Ice Age by Robert Anderson

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Synopsis

The ten stories in Robert Anderson's debut collection are an inventive and daring foray into the world of the absurd. Leading us across a wide range of settings, from rural Texas to 1930s Spain to a Gulf War field hospital, Anderson shifts our view of the world to incorporate a set of characters slightly off-center and intriguing in their eccentricity. As he casts his writer's spyglass over their atypical lives, they begin to seem natural, universal, almost the norm. Anderson tempts us further to believe his sometimes harrowing vision by incorporating some well-known personalities from our time.

In the opening story, "Mother Tongue", Anderson merges fact and fiction to penetrate novelist Norman Mailer's psyche. In "Death and the Maid", a Texas family earns $300 per body from the county to bury vagrants and prisoners next to their home. In other stories, Jimi Hendrix makes his posthumous return to Los Angeles and Leonard Bernstein receives a letter from Catherine of Siena. A woman held prisoner beneath an unspecified American metropolis is rescued amid frenzied media attention but refuses to leave her sanctuary. As we are tossed from one bizarre circumstance to the next, Anderson's sophisticated, sometimes playful prose combines the concrete with the surreal to convince us that we know very little about the world we complacently inhabit.

 

About Robert Anderson

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ROBERT ANDERSON was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1964. He grew up outside of Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota. He came to New York in 1986 and lived for many years in Times Square residential hotels-the Vigilant, the Woodward, and the St. James-while working as a cook and writing. His first book, the short-story collection "Ice Age," won the University of Georgia Press's Flannery O'Connor Award in 2000.
 
Published October 20, 2000 by University of Georgia Press. 200 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Perhaps the best of these is an addled memoir of sorts by an ancient silent-film star, recalling her glory days with a grandiose, eccentric director, who ponders the memorable question: “Is there an animal that melts?` Anderson has an uncanny knack for entering the minds of his characters at wi...

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Publishers Weekly

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Engaging in a long one-sided conversation with a Mrs. Buxton, her first state-executed guest: ""She apologized for taking up the better part of the day getting Mrs. Buxton `settled in' and particularly for the three-hour wait in the tractor shed--her pastor was undergoing therapy for pedophilia."...

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The British Fantasy Society

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria land on a frozen Earth, where humanity makes a last-ditch attempt to hold back the glaciers with a computer-controlled ioniser.

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The Trades

The Men Who Stare At Goats DVD Review - Mar 22, 2010 "The Men Who Stare At Goats" is another case where I enjoyed the movie more at home than theatrically, and Anchor Bay's package certainly helps.

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