The Wonders of the Invisible World (Paperback)

Author: Gates, David

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Product Overview

The author of the highly acclaimed novels "Jernigan" and "Preston Falls" offers up a mordantly funny collection of short stories about the bargains we make with ourselves to continue the high-wire act of living meaningful lives in late 20th century America.


Publisher Random House Inc
Mfg Part# 9780679756446
SKU 30589306
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0679756442
Release Date 4/1/2000
Dimensions (in Inches) 8H x 5L x 0.5T
"THE WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD often feels as though Gates were trying to challenge himself by writing from a multiplicity of viewpoints--young and old, straight and gay, male and female--all rendered with meticulous emotional detail and an astringent sense of the absurdities and self-indulgences of contemporary life....Though Gates' characters are less romantic than the people in Richard Yates' fiction, they share a similar sense of disappointment and a similar inclination to use alcohol as an escape. Smart, self-conscious and overly articulate, they spend their days measuring the disconnection between their dreams and the daily grind of their lives."
"What we think but don't say, what we say but wish we hadn't, and what we do but can't explain and then go on to do again--these are the messy behavioral foundations of David Gates's uncompromising fiction. [In] his brave new collection of stories, THE WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD, Gates has positioned himself as a new realist at the opposite end of the literary spectrum from the motivational mythologists whose talk-show-themed novels of self-discovery dominate bestseller lists."
"The characters in these stories are cynical and civilized and helplessly caught in their ways.....Gates's writing, with its quick intelligence, makes us understand [them]."
"Each of the stories in this collection turns on the presence, more often the absence, and sometimes just the possibility, of a disinterested love; Gates writes of a generation that tries to act as if such a love were at least possible, but most of whom are too selfish, weak or fearful to give and receive it."
"Gates can be very funny, but he is not a satirist--he doesn't stand that far back from the lives he is considering, and he never offers a glimpse of something else, a better way. He's not a moralizer either, thought his best stories are thick with moral implication....[M]ostly Gates is concerned with creating characters you haven't met in fiction before, getting just right the words they use to disengagedly engage their women and their friends and even their inner selves...."
"Gates writes about real people, adrift in the amorphous sea of adulthood, battered by their own petty compromises, the inability to live up to their better selves....It's a tricky line for a writer to navigate, but it works-both because these individuals, even at their least appealing, are always interesting, and because Gates gets it: the fear, the misgivings, the low-grade existential anguish, all the contemporary conundrums that motivate his characters' lives....[I]n evoking his characters' failings..Gates is onto a way of making fiction that matters."
From the Publisher
Annotation Stories by the author of the acclaimed novel PRESTON FALLS, most of them about Gates's perennial antihero: a middle-aged, sardonic, witty loser who takes a peculiar pleasure in his bad behavior. A New York Times Notable Book in 1999.
Editors Note A remarkable debut collection of short fiction by the critically acclaimed author of Jernigan and Preston Falls includes the title story, "Star Baby," "The Crazy Thought," and "The Mail Lady," in which a stroke victim struggles to find a balance between his still-vital mind and a broken body.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0272
Publisher Vintage Books

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