Drowning in Gruel by George Singleton

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Acclaimed short-story master George Singleton follows the lives and schemes of the citizens of fictitious Gruel, South Carolina, in search of glory, seclusion, money, revenge, and a meaningful existence. In these nineteen tales, young Gruelites learn lessons when confronted with neighbors who might not be as blind as they appear, dermatologists intent on eradicating birthmarks, and fathers prone to driving on half-inflated tires in order to flirt with cashiers. Meanwhile, the town's older citizens try to make sense out of dogs that heal wounds, lawn-mowing dead men, wives who don't appreciate gas masks for Valentine's Day, and children who mix their mother's ashes with housepaint. Hilarious and tragic, George Singleton's unforgettable characters try to overcome their limitations as best they can.

About George Singleton

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GEORGE SINGLETON lives in Pickens County, South Carolina, with ceramicist Glenda Guion and their mixture of strays. More than a hundred of his stories have been published nationally in magazines and anthologies. He teaches writing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.
Published June 5, 2006 by Mariner Books. 324 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The guy who sells gas masks as the perfect Valentine’s Day present to protect the one you love in “Snipers” is balanced by the heart-attack victim who cuts a swathe through his neighbors’ backyards on a power lawnmower in “John Cheever, Rest in Peace,” a sardonic riff on “The Swimmer.” Perhaps th...

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Publishers Weekly

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Singleton returns to the small South Carolina town where he set his acclaimed first novel, Novel , for this delightfully obsessive collection of stories, which reads like a group celebration of the excess and eccentricities found in the tiny Southern hamlet of Gruel.

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USA Today

Singleton, who also set his novel Novel in Gruel featuring some of the same characters, is an ace at locating the pathos beneath the deadpan laughs.

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