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McSweeney's Issue 39 Hardcover – December 27, 2011


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McSweeney's Issue 39 + McSweeney's Issue 41 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) + McSweeney's Issue 40 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern)
Price for all three: $59.08

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's Quarterly Concern; First Edition edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936365103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936365104
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matt M. Martin on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
McSweeney's is back to its wonderful miscellany. Issue 39 is a sharp-looking 283-page hardcover with a varied mixture of styles, topics, and genres. It's low frills presentation-wise, featuring cover and insert photography by Tabitha Soren.

Starting with the best, there's J.T.K. Belle's terrific long story "Carlos the Impossible," about an enormous, indestructible bull and the matador who destroys himself trying to defeat him. It's a "Moby Dick" for the bullring, with an uncommon compassion found between the two warriors, an expertly crafted and beautifully written story.

Other great pieces include Jennie Erin Smith's fascinating essay of reptile smugglers and con artists in Kenya, Uganda, Mexico, New Zealand, and elsewhere, with a focus on one ex-Mormon criminal entrepreneur. It's a footnote to Smith's book "Stolen World" that could be a book in itself. Smith immerses herself perfectly, too: it would have been easy to be judgmental about these scurrilous men, but she lets them speak for themselves.

Jess Walter has a very solid story about a homeless man going about his days however he can, his wife dead, his kid taken to foster care, him not knowing what to do besides panhandle. It's earnest, affecting, and authentic without being cloying or exploitative. Elsewhere, Tom Barbash writes a very engaging essay about the Shah of Iran's PR guy, a well-connected American who traveled with the shah and his family in their luxury exile--a political "Almost Famous." Issue 39 also includes a long poem by Roberto Bolaño, about a band touring the western coast of South America, that recalls every reason why he's a legend.
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