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Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine: Stories af Kevin…
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Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine: Stories (udgave 2019)

af Kevin Wilson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
741291,884 (4)Ingen
"Hands down my favorite book of the year." -- Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of The Dutch House and Commonwealth  From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang comes his first short story collection in nearly a decade, combining his signature quirkiness with his keen eye for emotional complexity to explore the fraught relationship between parents and children. "Wildfire Johnny" is the story of a man who discovers a magic razor that allows him to travel back in time. "Scroll Through the Weapons" is about a couple taking care of their underfed and almost feral nieces and nephews. "Signal to the Faithful" follows a boy as he takes a tense road trip with his priest. And "Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine," the title story, is about a narcissistic rock star who moves back home during a rough patch. These stories all build on each other in strange and remarkable ways, showcasing Wilson's crackling wit and big heart. Filled with imagination and humor, Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine is an exuberant collection of captivating and charmingly bizarre stories that promise to burrow their way into your heart and soul.… (mere)
Medlem:KelleyHartnett
Titel:Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine: Stories
Forfattere:Kevin Wilson (Forfatter)
Info:Ecco (2019), Edition: Unabridged, 288 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine: Stories af Kevin Wilson

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Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine by Kevin Wilson is such a bizarre, rich collection of short stories that I’ve ordered two more of his titles. As for this particular title, I quote Ann Patchett, “Hands down my favorite book of the year.” In my reviews, I am always chattering on about good short story writers showing such variety in their work, but not only does Wilson write all manner of stories, but he does all of them impressively and memorably. He will go from an active story with big gestures, plot twists, and wild happenings, to a tender, understated story that so very quiet and human. Wilson’s great sense of humor infects most all of the clever stories in this collection. Laughing at his work makes me think about how fun and instructive it would be to take one of his fiction classes he teaches at the University of the South in Tennessee. In several of the reviews of his books that I’ve read, Salinger’s name is mentioned, and while I can see it, I’m just going to go with it being 100% Kevin Wilson.

The collection starts with “Scroll Through the Weapons” and its great first line, hinting at the strangeness headed the reader’s way. “It was almost midnight when my girlfriend got a call from her sister, who had been arrested for taking a kebab skewer at a cookout and stabbing her husband.” If time travel seems like the answer to the problems in your life, take the story “Wildfire Johnny” for a spin. After finding a very special knife, the main character of the story has the ability to travel back 24 hours whenever his life goes wrong, but it requires some commitment. You see, he has to completely slit his throat, but then he’ll find himself perfectly fine and a day earlier. Then he can simply goes about doing things to avoid or correct the problems of his upcoming life.

In other stories, I find myself just loving a turn of phrase, like in “A Visit” when a wife reflects on her spouse, “Her husband was snoring like a drugged elk.” Or, as in “Housewarming” when another four-legged animal is central to the story, as in removing a floating and decomposing deer from a pond before a party strains the relationship between two men. In “No Joke, This Is Going To Be Painful,” a young girl is fired from a cashier’s job (“I didn’t get fired for stealing. I got fired for not telling them that I was stealing.”) and has to move in with her disapproving sister. She strikes up a relationship with a married man—they love to fill their pockets and have ice fights (okay?)—but the affair end and the young girl then reflects on her life. “I had devised a theory that if I had some friends, I might not be so quick to want everyone around me to be miserable.”

Like many writers, Wilson loves to play with misdirection, but in “A Signal to the Faithful” he gets the reader coming and going in a story that at times is both ominous and tender. Edwin is an altar boy with a problem of passing out at inopportune times. But then this reader’s mind shot off in another direction when his priest loses his sister and needs an altar boy for her service, which involves an overnight trip. Yeah, we have a young boy and a priest heading off to a motel room, and predictable and most inappropriate/appropriate thoughts take flight. In a beautifully rendered series of scenes, the story shifts to the priest’s loneliness, the two of them stating their love for each other, and nothing happens that could be labeled filthy pedophilia.

In my opinion, the one, let me stress ONE weak story in the whole collection was “The Horror We Made.” After converting a planned pajama party into the making of a horror movie … forget it, I hated it and I’ll only write bitter things.

There were two very interesting stories that were fascinating for all they touched on. In “Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine,“ a woman’s son has to move back home after all his band’s equipment is stolen and the band breaks up. They had hit it big years before, and experienced most every American band’s “wet dream” of having their hit song played in an ad during the Super Bowl. But things faded and the Dead Finches were seemingly completely dead as a group. The story reflects on how people perceive success and failure in their lives, and how parents and their kids see their relationships in time. Possibly the son was finding a new way in life, but then a bandmate calls to say that their crowdfunding site has hit it big, and the tour is on again—forget all that reflecting on things. The other story, “The Lost Baby” was about new parents leaving their baby with their next-door neighbors, who they barely knew, but these parents hadn’t had a night for themselves for so long. Then, they get a frantic phone call at the restaurant. The baby’s gone. Lots of police, many different theories, and few clues move the story to years later, when the couple is separated and have learned nothing of their son. Then, while the mother is at a poetry reading, “She looked away from the manuscript pages and stared into the face of her son.” Yes, it was him and the couple, the family, is quickly back together. “Paul and Meggy simply held on to their son, the thing between them, that held them together, that they had lost and somehow found, they had found him and they would never ever lose him again.” I found it moving in showing how people relate with and through others. Love is a fascinating power.

Now, I come to the story that blew my socks off. “Sanders for a Night” is a quiet story of a divorced mother struggling in her new job and her son Greg in the third grade, both haunted by the death of an older brother two years earlier. Too often Marta finds herself being chastised by the teachers when she’s late picking up Greg after school. One day the principal is with the son and he asks to talk with her. A teacher had asked the class to write about what their costume would be for Halloween. Greg had written, “I am going to be my brother Sanders for Halloween. Even though he died and isn’t here anymore, I think that he would really like this idea.” The mother and son talk, and Marta gets him a store-bought costume. As he’s about to go out on Halloween, Marta hugs him and smells cedar. You see, she had hung onto some of Sanders clothes and things in a box hidden in her cedar-lined closet, where Greg had discovered them. She finds Greg’s Sanders costume under the lame one she’d bought him. When she breaks down, he tells here that he’s sorry and he’ll take it off. He explains that he didn’t think it mattered to her, as he didn’t think she thought about Sanders anymore, because she never spoke about him. As she holds him, they both find themselves clinging to each other. The story ends with the following. “I don’t want you to go anywhere. Don’t you dare leave me.” Greg finally went slack and fell into Marta. Though something inside of her kept reminding her that she had to get up off the floor, stop crying, try to fix all this, she just held on to her son, the one who was still alive, and refused to let go.”

Sure, I’m one of those sensitive ponytail men, but I find Kevin Wilson one of the very finest writers around. He brings it all to the page and if you haven’t read him, you owe it to yourself to correct that deficiency. ( )
  jphamilton | Jan 13, 2021 |
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"Hands down my favorite book of the year." -- Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of The Dutch House and Commonwealth  From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang comes his first short story collection in nearly a decade, combining his signature quirkiness with his keen eye for emotional complexity to explore the fraught relationship between parents and children. "Wildfire Johnny" is the story of a man who discovers a magic razor that allows him to travel back in time. "Scroll Through the Weapons" is about a couple taking care of their underfed and almost feral nieces and nephews. "Signal to the Faithful" follows a boy as he takes a tense road trip with his priest. And "Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine," the title story, is about a narcissistic rock star who moves back home during a rough patch. These stories all build on each other in strange and remarkable ways, showcasing Wilson's crackling wit and big heart. Filled with imagination and humor, Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine is an exuberant collection of captivating and charmingly bizarre stories that promise to burrow their way into your heart and soul.

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