How to describe so diverse a collection of short fiction? Between these covers, the reader finds 22 stories of romance, humor, suspense, sci-fi, and sober reflection on the stuff of life and death.
Powers has peopled his quirky tales with a cast of characters who are sometimes deceptively ordinary: an Air Force trainee pursuing his first sexual encounter; a ten-year-old boy shoplifting a roll of Life Savers candy; a self-conscious woman trying to escape a nightmarish first date; a young door-to-door encyclopedia “consultant” seeking his first sale.
On the less ordinary side are the man willing to risk all in his exploration of lucid dreaming; the attractive alien taking a job as a waitress in a country diner; the man seeing ghost birds no one else can.
All of these stories—these “misadventures”—are vehicles for the author’s wry observations of the human condition. They become reflections on love and death and the passage of time. Powers holds up a mirror before the reader: The joys and sorrows and fears we see are our own. Kudos for a masterful work!
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