The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards

The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards


Book - 2009
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An enthralling and wise new collection from the author of Century's Son and one of America's most respected writers

I was twenty-nine years old and wanted to change before I hit thirty. Clete and I developed a plan for me . . . a plan that would work all that summer and beyond. Even after I left the mountain, it stuck.

Robert Boswell's extraordinary range is on full display in this crackling new collection. Set mainly in small, gritty American cities no farther east than Chicago and as far west as El Paso, each of these stories is a world unto itself.

Two marriages end, one by death, the other by divorce, and the two wives, lifelong friends, become strangers to each other. A young man's obsession with visiting a fortune-teller leaves him nearly homeless. And in the unforgettable title story, a man dubbed Keen recounts the summer he spent on a mountain with his best friend, Clete, and a loose band of slackers, living in a borrowed house, abstaining from all drugs (other than mushrooms and beer)--and ultimately asking just what kind of harmwe can do to one another.

Publisher: Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2009
ISBN: 9781555975241
Branch Call Number: FICTION Boswell
Characteristics: 258 p. ; 24 cm


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diesellibrarian Apr 26, 2011

Pithy and unsentimental, this collection of stories reads as a series of windows into peoples' lives. The common thread seems to be longing and regret, and the impossibility of forging a true human connection with others. I don't see a real weak point to the book, and the writing is great - but at the end I found myself asking, "So what?"

Jan 10, 2011

Quirky. You need to pay attention. I will be looking for more by Boswell.

Nov 02, 2010

I have the copy next to me, and the arrangment of the title is different, with the people's faces visible because the text takes up about a third of the cover instead of two-thirds. Even the word "stories" is moved from under the title to under the author's name.


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