Stories. January 18, 2022. 152 pages, paperback, perfect bound.
A collection of weird, surreal, inventive stories ranging from six sentences to eight pages. Animals in this book include ants, mice, birds, dogs, octopuses, sharks, whales. Settings include kitchens, bathrooms, camping grounds, gas stations, graveyards, rocket ships, golf courses. Activities include driving, converting files, setting things on fire, eating pizza, showering, planking, and visiting the White House.
"Stories that will surprise you again and again with touching revelations about the lonely insanity of our world. Refreshingly bold and insane."
—Mark Leidner, author of Returning the Sword to the Stone
"Apocalyptic fire, gnostic world-hatred and the philosophy of futility reveal themselves in mundane absurdities and banalities. Zac Smith shows us that we're still not nihilistic enough; we're still too hopeful. This book sends out dark but mirthful energy waves into the night."
—Lars Iyer, author of Nietzsche and the Burbs
"Zac's book helped me see the world in new and surprising ways, which is my favorite thing books can do. These stories are lovely."
—Andrew Weatherhead, author of $50,000
"The stories on pages 3, 14, 22, 24, 29, 31, 34, 41, 43, 56, 62, 64, 76, 87, 89, 93, 96, 97, 103, 105, 107, 110, 111, 115, 118, 121, 122, 124, 126, 135, 143, 144, 146 made me laugh. The stories on pages 3, 12, 22, 27, 29, 31, 34, 39, 43, 49, 54, 56, 58, 62, 69, 72, 74, 75, 76, 83, 86, 87, 93, 97, 103, 114, 122, 126, 135, 140 caused me to feel pleasantly heartached in their relation of truths I've either observed independently, or that I came to understand about life, as I read. The stories on pages 3, 14, 29, 34, 41, 43, 49, 56, 62, 64, 75, 76, 83, 89, 93, 96, 103, 107, 110, 111, 115, 118, 124, 126, 135, 144 struck me as original, imaginative, and surprising (tonally, structurally, and/or in subject matter); I had no idea where these stories were going. The main image of the story on page 43 has popped into my mind around ten times since reading this collection two months ago; I think about it often when driving. After reading the stories on pages 29, 93, 144, I handed the book to another person who I excitedly told to 'read this,' who did so and laughed, said things like 'what the fuck,' and read sentences aloud that had also delighted me when I'd read them."
—Megan Boyle, author of Liveblog
"This is a book full of constant contradiction and constant surprise [...] I'm fascinated by the writing here. I think of it as being much like the Hemingway of his earliest stories, and I think his best ones, In Our Time. It's the declaration of things that could not be said any other way, that usually don't get said."
—Michael Silverblatt, Bookworm
Zac Smith is the co-author of Two Million Shirts (2021) and the author of 50 Barn Poems (2019). He lives in Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter.
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