The Littlest Hitler - Stories by Ryan Boudinot

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Synopsis

Bette Wore What I Had Come To Secretly Call Her Star Trek uniform, a hideous white suit jacket with too-pointy collars. From her face hung a beard of bees. Everyone's seen these things on TV or in National Geographic. Some farmer standing shirtless in his field, a stalactite of writhing insects dangling from his grinning face. But on Bette, though. Our account manager for digital media. I wasn't even aware she raised bees. Welcome to the world of Ryan Boudinot, where a little boy who innocently dresses up as Hitler for Halloween suffers the consequences. ("The Littlest Hitler"); a world where a typical office romance is destroyed by the female half's habit of coming to work covered in live bees ("Bee Beard"); where jacked-up salesmen go on murderous, Burgess-like rampages ("The Sales Team"); and the children of the future are required to kill off their parents--preferably with an ice pick--in order to be accepted to the college of their choice ("Civilization"). You may never want to leave. In each of these fearless, hilarious, and tightly crafted stories, Boudinot's voice rings with a clarity rarely seen in a debut collection. He speaks to a generation that has tried to seem disaffected but can't help wishing for a better world. His characters shake their heads over the same messes they're busily creating, or lash out angrily at a sex-and-violence-saturated culture. But they can never entirely lose their sense of fun, however perverse it may be.
 

About Ryan Boudinot

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Ryan Boudinot's work has appeared in Dave Eggers's Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 and 2005, McSweeney's, BlackBook, and Nerve. He blogs about film on the Web site therumpus.net.
 
Published September 4, 2006 by Counterpoint. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Littlest Hitler - Stories

Kirkus Reviews

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Best of all is “So Little Time,” whose preadolescent narrator weighs the enticements of sexual hearsay and a (hilariously described) sci-fi convention with the hopeless real life of his disadvantaged buddy, whose embittered dirt-poor family endures dangers far removed from the tacky melodramatics...

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Publishers Weekly

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In the title story, fourth-grader Davy, with his father's assistance, dresses up as Hitler for Halloween ("I had gotten the idea after watching World War II week on PBS"), but realizes his terrible judgment after an encounter with a classmate dressed as Anne Frank.

Jun 05 2006 | Read Full Review of The Littlest Hitler - Stories

USA Today

In his debut collection, The Littlest Hitler, Ryan Boudinot looks at ordinary topics such as childhood, suburbia, adultery and dating through a fractured prism, adding surreal elements such as serial killers and a Big Brother-esque government asking for the ultimate sacrifice.The title story star...

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