Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Future Missionaries of America” as Want to Read:
Future Missionaries of America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Future Missionaries of America

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A waiter at Yellowstone National Park seeks consolation in the arms of his dead friend's girlfriend. A young woman vacationing in Idaho becomes obsessed with a female poet and her adopted child. A deadbeat bus-driver with a gambling addiction watches his son attempt the impossible at the X Games. A widow, retreating to a New Hampshire lake house, finds her son living there ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by MacAdam/Cage Publishing
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Future Missionaries of America, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Future Missionaries of America

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 122)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
M. Sarki

The title of this book by Matthew Vollmer it is not one that would have even remotely made my radar. It honestly makes me cringe. Many years ago I had already served my long sentence as prisoner to missionaries whether it had been my buddy Phil's preacher's-son recklessness, my own raging addiction to drugs and alcohol, or putting out the wild fires igniting in a life I had so sickly, and surely almost permanently, created for myself. There weren't too man
Liza Gilbert
The run-on sentences in these short stories are hard to stomach. I don't think FMoA sucked, but I can name other short story collections that have affected me more. I stopped FMoA after two stories and thought about getting a drink.

The first story, about death, sex, and natural parks, was a bit obvious. [Sleeping with your best friend's girlfriend:] cuts away to [throbbing geisers:] cuts away to [running through the woods:] cuts away to [stinky, sticky sex:]. In my opinion you don't really need
Okay, so maybe I know the author, and maybe I liked his work when we were in school together, but this is a damn good collection of short stories!

I just set the book down after finishing the last story, which destroyed me then re-assembled me somehow. Is it possible to recognize yourself in every character in a book? If so, you are either a narcissist, or.. the author knows what it's like to be alive. I claim a combination of both in this case. Even the most flawed and broken of characters in
Funny story involving this book.

I'm a subscriber to the literary magazine Epoch (put out by Cornell), which I recommend for its short stories but not its poetry. Well, at the end of Vol. 57, #2 of Epoch was a story called The Future Missionaries of America, an awesome love story between the narrator, cynical girl-with-black-fingernails, and a nearly fundamental Christian boy named Melashenko who become "parents" of a robot-baby given to them as part of a Health class.

Yes that's right. A robot ba
I know Matt and I've always liked his writing, and this collection did not disappoint. Love the language, particularly the energy in the opening story, which sets the tone for a collection that's going to be really inventive, bold, and engrossing. Some really excellent stories in here.
From an interview I did, for the Tottenville Review, with Matthew Volmer:

Matthew Vollmer is the author of two short story collections: the critically lauded Future Missionaries of America, a beautifully crafted sampling of spiritual longing and religious legacies amidst the lives of contemporary Americans, and, still fresh from the presses, Inscriptions for Headstones, an ambitious, poetic, and really quite singular work. There’s nothing else like it in the world. Close on the heels of his lates
Vollmer knows how to end a story like no one I've read before. There are no shocks or lingering emotions in his prose. His words come in quickly as if on the crest of a wave, then depart smoothly without tension or loss.
Vollmer's writing deserves 5 stars. Beautiful turns of phrase, and well-described unusual settings. That said, I "appreciated" most of these stories more than I "enjoyed" them. The characters' lives are so bleak, and for the most part, there's no hope that they'll ever find the insight and willpower to break out of their downward spiral. When a story takes on such hard-to-face topics like bereavement and mental illness, the addition of a little humor (however dark and twisted) gives the reader a ...more
I'm giving this four stars mostly for two stories I really liked ("Future Missionaries of America", where two friends take care of a robot baby for a school project, and "Will & Testament", where a letter directs strangers to dispose of a body), but some of these fell flat for me, and sometimes the dialogue felt false, especially given the author (who can't convincingly write a character who says "Ya'll know how ho's be trippin'").
Mar 11, 2012 Gabriel added it
Shelves: 2012
There is a stumbling momentum to this collection, a presaging of horrible accidents to come that deepens with each story until you come to "Will & Testament." What could be more disastrous? The last story, the longest, "Future Missionaries of America," is also my favorite here.
Becca Gomes
Jul 16, 2008 Becca Gomes marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this... the stories are written by a good friend of a good friend of mine. He teaches at Virginia Tech and his mockery of the "Emerging Church" brings many thoughts to light about the way our generation has been raised to proselytize.
Mike Ingram
Unlike NewPages, I was not at all reminded of Bela Fleck while reading this book. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with Bela Fleck.

Review to follow on Barrelhouse site, possibly...
Reminded me of Greg Saunders. It's difficult to get everything portioned out correctly within the confines of a short story, but Vollmer does it consistently.
I don't normally read short stories; however, this one was cool. Lots of stories that Just made you think....
Just couldn't get into the flow of the author's style. A lot of gratuitous complexity, I thought.
GREAT writing and collection of stories. I will keep my eyes on this writer.
Read the first two stories. Not my style, though well written.
US: Khristina Wenzinger
Adam marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2015
Sheldon Lee Compton
Sheldon Lee Compton marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2015
Bill Householder
Bill Householder marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2015
Jordan Hoxsie
Jordan Hoxsie marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2015
Jesse Baer
Jesse Baer marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2015
Reid marked it as to-read
Jan 01, 2015
Guy marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2014
Jerrod marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
Natalie marked it as to-read
May 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Inscriptions for Headstones A Book of Uncommon Prayer: An Anthology of Everyday Invocations Gateway to Paradise: Stories Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts Ploughshares Winter 2014-15

Share This Book