A Better Angel
The stories in A Better Angel describe the terrain of human suffering—illness, regret, mourning, sympathy—in the most unusual of ways. In “Stab,” a bereaved twin starts a friendship with a homicidal fifth grader in the hope that she can somehow lead him back to his dead brother. In “Why Antichrist?” a boy tries to contact the spirit of his dead father and finds himself
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The man is a freaking genius. Seriously, go read his bio - it's insane.
I loved every single story in this collection and I can't wait to read The Children's Hospital.
Done and dusted. A new author to follow.
I’m always especially intrigued by books written by physicians, envying them their overachieving capabilities. And look at the author photo on the back flap of the dust jacket. Such boyish good looks, such Mid-West clean-scrubbed open face and twinkling eyes. But his aw-shucks smile looks a bit sheepish. Perhaps because he can almost hear the reader’s disbelieving comment, “ ...more
This collection has a significantly unified tone, almost a subdued desperation blended with a wonderfully enabling innocence. It was rewarding to read it ...more
This review does a more even-handed job of analysing this than I would; suffice it to say that I, for my part, will not read anything else by Chris Adrian.
But my ever-changing, ever-adapting taste has moved to reading more short story collectio ...more
The tales in A Better Angel nearly all feature children or teens, most carrying some kind of "mark" which separate ...more
The author is a paediatric oncologist (as well as a novelist and a " ...more
With that skepticism in hand, I bought this as an e-book based solely off an Aaron Bady reference to "a kid in 19th century Ohio who has visions of 9/11" which is about as perfect an e ...more
I’m torn between liking and hating this. I love the themes but the ...more
The actually are some good stories in this anthology. I thought the stories that touched on 9/11 were visceral and though provoking and I would have liked more in that vein.
Unfortunately, most of the stories felt similar to The Children's Hospital. There's something ...more
This is my first encounter with Adrian. If he was just a writer, I would say that he definitely captures something, something very dark yet still palpable in what is to be a child, especially in our often perverse modern world. "Stab," about a conjoined twin whose sibling has died and his "friend" who kills the neighborhood animals, was my favorite, but "High Speeds," "The Sum of Our Parts," and "A Child's Book of Sickness and Death" were powerful stories too. The three sto ...more
In “The Sum of Our Parts,” one of the stories included in A Better Angel, the reader is introduced to Beatrice, a comatose woman with an “unusual condition” that allows her soul to wander unseen through the hospital while her body awaits a new liver. She cultivates a particular fondness for the workers in the pathology department, one of whom remarks that he has been in love with her since he “heard her story and handled her blood for the first time ...more
Original review:The Children's ...more