I finished this highly accomplished collection today, and it's definitely one of the best books I've read this year. Here's the story by story break down:
"Grand Stand In"
9/10- This story was dark in all the right ways. Yet, like all of Wilson's stories, it had a heart beating strongly underneath.
"Blowing Up on the Spot"
8/10- What can you say about the story other than it's about spontaneous combustion and the main character works as a tile sorter in a Scrabble factory?
"The Dead Sister's Handbook: A Guide for Sensitive Boys"
8/10- Experimental story that features some of the most evocative language in the collection.
"Birds in the House"
10/10- Just a gorgeous story. My favorite of the collection.
9/10- Wilson's scenes explode with awkward intensity in this one. Very moving.
"Tunneling to the Center of the Earth"
7/10- I loved the idea of this story before I read it, but oddly, the story itself fell a tad flat for me. Still enjoyable and well-written, but not quite up to the excellence of the rest of the collection.
"The Shooting Man"
9/10- A brutal little horror story.
"The Choir Director Affair (The Baby's Teeth)"
8/10- Second person done right. An emotional glimpse of how selfish people can be.
"Go, Fight, Win"
9/10- A girl trying not to fit in. Loved the echoes of Flannery O'Connor in this one.
"The Museum of What-Not"
10/10- I want to write a story this good. It seems like Wilson's characters are often holding themselves back, too afraid to fully participate in the world.
8/10- This one really reminded me of George Saunders.
I can't wait to see what Wilson does next. He's obviously got talent to burn.