The Ends of Our Tethers by Alasdair Gray
Thirteen Sorry Stories

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The Ends of Our Tethers is the first work of fiction in seven years by Alasdair Gray. Wonderful and often very funny, this new collection reaffirms Gray as a master of the short story. In "No Bluebeard," a reclusive man, the veteran of three marriages, meets a disturbed and eccentric woman desperate to remain hidden from her family. In "Job's Skin Game," a man develops a skin condition in response to losing his two sons in the Twin Towers and his fortune in the dot-com meltdown. The exquisite pleasure he derives from scratching and peeling his dead epidermis becomes his sole preoccupation. "Well-being" offers a politically charged dystopian vision of a future Britain as seen through the eyes of a once-revered writer. He is now homeless yet stubbornly refuses to move to a more hospitable country: "There are better ways of living than being happy but they require strength and sanity." Beautifully produced and illustrated throughout with Gray's distinctive drawings, The Ends of Our Tethers is vintage Gray-accessible, experimental, mischievous, wide-ranging, beautifully written, and wise.

About Alasdair Gray

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Alasdair Gray was born in 1934 in Glasgow, where he still lives. A painter as well as a writer, Mr. Gray describes himself as "an artist in words and pictures." He is the author of Poor Things, Lannark, and 1982 Janine, among other novels and story collections.
Published January 1, 2003 by Canongate. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ends of Our Tethers

The Guardian

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The Ends of Our Tethers: 13 Sorry Stories by Alasdair Gray 182pp, Canongate, £10 Brian Eno once remarked that although very few people got hold of the first Velvet Underground album when it came out, all those who did went on to form a band.

Oct 11 2003 | Read Full Review of The Ends of Our Tethers: Thir...

Publishers Weekly

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In "Miss Kincaid's Autumn," a brother and sister live together far more harmoniously than most married couples, while "Aiblins" centers on the frustrating interactions between an established poet and the young, half-crazed upstart who may or may not be the genius he claims to be.

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Entertainment Weekly

Very few writers could elevate a bad case of eczema into a hilarious near -- horror story, but Scottish author Gray does just that with ''Job's Skin Game'' -- one of several weird and wonderful tales in the author-illustrator's 18th book.

Apr 23 2004 | Read Full Review of The Ends of Our Tethers: Thir...

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