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McSweeney's Issue 30 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) Paperback – March 3, 2009
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Stories included are:
Bill Cotter- Pfaff II
Nick Ekkixogloy- Stowaways
Kevin Moffett- Further Interpretation of Real Life Events
Etgar Keret-Bad Karma
Shelly Oria- The Beginning of a Plan
Michael Cera- Pinecone
Carson Mell-Diamond Aces
J. Malcolm Garcia-Cuts
Catherine Bussinger- Foothill Boulevard
An edition worth buying if you're looking for a few hours of solid reading.
The design is interesting - unique and uncomplicated, representative of the time that it was published (Obama taking over for Bush). If the design is light, the font is a bit chunkier, but small, thin drawings scattered throughout each story break up the text well.
Overall, a great collection of stories, many of which contain memorable characters who are realistic, dimensional and relatable. This issue contains Michael Cera's first published story ("Pinecone") and although it's a quick read and interesting with spots of genuine humor, it largely comes off as an inferior extension of Cera's acting. In some areas, descriptions and dialogue seem trite; it's difficult to see the main character at the age and mental stage he's supposed to inhabit, and for the most part, the story carries no dynamic motion that propels anything forward. It's as though this story could (and would) happen on a weekly basis in the life of the main character, Carroll Silver. The character's ranting, perhaps intended to be a mix of clever and cynical, comes off stilted and childish. Fans of Cera will see traces of his movie characters, however, and this seems to be the story's redeeming feature and, I suspect, the reason it was published at all.
The rest of the stories are excellent, including Wells Tower's "Retreat," a story originally published in McSweeney's 23 and now told from the perspective of a different character. I haven't read the original, but am very interested after reading its updated counterpart.Read more ›
The writing: Issue 30 has the just absolutely-wow-wonderful "Retreat" by Wells Tower, which unfortunately causes all other stories to pale in comparison, but Kevin Moffett's and Shelly Oria's stories are also standouts, the first a fun and clever metafictional account about an author who's outdone in literary journals by his nonwriter father, the second a sharp idea about stopping and starting time--an idea that's written with the pedantic accuracy of science fiction. It's not just an idea, though, but a strong story around an idea, and has some terrific lines. "Pinecone" by Michael Cera is a lot of fun, an effortlessly readable story even more enjoyable for not being at all "literary." There are only two duds, those by Nick Ekkizogloy and Catherine Bussinger, the first a dull nonstarter, the second an out-of-place exercise in obnoxious sass and clownish characters that's less and less funny the more it strains to be. The other five stories are all solid, potent and effective--an overall strong collection, and another winner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a quirky collection of essays from a variety of sources. Written, graphic, funny, sad, shocking, all are timeless. It is a recommended read.Published on July 7, 2013 by John S.
This is the first issue of McSweeney's to come out after Bush's presidency and the cover says it all - REJOICE! followed by "It's too late to screw it all up, right? Read morePublished on August 8, 2010 by Sam Quixote