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Attack of the Jazz Giants: and Other Stories Hardcover – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Gryphon Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930846347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930846340
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 5.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,671,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Frost (Fitcher's Brides) demonstrates his mastery of the short story form in what will surely rank as one of the best fantasy collections of the year. These 14 well-crafted tales, each illustrated by Jason Van Hollander, take a sympathetic, often witty but always unsparing look at humanity. "Madonna of the Maquiladora" highlights the injustice of godless big business using religion to control the masses. Sorrow, anger and surrealistic allegory merge in "Collecting Dust," in which a child attempts to keep his dysfunctional family from its doom. Turning genre on its head with brio, "A Day in the Life of Justin Argento Morrel" wickedly subverts the space mission tale. "The Road to Recovery," a previously unpublished novella, amusingly mixes a Hope-Crosby road movie with space opera. In the title story, Frost turns Horace Walpole's Prince Manfred into a Southern racist upon whose Castle of Otranto–like plantation rain jazz instruments of destruction. "In the Sunken Museum" nightmarishly explains Poe's last days, while "From Hell Again" finds horror in Jack the Ripper's pocket watch. Karen Joy Fowler's foreword and John Kessel's afterword round out this excellent collection.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the collection-opening "The Girlfriends of Dorian Gray," the hero is a gourmand who, like Dorian Gray, doesn't want to deal with consequences. Frost is all over the map after that, with the bizarre "Touring Jesusworld," about a theme park based on the historical Jesus; a speculative piece on Poe's last days, "In the Sunken Museum"; a genuinely bizarre take on space opera cliches, "A Day in the Life of Justin Argento Morrel"; and a number of hard-hitting social commentaries set in the freedom afforded by sf settings. "Collecting Dust" takes a long, surreal look at the dysfunctionality of a suburban family; "The Bus" carries a homeless man to a strange, horrible fate; and "Attack of the Jazz Giants" watches as a plantation owner and head of the local Klan is destroyed by enormous musical instruments appearing out of nowhere and the strains of jazz on the radio. Frost's stories are funny and tragic, thoughtful observations on human phenomena; together they make a collection very well worth reading. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I'm a writer under the broad umbrella of fantasy literature. That means I'm not speaking of elf quests and swords and magic necessarily, but of things that might fall into the bins marked "High Weird" or "Disturbing," too. I write horror, but not the sort that splatters; rather, the kind that discomfits. Fantasy and horror are means to explore things that sometimes can't be come at head on. Sometimes they're put in play just to amuse. But always to surprise.

I workshop fiction in a number of groups with a good batch of writers whose ranks include (or have included) Judith Berman, Ann Tonsor Zeddies, Karen Joy Fowler, John Kessel, James Patrick Kelly, Kelly Link, Jonathan Lethem, and Nalo Hopkinson. I also know a number of writers who do not workshop and should not workshop. Like anything else, whether or not you want feedback and opinions is matter of knowing yourself.

I teach writing--peripatetically--at Swarthmore College in PA, at Write By The Lake in Madison, WI, at wrtiers' conferences in Pennsylvania, etc. It's a different part of the brain, teaching, and good writers don't necessarily make good teachers, just as the reverse is true.

Customer Reviews

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I'm going to read anything else he publishes.
A. Dorrance
Further research indicates that he's written several novels and some three-dozen short stories during that period.
Henry W. Wagner
Gregory is also an excellent speaker on the topics surrounding writing.
Gary Zenker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Each of Nebula, Hugo, Tiptree, International Horror Guild, and World Fantasy Award finalist Gregory Frost's outstanding tales of fantasy is enhanced by the illustrations of Jason Van Hollander in Attack Of The Jazz Giants And Other Stories, a compendium of imaginative and entertaining short stories. Readers are treated to stories of an apocalyptic being that hides in a Ukrainian village; a horror that dwells in Jack the Ripper's pocket watch; a crossroads in which the Castle of Otranto connects with the Depression Era South, and more. Featuring a foreword by bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler and an afterword to each individual tale by award-winning author John Kessel, Attack Of The Jazz Giants And Other Stories is a dazzling compilation that takes the reader on a dizzying journey through fractured time and space.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Latus on July 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Frost has a gift for hooking you by the collar and dragging you into quirky worlds made believable, then turning you to gaze from there back into the accepted world as through a wavery two-way mirror. Thus you find yourself looking with tilted head at the homeless, or the use of religion to exploit workers, or the over-worked, ever-dissolving family, and perhaps, finally, seeing them in ways that resonate in the day-to-day. His stories are odd, quirky, angry and amusing. And they echo. Well worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on June 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a regular reader of speculative fiction, particularly of the progressive and surreal variety, somehow I have remained ignorant of Gregory Frost's unique work. Well, better late than never. Frost examines the dark side of the human condition with a sly surrealism that is so subtle that it becomes creepy and disarming. Even in his occasional comedy tales - like this volume's sly opener "The Girlfriends of Dorian Gray." This collection is a multi-genre powerhouse of Frost's best work, but keep in mind that genre exercises such as supernatural creatures, science fiction gadgets, and fantasy settings are just window dressing for Frost's main phenomena of interest. Great examples are "A Day in the Life of Justin Argento Morrel" in a which a stereotypical sci-fi spaceship is the setting for an incisive tale of madness and betrayal, "Collecting Dust" which looks at the disintegration of the American family via a family that is literally disintegrating, and "The Bus" which uses a rather cheeky evil vehicle to examine how society feeds off the unfortunate. Frost also deserves props for his unique takes on historical fiction, like "In the Sunken Museum" in which Edgar Allan Poe is driven to real madness in a museum based on own his tales of madness, and "From Hell Again" which is an offbeat look at the old mystery of Jack the Ripper. And finally, the apotheosis of Frost's mastery is the stupendous "Madonna of the Maquiladora" - a devastating critique of human suffering and exploitation - which combines science fiction, religion, and social commentary more effectively than any short story I've ever seen. [~doomsdayer520~]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Maberry on June 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Gregory Frost's riveting collection of short stories, Attack of the Jazz Giants, is one of those books that makes you feel like your're sneaking around in the shadowy little rooms inside the haunted house of his brain. Stories rage from darkly funny to darkly jolting, and along the way you get to wander down some extremely strange side-corridors (such as in the title story) and you wind up in wildly unexpected places.

It's the kind of book where you do one story at a time, rather than gallop cover to cover, because you want to chew the bark off these tales to get to the real heart of each one. They stay with you, and they work on you.

Frost is a great novelist, but he's a master of the short story.
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