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Demons in the Spring Paperback – August 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books; Reprint edition (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193607009X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936070091
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Spanning worlds, generations, cultures and environments, each of Meno's short stories in this stellar collection explores depression, loneliness and insanity in the world, while never quite offering a clear solution or glimmer of hope. Misery loves company, and Meno's assortment of off-center, morose characters fit seamlessly together. Even with their almost kitschy specificity, stories such as I Want the Quiet Moments of a Party Girl and Art School Is Boring So never become pretentious or unnecessarily complex. Meno plays with supernatural elements throughout the collection, and his risky moves—such as having a protagonist turn into a cloud in People Are Becoming Clouds or a woman whose insides are overrun by a miniature city in Airports of Light—always pay off. Each story is illustrated by a different artist, from Schizo series cartoonist Ivan Brunetti to the husband and wife duo kozyndan, known for their depictions of modern cityscapes. Catering to all the odd men out in the world, this short story collection succeeds word to word, sentence to sentence, and cover to cover. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Author Meno, with five novels and one previous short story collection under his belt, shows his mastery of the short form with his 20 latest tales of whimsy and loss. Meno’s best stories fuse together postmodern ideas with subjects that have concerned literature through the ages, such as love, heartbreak, death, and malaise. A police officer who has lost all connection to his wife and kids confronts a menacing black hole that is swallowing his city. A lonely widower finds comfort and distraction in his new pet, a tiny elephant that can detect death. And a girl—deeply in love—discovers she is dying from the mysterious construction of a miniature city inside of her chest cavity. The pinnacle of this collection, however, is a sad story about two brothers that incorporates the real life history of Ted Kaczynski—the Unabomber. Intriguing and eccentric, Meno’s stories never distract with their surreal flights of fancy but instead draw the reader in deeper to their magical reconfiguration of the modern world. Twenty different graphic artists provide idiosyncratic illustrations that perfectly complement this daring collection. --Jerry Eberle --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. He is the winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and a finalist for the Story Prize. He is the author of six novels including the bestsellers Hairstyles of the Damned and The Boy Detective Fails, and two short story collections including Demons in the Spring. His non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times and Chicago Magazine.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By smilenoelle on October 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've never read Joe Meno. Pick this up. His style, word, choice, and content are amazing. This book made me want to stop writing because I don't think I'll ever write as well as him, but at the same time it made me never want to put down my pen again because I want to write as well as him. I am in love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Jude on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Middle class suburban magic surealism. Characters are interesting without being overdrawn. They are familiar yet none are stereotypes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tracy rubino on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Demon's in the Spring" is f-ing phenomenal. I was already in love with Joe Meno's "The Boy Detective Fails" and its absolute wonderfulness (a classic of his and a must read of all his works) but while reading "Demon's in the Spring," I was really humbled to see Mr. Meno take it up a notch from his already amazingly imaginative and unique writing.

Each short story is well developed and has the same amount of heart (if not more) as his longer works (which significantly influenced how much pleasure I took in reading them). The stories are rich and light at the same time, and even more importantly, each is vastly different, showing just how far Meno has stretched his imagination and ours as the reader. One story is even about a miniature elephant! Meno continues to perfect his ability to break and mend my heart in the same instance. A few of the stories left me wiping tears from my face before I could continue to the next one. I cannot express enough how much appreciation, admiration, and love I have for Joe Meno's writing. His intensely direct and spacious style may not be for everyone, but if your heart needs touched and your imagination needs hugged in a new way, don't hesitate to read this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Frobisher on December 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Got to go with Ryan Jude on this one. Already a big fan of Meno, but was not at all let down by this book.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Sas on August 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
David Eggers' gushing blurb tipped me to read this, but almost every story read like an exercise. The themes are quite diverse, but none felt inspired, as one story takes a poke at some little corner of historical trivia (the bank robbery that gave rise to the term "Stockholm Syndrome,", or a voyage into the creepy, or an highly contrived spookiness (a cop who belongs to the Kiss Army watches a black hole swallow much of his dingy little city). The writing would best thrill teenagers, who would enjoy the weird, and would not be as vulnerable to being annoyed at the lack of insight/sympathy into the characters sketched.
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