Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir by Joe Meno
Stories

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Synopsis

Children who anesthetize - and dress up - small wild animals in an ill-fated attempt to cheer their grieving mother; childhood friends who ritually return every year to the site of their near-kidnapping; an awkward teen trying to find his place among the cultural ruins of Greek Mythology Camp; brothers brought together, if not by mutual understanding, by a strange need to steal airport baggage: these are some of the characters who inhabit - and invariably tell - the stories in Joe Meno's "Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir". Oddballs and charmers and would-be lovers, they are souls not so much lost as wandering, looking for something better, almost getting laid, trying to explain or, if all else fails, to entertain - and this they unfailingly do. Rarely has fiction so understated produced such hilarity and heartbreak. Novelist, music journalist, and playwright Meno writes squarely in the American tradition of wringing large effects from small change, revealing the subtlety in the broad stroke, and conveying complexity with seeming simplicity. Celebrated for its "unflinching honesty" (Entertainment Weekly) and for its "poetic and visceral style" (Booklist), his work resonates with the unmistakable magic and curious mystery of modern life.
 

About Joe Meno

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Joe Meno is the author of  The Boy Detective Fails (Akashic/Punk Planet, 2006), Hairstyles of the Damned (Akashic/Punk Planet, 2004), How the Hula Girl Sings (Akashic/Punk Planet, 2005), and Tender as Hellfire (St. Martin’s, 1999). Meno lives in Chicago, where he teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.
 
Published November 4, 2005 by Triquarterly. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir

Kirkus Reviews

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More mundane matters prevail in such stories as “Mr. Song,” which portrays a cad who pays the aged crooner in the apartment next door to sing ballads through the thin walls as a way of setting the mood, and “I’ll Be Your Sailor,” in which a schlemiel carries on a benighted affair with a woman in ...

Oct 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Bluebirds Used to Croon in th...

Entertainment Weekly

The absurd sits uncomfortably beside the everyday in Joe Meno's story collection.

Nov 16 2005 | Read Full Review of Bluebirds Used to Croon in th...

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