Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner
Add Better Living Through Plastic Explosives to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

Better Living Through Plastic Explosives

Best Seller
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner
Paperback $16.00
Apr 10, 2012 | ISBN 9780143177678

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Apr 10, 2012 | ISBN 9780143177678

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Apr 05, 2011 | ISBN 9780143180487

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“Gartner has outdone herself with Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. She will garner a fistful of award nominations, more than a few fireworks and maybe even some hang-up phone calls.” – Winnipeg Free Press

“Gartner’s sentences are … expansive, polished and dense with flecks and speckles of dark and light. She can go from sardonic to plangent, wry to heartfelt.” – The Globe and Mail

“Superb…. Gartner’s attentiveness to the artificial gives her prose a laser-like sharpness and precision.” – National Post

“What crazy, wonderful writing this is—hilarious, exuberant, apocalyptic, heart-stopping. Gartner sees all, dissects all, loves all. An absolutely irresistible collection.” – Barbara Gowdy

“Zsuzsi Gartner’s new collection of short stories is as smart, satiric, playful and wicked as her previously acclaimed and bestselling book, ALL THE ANXIOUS GIRLS ON EARTH.” – Janet Somerville

“[Better Living Through Plastic Explosives] shows the short story form at its savage best, each story capturing, with brilliant economy and grace, not only entire worlds but whole mindsets as they explode into eloquence. Gartner is one of the supreme noticers in contemporary fiction, and with this book she has produced a rare work of wisdom and laughter.” – 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize Jury

“[Gartner] drills into your brain with amazing images and a snappy delivery that verges on inciting mental whiplash. What a ride! … Gartner is fall-out-of-your-chair funny, but the hilarity has a splendid whack of asperity to it for a great combination. The 10 stories in this book are wonderfully various and humorously satirical … Her send-up of idiotic earnestness is so refreshing, I can’t wait for the next collection.” – Vancouver Sun

“With her second collection of short stories, Zsuzsi Gartner has delved far underground, taken its seismic measure, and returned to give us the report … Dark, sinister, scary? Yes, but Gartner’s skill in the telling is thrilling. I’m a new fan of Gartner. I really liked All the Anxious Girls on Earth … But in Better Living Though Plastic Explosives, Gartner goes darker, deeper, and funnier. Her new stories are more trenchant, more satirical, more surreal. At the same time, Gartner still manages to evoke great empathy for characters and their sad, sad lives. Reading this book, I despaired … But I also felt exhilarated, the same exhilaration I felt when first reading Vonnegut and Barthelme and, more recently, George Saunders.” – Winnipeg Review

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Zsuzsi Gartner
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top