Third Class Superhero by Charles Yu

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Charles Yu experiments with form and genre to explore the stories we tell ourselves while navigating contemporary life. In "Third Class Superhero," a would- be good guy must come to terms with the darkness in his heart. A couple living in the Luxury Car Commercial subdivision in "401(k)" are disappointed when their exotic vacation turns into a Life Insurance/Asset Management pitch. The author struggles to write the definitive biography of his mother in "Autobiographical Raw Material Unsuitable for the Mining of Fiction." In these and other stories, Yu’s characters run up against the conventions and parameters of their artificial story lines while tackling the terrifying aspects of existence: mothers, jobs, spouses, the need to express feelings. Heartbreaking, hilarious, smart, and surprising, Third Class Superhero marks the arrival of an impressive new talent.

About Charles Yu

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Charles Yu received the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award for his story collection Third Class Superhero, and he has also received the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. His work has been published in the Harvard Review, The Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review, and Mid-American Review, among other journals. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Michelle, and their two children.
Published September 5, 2006 by Mariner Books. 189 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Within these 11 stories, Yu uses language to suggest what language cannot express, as he deals with themes such as the nature of distance, the essence of time and the illusion of self for readers whose attention span has been conditioned more by video games than classic novels.

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Publishers Weekly

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The unnamed man in "Man of Quiet Desperation Goes on Short Vacation" evaluates his existential condition as frequently as a time-obsessed man checks his watch.

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Entertainment Weekly

Superhero suggests a cheeky-geeky riff on our comic-book-mad culture, but Charles Yu's book is actually a piercing survey of American ambition, rich with humor, invention, and humanity.

Sep 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Third Class Superhero

Nights and Weekends

Third Class Superhero is the first complete book by short story writer Charles Yu.

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Locus Mag

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Feb 26 2017 | Read Full Review of Third Class Superhero

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