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My Date with Neanderthal Woman [Kindle Edition]

David Galef
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Paperback $13.57  
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Book Description

Winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Competition

Is it true that Neanderthal women have natural charm?

How do you cope with a spouse who’s a charismatic kleptomaniac?

Does it matter if the souvenir you bring home from Africa is another human being?

What can a wife do if all that remains of her husband is what he left in the bathroom that morning?

Never mind waking up one morning as a giant insect. What about metamorphosing into your mother?

David Galef’s My Date with Neanderthal Woman, the winner of Dzanc Books’ first Short Story Collection Competition, responds to these and other questions: thirty-three visions of lives that—let’s hope—are far from your own.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Winner of the first Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, Galef (Flesh) presents 33 stories that often test the limits of macabre humor and explore relationships with near-flawless timing. Though familiar conflicts and character types recur--including outsiders braving the rural south and academics in search of meaningful pursuits--Galef enlivens them with original twists. Noteworthy selections include "The Perfect Couple," the story of a morbid partnership cemented by a spirit of one-upmanship in terms of "who [suffers] more and how;" "Breakfast of Champions," featuring a young narrator who watches his father's attempt to remake himself in widowhood; "Natasha," a clever portrait of industriousness and the aftermath of a biting remark; and "Accommodations," a moving, if sometimes cruel, account of parenting in mid-life and marital stasis. A handful of stories venture into the outlandish with slightly less depth, broaching topics such as a slave-owning woman and the titular date with a Neanderthal woman. Galef's talent thrives in the more realistic, domestic scenarios, many of which expose unsettling flaws in men and women that are both funny and sympathetic, but the wilder stories still entertain. Highly recommended for flash fiction enthusiasts. (Nov.)

Review

“. . . Galef presents 33 stories that often test the limits of macabre humor and explore relationships with near-flawless timing. Though familiar conflicts and character types recur—including outsiders braving the rural south and academics in search of meaningful pursuits—Galef enlivens them with original twists. . . . Galef’s talent thrives in the more realistic, domestic scenarios, many of which expose unsettling flaws in men and women that are both funny and sympathetic, but the wilder stories still entertain. Highly recommended for flash fiction enthusiasts.” —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 1230 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Dzanc Books (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CSCNNCK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,737,013 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(6)
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MODERN TIMES X PREHISTORICAL TIMES January 6, 2013
By Flávio
Format:Paperback
David Galef carries us calmly and smoothly to prehistorical times and we're nicely cradled along the breeze of his words. And the most impressive is that modern times live peacefully with prehistorical times - side by side. Amusing stories. I recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic Absurdity April 2, 2012
Format:Paperback
"In "My Date with Neanderthal Woman," winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, David Galef strikes a delicate balance between fantasy and reality. His plots and circumstances are quirky and unreal, but somehow grounded in reality. This book feels like a contemporary piece of literary fiction, even though some plot twists are straight out of sci-fi.

For example, in the title story, a narrator named Robert gets a referral from the TransWorld Dating Agency that is vastly different than any match made on eHarmony. Yet, in spite of the unusual nature of this date, the story still has a foot in the real world. In the same way, "Mistress Morpheus" also touches on the fantastic while being rooted in understandable human emotions.

Several stories are set on college campuses and the fantastic elements reflect the exasperated frustrations of unpaid, overworked professors. In "An Academic Proposition," Professor Twistle casually mentions how students can earn an easy A, should their morals be so lacking. While few teachers would ever admit having such a thought, we can suppose that most professors have, at one point or another, had some similarly ridiculous notion. The story has an borderline absurdist plot, but one that has real, human foundations.

Scattered throughout the text are Galef's trademark humor and eye for detail. "My Date with Neanderthal Woman" is quirky and slightly skewed towards the fantastic. And it's entirely fun and worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and affecting! February 14, 2012
Format:Paperback
David Galef is one of the more inventive short story writers of our era. From laugh-out-loud situations to others than can make you squirm and even, at times, cringe, every story delivers. The wide array of fiction here is a pleasure to read.
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More About the Author

David Galef was born in the Bronx in 1959 and started writing shortly thereafter. He's a fiction writer, critic, poet, translator, and essayist because he can't seem to make up his mind what to specialize in. A shameless eclectic, he has published over a dozen books, including the novels Flesh and How to Cope with Suburban Stress, a Book Sense choice and one of Kirkus's Best Books of 2006. His latest is the short story collection My Date with Neanderthal Woman, which is at least as funny as its title. His day job is professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Montclair State University.

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