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This isn't the sort of thing that happens to someone like you : stories
Jon McGregor
Adult Fiction MCGREGO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This debut collection by Bermuda native and Man Booker Prize-nominee McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things) comprises 30 stories roughly organized by their various British settings. The book includes a few perhaps too-clever experimental short forms mixed with longer traditional stories, which rise to the top as the book's better reads. "In Winter the Sky" juxtaposes free verse narrative poems penned by Joanna and the prose narrative of how she and her husband, George, struggle to profitably operate their family farm. The collection's plum is the ironic, eerie "Wires," where university student Emily Wilkinson's windshield is smashed by a lone sugar beet flying off the back of an open lorry. Rescued by two dubiously chivalrous men, Emily is too busy worrying about breaking up with her ill-tempered boyfriend to sense the danger in her current predicament. The majority of these tales-like the delightfully surreal antiwar satire, "I'll Buy You a Shovel"-are full of quirky characters and accessible enough to hold general readers' interest, while the other pieces will entice fans of experimental literary fiction. Agent: Jin Auh, the Wylie Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The stories in this new collection from McGregor (Even the Dogs) rain down bleak as English weather, and that's meant as a compliment. Set in eastern England, the 30 stories focus on random and violent encounters, with a landscape featuring floods, "cold, wet morning light," and "the swirl and churn of the river playing an equally prominent role." McGregor's sentences are measured and keen-some of the pieces could easily pass as prose poems-and his ear for regional dialog is superb. The scenes are unexpected, as in "The Wires," when a sugar beet comes crashing through a driver's window. What follows is as harrowing as one of Flannery O'Connor's tales. VERDICT A few of the stories are more experimental in style and lack impact. However, unflinching readers of contemporary short stories will relish the great majority of this collection.-Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., Gainesville, FL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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