Stone's great gift: to pinpoint and make real the impulses—by turns violently coercive and quietly seductive—that cause us to conceal, reveal, and betray our very selves.
"The stories are witty and diverse and are all unified by some element of brokenness." ---Booklist
"Stone's evocative prose treads through the murky waters of dead dreams and waning hopes, bringing out the pathetic and nasty side of people warped by addiction, sex, violence and time." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"Once again, Robert Stone displays his tense mastery of narrative...and what is perhaps the most sublime sense of any living writer for beginnings and endings. He is, simply, one of our best." ---Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things
"A book for grown-ups, for people prepared to absorb the news of the world that it announces, for people both grateful and a little uneasy in finding a writer brave enough to be the bearer." ---The New York Times
"Alienated, angry outsiders stalk the dangerous edges of their unraveling lives in the great American novelist's collection of grim short fiction.... Vintage Stone." ---Kirkus Starred Review
"Each story [in the collection] has its pleasures, each its peculiar alchemical mix of humor, folly, and despair." ---Chicago Tribune
"In the long form or the short, American fiction has no greater master than Robert Stone. These stories burn with his dark and incandescent magic." ---Madison Smartt Bell, author of the National Book Award finalist All Souls Rising
"[An] intense and finely carved...story collection." ---San Francisco Chronicle
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