This collection of stories captures people in the middle of their lives and on the verge of change when things are almost willing themselves to fall apart. Jobs, mariages and hopes disintegrate while peopleseek answers and strategies.
Many short story collections contain a few gems (one at the beginning, usually, and maybe one at the end) with a lot of filler, but this collection is strong from start to finish. Although they often deal with uneducated down-and-out characters the stories have an intellectual and philsophical bite that is hard to ignore. Complicated, well-written fiction.
The short story is alive and very well
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
"Because Nickerson hit a dog, he lost a hubcap." That is the opening line of "Nickerson's Luck," the first story in this collection of poignant stories by Alaska resident Frank Soos. Soos held me captive right from the start with that first line. With sharp, funny language he evokes the way in which we're all connected by fate and events beyond our control. In the collection's title piece, a character believes airplanes are held up in the sky by people on the ground who watch them with "acts of collective concentration." Soos has an evident love for his characters which shines through in the language on every page. In the past, he's stated that Alice Munro is the author he admires the most. There are echoes of the Candian short story writer throughout "Unified Field Theory." I enjoyed Soos' first collection, "Early Yet," but this latest book shows a definite maturation on his part. I can't wait for the next Soos to hit the shelves!
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