The Spot by David Means
Stories

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Synopsis

The Spot is an old blacksmith shed in which three men tweeze apart the intricacies of a botched bank robbery.



The Spot is a park on the Hudson River, where two lovers sense their affair is about to come to an end.



The Spot is at the bottom of Niagara Falls, where the body of a young girl floats as if caught in the currents of her own tragic story.



The Spot is in the ear of a Manhattan madman plagued by a noisy upstairs neighbor .



The Spot is a suburban hospital room in which a young father confronts his son's potentially devastating diagnosis.



The Spot is a dusty encampment in Nebraska where a gang of inept radicals plot a revolution.



The Spot draws thirteen new stories together into a masterful collection that shows David Means at his finest: at once comically detached and wrenchingly affecting, expansive and concise, wildly inventive and firmly rooted in tradition. Means's work has earned him comparisons to Flannery O'Connor (London Review of Books), Alice Munro, Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac (Newsday), Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson (Chicago Tribune/NPR), Denis Johnson (Entertainment Weekly), Poe, Chekhov, and Carver (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), but the spot he has staked out in the American literary landscape is fully and originally his own.






 

About David Means

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David Means is the author of "A Quick Kiss of Redemption" and "The Secret Goldfish". His stories have appeared in "The New Yorker", "Harper's", "Esquire", "The O. Henry Prize Stories", and "The Best American Short Stories". He lives in Nyack, New York, and teaches at Vassar College.
 
Published May 19, 2010 by Faber & Faber. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Spot

Publishers Weekly

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A natural storyteller, Means (The Secret Goldfish ) presents 13 nuanced tales of wanderlust and transgression. Hoboes around a campfire spin elaborate yarns in tw

Apr 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

The New York Times

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A new collection of dark stories from David Means, author of “The Secret Goldfish.”

Jun 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

The New York Times

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The stories of David Means orbit around one event — a bank robbery, a crucifixion, a highly improper burial — rather than progressing in linear fashion.

Jun 10 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

AV Club

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This strong, thought-through short-story anthology illustrates yet again that the medium isn't dead, and shouldn't be allowed to die.

Jul 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

Los Angeles Times

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The idea of blown chances, of lost opportunities, looms large throughout David Means' fourth collection of short fiction.

Jul 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

The Independent

Means's stories are largely set in the blighted heartlands of the Midwest.

Nov 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

Chicago Tribune

So that while four short story collections over the course of nearly twenty years, short story collections of exceptional quality, should have made David Means something resembling if not a household word at least a name bruited about by aspiring writers in writing workshops, writing program...

Sep 01 2014 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

Book Forum

The tale is a riff (one speculates) on "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," and in particular on the villain of O'Connor's story, the Misfit, who bestows on a self-centered old woman a final, clarifying grace in the panic of her violent death.

Aug 13 2014 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

Metro

Book review: David Means is back with a collection of short stories in The Spot – thoughtful, graceful stuff with each begging for your individual attention.

Oct 27 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spot: Stories

Reader Rating for The Spot
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