39th out of 49 books — 38 voters
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by John Fulton
The stories in John Fulton’s striking debut collection are set in cars, laundromats, motels, ranch houses, androadside diners, where his characters struggle with and against the demands of family loyalty, love, loss, andsexual desire. A teenage girl attempts to lose her virginity while her mother dies at home; a middle-aged Casanova passes himself off as Barry Manilow—much ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 6th 2001 by Picador
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There's a common theme to this collection - teenagers suffering because of parents who are neglectful, crazed, absent, dying or dead. All the stories are moving and you see lots of situations that are unexpected - boys who are intimidated by sexually aggressive girls, kids who rage against the world in small, believable ways when faced with a parent's death. But these aren't the clever, wisecracking teens and dopey, clueless parents that are the staple of so many TV sitcoms. The parents have all ...more
A candid look at middle-america; this collection of stories was disturbing at times, but only because it was so believable. These stories are carried by the non-glamorized, non-censored inner thoughts of Fulton's characters. It was much like reading non-fiction. Sometimes like stumbling upon the private journal of an adolescent boy; an alcoholic middle aged man; a teenage girl...I enjoyed this book, but I still can't get the grit out of my teeth from some of the stories.