In "Teen Sniper," a lonely 15-year-old LAPD marksman, whose only friend is ROMS, the squad's bomb-detecting robot, can snuff out a life in a heartbeat from 475 meters away yet can't connect with the girl of his dreams standing right in front of his nose. In this unsettling story, the sniper visualizes the impact wounds of his victims--renegade employees of Silicon Valley software companies--as beautiful floral imagery.
Duck, you fool, I can't help whispering.
The slug goes, connects--a neck shot, my trademark, the wound lapping like the tongues of orchid petals. The target's knees go out, and he falls from view, dropping into the beige of his cubicle.A real standout in this powerful collection is "Your Own Backyard." A former police officer turned rent-a-cop works the night shift at a Phoenix zoo, where he has the undesirable job of eliminating the unwanted animals ("young ones, old ones, sick ones, extra ones"). Yellow Post-it notes stuck to the guard shack serve as death sentences, his assignments for the night. This troubled father views his unpredictable young son's increased fascination with violence as the all-too-familiar shadow of a criminal mind in the making. "Trauma Plate" features a teenager acting out against her parents--who run a bulletproof-vest rental shop in a deserted strip mall--by daring her crush to take a shot at her Kevlar covered heart; a Louisiana family counts down the hours until the ATF slams into their home in the atmospheric "The Jughead of Berlin"; and in "The Death-Dealing Cassini Satellite," a 19-year-old slacker occupies his time by driving a party bus filled with the members of his late mother's cancer support group. Despite the unusually edgy nature of the stories, at its core, Emporium is surprisingly moving--its characters aching to connect in an ominous, uncertain world. Keep Adam Johnson on your literary radar; Emporium is a searing debut from a writer to watch. --Brad Thomas Parsons --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I so much looked forward to this book, having just completed the Orphan Master's book. That one was great. Here I read the first story and couldn't see the point of it. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Joseph W.
Interesting, quirky stories from an author who has gone on to win a Pulitzer Prize. His recent novel about North Korea sounds fascinating.Published 17 months ago by SYLVAN SEIDENMAN
I'm not normally a reader of stories. I prefer to sink my teeth into a full-length novel. I'd tackle WAR AND PEACE again before picking up almost any collection of stories. Read morePublished 18 months ago by MoseyOn
I read a story and started another only to decide not to go on. Adam Johnson is really a talented author but this work did not appeal to me.Published on December 4, 2012 by Betty Davis
Witnessing the zany adventures found in Parasites Like Us, I found the promise of a near dozen equally as zany short stories to be inviting. Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by 2theD
I was introduced to Adam Johnson through his first novel "Parasites Like Us" which was a captivating read. "Emporium" did not dissappoint. Quick reads yet captivating.Published on January 21, 2010 by A. DEWAARD
If you read just one of these it may seem fresh and quirky, but the same immature first-person narrator coping with various gimmickry wearied me by the third piece. Read morePublished on September 7, 2009 by ignacio f.
Adam Johnson has some of the best reviews of any young writer in many a day, with great comments coming from none other than Robert Olen Butler, Ron Carlson, Michiko Kakutani, etc. Read morePublished on August 26, 2006 by R. R. McCray
I'd realized that I hadn't read a short-story collection in a while and found myself missing them. So I picked up Emporium because of the rave reviews here. Read morePublished on May 15, 2006 by CoffeeGurl