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Plan B for the Middle Class: Stories Hardcover – August, 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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The Numberlys Fall Reading
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carlson's winning new collection of short fiction issues from a sensibility set ever so slightly--and variously--askew. His range swings from a surreal monologue by a typical-sounding mother who apparently lives with her children on an aircraft carrier ("On the U.S.S. Fortitude ") to the emotionally disarming lead story "Hartwell," a powerful depiction of the protagonist's self-humiliation as he seeks an end to his loneliness. The author's capacity for such variety is itself disarming; these 11 stories include as well the marginally amusing trifle "Fort Bragg: How Subliminal Advertising Changed My Life," and a more conventional, taut tale of a father attempting to understand his unhappy son's death in Alaska ("Blazo"). It is as if Carlson ( The News of the World ) had expressly set himself a different goal for each tale--long, short, goofy or deadly serious. His expansive talent yields success in all, the best being the first and the last--the title story, about a man reviewing how the past has gotten him to his present, which leads him to reassess where to go from there.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

What a wonderful collection of short stories! These pieces feature men and women in midlife, meeting challenges and adapting to sometimes unforeseen circumstances. Whether the protagonist is Zoo Lewis reminiscing about his teenage sexual awakening while struggling to absorb the loss of his job, or Tom Burns attempting to understand his son's death by traveling to the son's burned-down cabin in Alaska, the experiences ring true. "Hartwell," whose protagonist is an absent-minded professor enamored of a young female student, is a bittersweet tale of manipulation and unrequited love. On a more whimsical note, "Sunny Billy Day" is the arresting tale of a baseball player with the ability to get umpires to retract their calls against him. The writing is clever, the ideas inventive, and the characters empathetic. Carlson's stories have appeared in GQ , The New Yorker , and Playboy , among others. Recommended for most collections.
- Kimberly G. Allen, National Assn. of Home Builders Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (August 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393033708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393033700
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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