How do you cope when your best friend is transformed from a clever, decent bloke to a fat, supercilious git? Or when a roast chicken suddenly becomes the symbol of your greatest shame? This tale looks at young men and women trying to get on with their lives in the face of such questions.
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Matthew Klam's male narrators in Sam the Cat hate and need women in equal measure. By and large they're not physically violent men but they do possess a certain free-floating aggression--the by-product of sad childhoods, dads who treated them like losers and moms who weren't quite all there. Indeed, throughout this troubling, masterfully written collection of stories, women never seem truly present, however central they may be. As the typically indiscriminate narrator of "Not This" explains, his girlfriend "fit my idea of the supreme woman. Why? Who gives a shit. We fell in love."
In the title story, which catapulted the author into the spotlight when it ran in The New Yorker, a guy goes out looking to get laid, then finds himself hitting on a man in drag. Other potential mates turn out to be only nominally less ersatz, with eyes "like a plastic doll's." Klam's men know that they're supposed to locate love somewhere among these zombies but they can't find it, and this fills them with irritation and angry longing. Cumulatively, his stories paint a grim picture indeed: one of a bitter, stifled heterosexuality, leading straight to violence or to varying degrees of lifelessness. His taut, spooky prose recalls another connoisseur of erotic disappointment, Lorrie Moore. But where Moore is partial to neurotic women, Klam's subject is the guy who wishes he could transcend himself and be redeemed from the small and angry America in which he's stuck. --Emily WhiteReview:
"* 'Head and shoulders above anything this side of the Atlantic... funny as hell' Zadie Smith, Telegraph * 'A boy's answer to THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING... a hilarious inside-track on men, sex, love and relationships' Matt Thorne * 'Amusing, poignant tales of the city... raucously funny' Financial Times * 'Exact, clever and at times painfully accurate... It does what all good satire should and makes you wince with recognition as well as laugh out loud' Observer * 'Very funny and very sobering... Klam has an excellent eye for absurdity and his writing is infinitely subtle' Telegraph * 'Matthew Klam knows what guys really think... ruthlessly insightful' Harper's Bazaar"
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0140294449I3N00
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