Assorted Fire Events: Stories

David Means

Wonderfully moving, these are important, generous stories; compassionate expressions of what can destroy, bewilder and console.

This is a tremendous collection from an hugely exciting author. These stories are bold, daring and generous and herald the arrival of one of America’s most talented writers.

From a married man consummating a hazy summer affair and getting lost in a reverie that explains the ‘far-away look in his eyes’ to a recently widowed woman who must decide what to do with the video of her honeymoon love-making, David Means probes the depths of the human heart. The stories are panoramic in scope and exhilirating in their narrative twists; a starving tramp interrupts a wedding reception in New York, altering the lives of all those who are present; a Depression-era hobo clings to the underside of a freight train as it roars through the desert night; a business executive sheds his shoes for an evening walk along the railway tracks and straight into the heart of darkness.

This is a writer who is willing to take a few risks. And through these risks he creates worlds of longing and tragedy; an impression of wholeness emerging through his characters’ scattered lives. Bound to attract critical praise, these tales delve deeper than most stories being published today.

Reviews of Assorted Fire Events: Stories

    • One of the best American collections of the last ten years…This is food for the hungry.’ Jonathan Franzen
    • ‘His writing blazes with originality and self-assuredness…A striking new voice in American fiction.’ The Times
    • ‘Worlds collide and spring apart…this sort of thing happens all the time in life, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone bother to express it so devastatingly in literature.’ Guardian
    • ‘There are stories in this collection that expose the pain of growing up, or the lies within marriage, as well as anything written by anyone, anywhere…The finest collection of stories to appear in years.’ Scotsman
    • ‘Means presents the perfect detail at the perfect time. He has a tender, but revealing grasp of human frailty and – that rare thing – a gift for finding and conveying dignity to his characters.’ A.L. Kennedy