The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories

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9780060007454: The Torturer's Apprentice: Stories

Powerful, moving and elegant, these stories cover every aspect of the human condition, from tales of the family to those of the macabre...

A man watches his family dine as he sits in his car at the kerb, and realises he lives in a household of strangers . . . Menaced by a gang of skinheads in a Jewish cemetery, an American tourist in Germany placates the Neo-Nazis with a formula he continues to repeat even after he is safely back home . . . the problem of a ghost in a nursery . . . the often surprising demands of love . . .

These elegant, eloquent stories engage the world in sometimes shocking ways, surprising in their plotting, sly in their humour. Such mastery of craft is impressive, and whether it seeks to amuse or move, each story has the power and style to affect the reader to the very core...

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Review:

This is bitter family rivalry mixing modern-day fiction and some Shakespearian tragedy at its best...A skilful first-novel ( WESTERN MAIL CARDIFF MAGAZINE)

An absorbing collection with a pleasing ability to expand beyond rational limits into fantasy, which left this reader eager for more. Readers' groups should enjoy this talented and multifaceted writer ( NEW BOOKS MAGAZINE)

Book Description:

A brilliant collection of tales from 'a marvellously talented writer' [Esquire], author of the acclaimed, award-winning OYSTER.

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Book Description HarperCollins, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This brilliant debut collection of stories by O. Henry Award winner John Biguenet is as notable for the rigor of its intellect as for the sweep of its imagination. Whether recounting the predicament of an atheistic stigmatic in The Vulgar Soul or a medieval torturer who must employ his terrible skills upon his own apprentice in the title tale, these stories decline to settle for ready sentiments or easy assurances. Rather than add to the massive canon of the victimized, for example, My Slave takes the perspective of the victimizer. In The Open Curtain, a man achieves intimacy with his family only when he recognizes -- watching them dine as he sits in his car at the curb -- that he lives in a household of strangers. Menaced by a gang of skinheads in a Jewish cemetery, an American tourist in Germany placates the Neo-Nazis with a formula he continues to repeat even after he is safely back home in I Am Not a Jew. And as for love, it makes demands in such stories as Do Me that shake our very notions of what it means to love. If these stories engage the world in sometimes shocking ways, they are virtuoso engagements, eloquent in their prose, surprising in their plotting, sly in their humor. Biguenet shifts among voices and narrative strategies and imposes neither a single style nor a repeated structure as he depicts the ecological catastrophe of A Plague of Toads, the problem posed by a ghost in the nursery in Fatherhood, and the ghastly discovery a grieving widower defends as another kind of memory in Rose. Such mastery of craft may come as a surprise in a first-time author, but even more impressive is the object of his art. For whether it seeks to prick or to tickle, each story in The Torturer s Apprentice addresses its subject with an authority unusual in contemporary literature as it entices the reader beyond the boundaries of the expected and the accepted. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060007454

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Book Description HarperCollins, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This brilliant debut collection of stories by O. Henry Award winner John Biguenet is as notable for the rigor of its intellect as for the sweep of its imagination. Whether recounting the predicament of an atheistic stigmatic in The Vulgar Soul or a medieval torturer who must employ his terrible skills upon his own apprentice in the title tale, these stories decline to settle for ready sentiments or easy assurances. Rather than add to the massive canon of the victimized, for example, My Slave takes the perspective of the victimizer. In The Open Curtain, a man achieves intimacy with his family only when he recognizes -- watching them dine as he sits in his car at the curb -- that he lives in a household of strangers. Menaced by a gang of skinheads in a Jewish cemetery, an American tourist in Germany placates the Neo-Nazis with a formula he continues to repeat even after he is safely back home in I Am Not a Jew. And as for love, it makes demands in such stories as Do Me that shake our very notions of what it means to love. If these stories engage the world in sometimes shocking ways, they are virtuoso engagements, eloquent in their prose, surprising in their plotting, sly in their humor. Biguenet shifts among voices and narrative strategies and imposes neither a single style nor a repeated structure as he depicts the ecological catastrophe of A Plague of Toads, the problem posed by a ghost in the nursery in Fatherhood, and the ghastly discovery a grieving widower defends as another kind of memory in Rose. Such mastery of craft may come as a surprise in a first-time author, but even more impressive is the object of his art. For whether it seeks to prick or to tickle, each story in The Torturer s Apprentice addresses its subject with an authority unusual in contemporary literature as it entices the reader beyond the boundaries of the expected and the accepted. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060007454

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