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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Winner of the 2013 CBC Overlookie Bookie Award for Most Underrated Canadian Book

"These stories read like collaborations between Stephen King and TMZ with Borges and Nabokov on the edits. Each short story sounds with the thunder of a novel. Enthralling, dark, gut-busting stuff!"—Jeff Parker

Actor Matthew McConaughey descends into a surreal desert of the soul
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Coach House Books (first published March 22nd 2013)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
The second story, Jobbers, is one of the best short stories I have ever read!
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
75 years from now this book will be force fed to high school students around the globe. They will hate it and the silly review questions added between stories (What do you think Miley Cyrus looked like? What clues to her appearance does the author leave through out the story?). 15 years after that the same kids, now grown up, will find a dusty copy of the book while passing time at their inlaws cottage. They don't want to read it because of the memories it brings forth (How do you think the auth ...more
Michael Bryson
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Winner of the CBC's 2013 Overlookie Bookie Award for Most Underrated Canadian Book, Spencer Gordon's Cosmo (Coach House, 2012) is spritely, clever, funny, thoughtful, and restrained.

That last adjective may seem odd. It seems odd to me, given the wide ranging playfulness of this short story collection, but it's a thought that recurred as I made my way through the book.

Restrained, how? In emotion, surely. In perspective, perhaps. In aesthetic approach, maybe. In interests,
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a highly surreal, dark swirl of pop culture, emotions and modern society, sliding the scale from the deliciously, depressingly absurd - Leonard Cohen advertising Subway, a pornstar trying to perform when trapped inside a dinosaur suit - to the minute, sharply human moments that deliver a real punch to the chest - a mother waiting for her increasingly estranged son to sign onto instant messenger, a widower trying to smoke himself to death in his taped-up garage - and everything in-between ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cosmo is a very interesting collection of stories. I was surprised and pleased at the umbrella of content that Gordon captured. His stories were so vastly different, though they all had very topical subject matter. I should say that I had to be in a particular mood to read these stories though. Sometimes I ate them up, other times it took a few tries to get into Gordon’s wordy style.
Either way, I’m happy I did. A single mother using the internet to snoop on her son. Leonard Coen waxing poetic o
Manjot Mann
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
If I could I would give this book 10 stars instead of 5. Simply amazing.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Cosmo's stories are dominated by pop-culture. The title comes from the name of the van that Matthew Mcconaughey drives through the desert in one of the stories, but it could also stand for the magazine Cosmopolitan and its semigloss ads in support of youth, sex, consumerism and stardom. Leonard Cohen considers doing an ad for Subway, a boy tries to survive his horrible family life through his hero worship of professional wrestling, a faded porn star dresses up in a dinosaur costume for his last ...more
Andrés Canella
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Spencer Gordon has a few contemporary short story gems in here with "Jobbers" being the top draw. Like many other anthologies, there is a lot of rough with said diamonds; with some feeling more like literary exercises than engaging stories or snippets. Despite some drawbacks, the overall theme of the anthology is fairly consistent: Gordon is concerned with pop culture and its various facets: celebrities, Miss America contests, pornography, wrestling (the fake kind), and the general malaise of 21 ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The stories in Cosmo are wildly funny, often zany, but always with a huge pumping heart at their center. When working with pop culture as literary material it’s easy to fall into cynicism and irony, but harder to stir up a complex mix of absurdity, complicity, and empathy the way Cosmo does. Additionally, Spencer effortlessly writes from the perspective of a diverse cast of narrators, making white male authors of a certain age who only write white male characters of a certain age look like chump ...more
Joyland Magazine
Jun 29, 2013 marked it as to-read
You can read a story from this collection here:
Nathaniel Moore
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is not your hot step-mother's marginalized CanLit short-story collection.
Sophie Potter
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I found this a bit hit and miss, some stories were really engaging but others just weren't that interesting.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked some of the stories but disliked others. Probably closer to 3.5/5.
Marianne Robin-Tani
Jan 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
More like observations or character studies than stories. Nothing really happened in the few I read.
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Spencer Gordon is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Cosmo (Coach House Books, 2012), called “startling and invigorating” (and “Canada’s Most Underrated Book”) by Quill and Quire, “rare [and] brave” by the National Post, “poignant and hilarious” by This Magazine, “both heartwarming and heartbreaking” by The Winnipeg Review, and “both ridiculous and absolutely perfect” by The Walrus ...more
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“There is no ME without books; they’re everything I remember from childhood, from maturity … All that’s happened to me has been coloured, permanently, by my reading.” 5 likes
“ song, one note that heals the guilty chaos of our days, making sense of our loneliness, our perjured feelings, our sickness and our poverty, how we shall never be beautiful, how our heads will run over with unbearable secrets and how we are sentenced to this, serving us right -- when the song should end, be cut down, finished, and the singer not go on singing.” 1 likes
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