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Good Trouble

Good Trouble by Joseph O'Neill
Jun 12, 2018 | 176 Pages
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    May 14, 2019 | 176 Pages

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    Jun 12, 2018 | 176 Pages

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    Jun 12, 2018 | 176 Pages

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“O’Neill writes with an urgent timeliness, as if these stories were written yesterday, with the politics and news you might have shared with your friends this very morning. The thrill of seeing the here and now transmuted into morally serious and comically rich prose is heightened once you realize its rarity.” —Ryan Chapman, Guernica

“An essential book, full of unexpected bursts of meaning and beauty . . . Compelling . . . Funny and fierce . . . [O’Neill] wields an acerbic blade, rendering the weird and violent with a determined frugality and control . . . The eleven stories in Good Trouble read like a string of understated poems that progress, implode, and digress.” —Feroz Rather, Ploughshares

“A chewy collection of stories, often elegant, often challenging, and always entertaining. . . . A pleasure of reading this collection is watching a skilled writer at work using fine-tuned language to pinpoint states of mind and feeling.” —Claire Hopley, The Washington Times

“If the decentering of white men has met with intensifying pushback since the 2016 US election, then conventional masculinity needs shrewd anatomists like Joseph O’Neill more than ever before.” —Benjamin Evans, The Guardian

“The characters are subtly crafted, nuanced in their observations of others, and understated. . . . Instead of thwacking the reader over the head with a trumped-up lesson of ‘count your blessings,’ [O’Neill] quietly leads us toward a reflection of ourselves that, perhaps, makes us just a bit more appreciative of all the ‘good trouble’ we have.” —Colleen M. Geiger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“[A] fine collection . . . Many of the stories take surprisingly unexpected turns, [as] O’Neill confronts the lure of despair.” —Michael Magras, Houston Chronicle

“The angst of modern life pervades the daily lives of the characters in these stories from the author of Netherland, whose subversive humor finds new angles on everything from facial hair to circumcision.” Time

“A thoroughly enjoyable collection . . . O’Neill treats his characters with a wry sympathy and a sense of fun, [probing] the frictions that make marriages and families fissure or fight for survival, the situations where discomfort breeds anxiety and resentment mushrooms into malaise.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Beautifully crafted short stories . . . O’Neill’s tales often echo [David Foster] Wallace’s mixture of humor and profundity, demonstrating a similar, almost preternatural eye for the absurdities of contemporary life.” —Alexander Moran, Booklist

“Absorbing . . . In his typically sharp, smart language, [O’Neill] shows us characters undone by contemporary life, not grandly but in the small, essential ways that define our culture.” Library Journal

Table Of Contents

Pardon Edward Snowden 3
The Trusted Traveler 18
The World of Cheese 31
The Referees 53
Promises, Promises 66
The Death of Billy Joel 68
Ponchos 86
The Poltroon Husband 105
Goose 119
The Mustache in 2010 133
The Sinking of the Houston 145

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