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McSweeney's Issue 45:Hitchcock and Bradbury Fistfight in Heaven. (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) Paperback – December 10, 2013

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About the Author

Dave Eggers lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
 
McSweeney’s began in 1998 as a literary journal that published only works rejected by other magazines. That rule was soon abandoned, and since then McSweeney’s has attracted work from some of the finest writers in the country, including Denis Johnson, Jonathan Franzen, William T. Vollmann, Rick Moody, Joyce Carol Oates, Heidi Julavits, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Ben Marcus, Susan Straight, Roddy Doyle, T.C. Boyle, Steven Millhauser, Gabe Hudson, Robert Coover, Ann Beattie, and many others. At the same time, the journal continues to be a major home for new and unpublished writers; we’re committed to publishing exciting fiction regardless of pedigree.
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Product Details

  • Series: McSweeney's Quarterly Concern (Book 45)
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's (December 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938073630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938073632
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor on January 25, 2014
As a child I always loved finding Alfred Hitchcock's short story anthologies lurking on the shelves of second-hand bookshops. The stories within titles such as "Get Me to the Wake on Time" and "Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV" were full of desperation, madness, perfidy, and bitterly ironic twists.

"McSweeney's 45" returns to this world with a selection from Alfred Hitchcock's anthology "Stories Not for the Nervous" mixed with fantasy stories from Ray Bradbury's "Timeless Stories for Today and Tomorrow". In addition to these tales from the thirties, forties, and fifties are four new stories in the same vein, introductions from Dave Eggers, Bradbury, and Hitchcock, and a selection of letters on the subject of genre fiction. The result is a thoroughly entertaining book and I enjoyed almost every story.

Bradbury's selections include more 'literary' authors you might not expect to find in such anthologies, such as Franz Kafka, John Cheever, and John Steinbeck. These stories are excellent in their own right, but it's also rewarding to read them alongside the lesser-known authors within the genre framework. I particularly enjoyed 'Night Flight' by Josephine Johnson, a strange and moving story about soldiers who discover the power to fly, J. C. Furnas's playful 'The Laocoön Complex', and, on the final pages, 'Don't Look Behind You' which spooked me in spite of myself.

Contents:

The Sound Machine - Roald Dahl
Night Flight - Josephine W. Johnson
Dune Roller- Julian May
The Design - China Miéville
The Laocoön Complex - J. C.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt M. Martin on September 14, 2014
McSweeney's 45 takes a bit of a detour from collecting the best of new writing to focus on the best of old writing. While there are four new stories here, the majority of the pieces are forgotten favorites (many dating from the 1940s and '50s) collected from science fiction anthologies curated by Bradbury and Hitchcock. In that McSweeney's is the foremost champion of the unknown and undiscovered, this issue serves as a grand excavation, going back to the influences of the authors who write for them today.

The issue reads most like McSweeney's Issue 10, the Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales--this is the issue that issue was tilting at. You get a LOT of stories here (448 pages' worth), and most of them are science fictional in some way, though never in the sense of floating through space. Most just feature an endearingly odd conceit, and what the characters at play do with that conceit.

The book features writing giants like John Cheever, John Steinbeck, Franz Kafka, and Roald Dahl, as well as a variety of newcomers (Brian Evenson, E. Lily Yu, Benjamin Percy, and China Miéville), and many writers history has (mostly) forgotten.

For example, the best piece comes from Julian May, who writes about a scientist in rural Michigan who discovers sentient alien globules. The globules become increasingly menacing, leading to a battle between the scientist and the mother globule. It's bracingly original, an interesting and unique concept executed well.

Another great piece comes care of Lucille Fletcher and Allan Ullman. They write a radio play wherein an enfeebled heiress awaiting her husband's return searches the phone lines for him. Through a missed connection, she learns of a murder plot, and the story picks up from there.
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By Allen on May 24, 2015
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Glover on February 21, 2014
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i am seriously thinking of subscribing so i can get more of these. Great reads. how can you go wrong?
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2 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Roy Berger on May 8, 2014
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I DO NOT LIKE FANTASY. THAT IS STORIES ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE AGAINT THE LAWS OF PHYSCS. AND THE FIRST ONE IS. IN THAT STORY A MAN WORKS WITH HIGHER AND HIGHER FREQUENCIES OF VIABRATIONS AND THE WHOLE STORY IS BASED ON THESE HIGHER VIABRATIONS CONTINUE TO BE SOUND WHIC IS ABSURD, THEY BEOME INFRAD RED HEAT AND SO ON UP THE ELECTOR MAGNETIC SCALE.
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McSweeney's Issue 45:Hitchcock and Bradbury Fistfight in Heaven. (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern)
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