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Hansen’s (A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, 2011) rich collection of new and selected stories blends the well-traveled landscape of the past and modern, cerebral perspectives both restless and uncompromising. “Wilde in Omaha” follows an eager journalist trailing Oscar Wilde in the early 1880s, and the two spend time together during one of the young eccentric’s lecture stops. “Wickedness” moves as quickly as the sudden, devastating Nebraska storm it conjures. In “Playland,” an amusement park created from a 1918 agricultural exhibition is the setting for 17-year-old Bijou, who is torn between her older, disabled-corporal boyfriend and the advances of her egocentric cousin. “A Hazard of New Fortunes” follows a son as he cleans out his dead parents’ apartment; his own insecurities are compounded when he meets the downstairs neighbor. The eerie title tale follows Skeeter and the complications involved with the botched killing of his lover’s husband. The collection’s 19 stories cover a diverse range, from love to murder for hire, dementia, and exile, and are written with precision and depth. --Leah Strauss
"Unforgettable stories, each utterly different from the one before. ... This is writing that slows the breathing." — San Francisco Chronicle
"Extraordinary ... the work of an accomplished craftsman and a superb storyteller. The title story is an absolutely stunning portrayal of a physical place on the Earth. Nebraska — the state, the place — takes on the attributes of a living force, a character in itself, and the effect is a powerful, almost supernatural personification of geography and human culture. You watch the small prairie towns as they live and die. . . Ron Hansen's stories are powered by inexorable currents of fate ... [His] talent for sensuous detail travels very well — to the late 1800's, to the 1940's, to the present day ... With him ... we hear the sound of time passing, the rumble of destiny." — New York Times Book Review
"The land breathing, the sound of the wind, the rush of trains across the empty flatness of a Nebraska midnight. In all, it's the book I expected from Ron Hansen — rich in its art, high in its thematic reach, resonating with the complexities of a dense and fully realized fictional world." — Tim O'Brien
"Beautifully crafted stories. ... Wickedness, evil, malice is called by name; and for Hansen's people the snake in the garden never fails to appear." — New York Times
"Just as Raymond Carver was identified with a Pacific Northwest populated by blue-collar workers, and just as Richard Ford has crafted a Montana full of drifters, so Ron Hansen has carved out his own geographical niche. His Nebraska is a distinctive mix of 19th-century settlers and 1980's breadwinners, of sudden storms and life-long yearnings, of lost souls stranded in the middle of nowhere. It should put him on the short-story map." — USA Today
"Nebraska depicts a rowdy, changing American West with wit and brawny lyricism, in voices ranging from hip to tender, the stories gathered here are as diverse and expansive as the country they celebrate....References to America's heartland abound throughout the book and serve as a central metaphor for what's close to American hearts, what connects us: dreams, myths and possibilities as vast as the Great Plains. Wise and smart alecky, creaking with legend and crackling with modernisms, these tales are about American obsession past and present." — Washington Post Book World
He's a great writer but seven of the stories are in his other collection. To publish an "anthology" with only one other collection out seems wrong.Published 22 months ago by A. Levine
The author has put together a variety of short stories that hold you captive with every situation. Way to go, Ron Hansen. Delightful!Published on July 30, 2013 by MMKerr