Fun with Problems: Stories by Robert Stone

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Fun with Problems: Stories

'“In the long form or the short, American fiction has no greater master than Robert Stone. These stories burn with his dark and incandescent magic.” —Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls’ Rising   “Stone’s evocative prose treads through the murky waters of dead dreams and waning hopes, bringing out the pathetic and nasty side of people warped by addiction, sex, violence and time. . . . Stone doesn’t just let his wounded characters whimper in the corner. He turns them loose on a world hard enough to knock them down but indifferent enough to not care about them once they’re gone.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review   “Once again, Stone displays his tense mastery of narrative, inexplicably fine dialogue, and what is perhaps the most sublime sense of any living writer for beginnings and endings. He is, simply, one of our best.” —Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things   “Stone’s pared, precise lines take on the lyrical authority of morality tales. . . . There’s a dark humor at play here, the laughter of the rehab houses implied in the title. Few other writers could use a phrase like civic poetry so conversationally and have it be so cogent.” —Library Journal   “In this ironically titled collection, prize-winning novelist Robert Stone delivers insightful and at times wickedly funny portraits of troubled characters sowing the seeds of their own downfall.” —Shelf Awareness   “Vintage Stone. Enough said.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review   “Elemental, a matter of life and death in the most literal sense . . . Like all of Stone’s most powerful writing, suggest that the answer is available to us only in fragments, if it is available at all.” —Los Angeles Times   “A killer collection . . . Stone is a master at picking apart messy lives in clean, precise language.” —Oregonian   “Stark and beautiful . . . one of the best pieces of fiction Stone has published . . . It’s impossible not to be impressed by Stone’s audacity, steel-eyed honesty, and cold and sometimes bizarre sense of humor. . . . An enlightening [read] and hard to forget . . . [Stone’s] an American master.” —NPR.org   “Robert Stone provides proof positive in his long-awaited story collection Fun With Problems that this master of the heart’s dark matter—boozy onenight stands, sobering moments of grace, volcanic silences, shouted regrets—remains in diabolically good form.” —Elle   “Stone is a master . . . No writer today is as grimly polished, as icily adept, and Hemingwayesquely lean and Hawthornely morally infused . . . Impossible not to finish.” —The Dallas Morning News   “If you aren’t reading anything by Robert Stone then you better get with it.” —Minx Society   “Fraught with rough poetry.” —People   “The prose . . . is stylish, specific, savage and often darkly comic. . . . The writer pays his reader the deep compliment of refusing to simplify his creations. They are as flawed and sophisticated and complex and conflicted and naughty and tempted and contradictory and brutal and surprising as readers themselves. . . . Fun With Problems is a book for grown-ups, for people prepared to absorb the news of the world that it announces, for people both grateful and a little uneasy in finding a writer brave enough to be the bearer.” —The New York Times Book Review   “A superb collection of short stories . . . Stone’s prose style is exquisitely hard-edged.” —Providence Journal   “Intense and finely carved . . . We follow Stone’s characters all the way to the bottom because of the stark and marvelous skeins of sentences that carry us in these descents, sentences made of language as sharp and compelling as Stone’s dramatic insights into the painful interior states of his characters. . . . Stone illuminates his stories by the steady black light of his tragic sense of life, employing the best possible sentences for the job.” —San Francisco Chronicle   “A new book from Stone is so valuable: It’s like a thunderstorm in the desert: highly enjoyable, but all too rare . . . Stone’s prose is, as always, lean and unobtrusively graceful.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch   “Excellent all the way around.” —Robert Birnbaum   “Quintessential Stone . . . Deliciously dark.” —USA Today'
'“In the long form or the short, American fiction has no greater master than Robert Stone. These stories burn with his dark and incandescent magic.” —Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls’ Rising   “Stone’s evocative prose treads through the murky waters of dead dreams and waning hopes, bringing out the pathetic and nasty side of people warped by addiction, sex, violence and time. . . . Stone doesn’t just let his wounded characters whimper in the corner. He turns them loose on a world hard enough to knock them down but indifferent enough to not care about them once they’re gone.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review   “Once again, Stone displays his tense mastery of narrative, inexplicably fine dialogue, and what is perhaps the most sublime sense of any living writer for beginnings and endings. He is, simply, one of our best.” —Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things   “Stone’s pared, precise lines take on the lyrical authority of morality tales. . . . There’s a dark humor at play here, the laughter of the rehab houses implied in the title. Few other writers could use a phrase like civic poetry so conversationally and have it be so cogent.” —Library Journal   “In this ironically titled collection, prize-winning novelist Robert Stone delivers insightful and at times wickedly funny portraits of troubled characters sowing the seeds of their own downfall.” —Shelf Awareness   “Vintage Stone. Enough said.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review   “Elemental, a matter of life and death in the most literal sense . . . Like all of Stone’s most powerful writing, suggest that the answer is available to us only in fragments, if it is available at all.” —Los Angeles Times   “A killer collection . . . Stone is a master at picking apart messy lives in clean, precise language.” —Oregonian   “Stark and beautiful . . . one of the best pieces of fiction Stone has published . . . It’s impossible not to be impressed by Stone’s audacity, steel-eyed honesty, and cold and sometimes bizarre sense of humor. . . . An enlightening [read] and hard to forget . . . [Stone’s] an American master.” —NPR.org   “Robert Stone provides proof positive in his long-awaited story collection Fun With Problems that this master of the heart’s dark matter—boozy onenight stands, sobering moments of grace, volcanic silences, shouted regrets—remains in diabolically good form.” —Elle   “Stone is a master . . . No writer today is as grimly polished, as icily adept, and Hemingwayesquely lean and Hawthornely morally infused . . . Impossible not to finish.” —The Dallas Morning News   “If you aren’t reading anything by Robert Stone then you better get with it.” —Minx Society   “Fraught with rough poetry.” —People   “The prose . . . is stylish, specific, savage and often darkly comic. . . . The writer pays his reader the deep compliment of refusing to simplify his creations. They are as flawed and sophisticated and complex and conflicted and naughty and tempted and contradictory and brutal and surprising as readers themselves. . . . Fun With Problems is a book for grown-ups, for people prepared to absorb the news of the world that it announces, for people both grateful and a little uneasy in finding a writer brave enough to be the bearer.” —The New York Times Book Review   “A superb collection of short stories . . . Stone’s prose style is exquisitely hard-edged.” —Providence Journal   “Intense and finely carved . . . We follow Stone’s characters all the way to the bottom because of the stark and marvelous skeins of sentences that carry us in these descents, sentences made of language as sharp and compelling as Stone’s dramatic insights into the painful interior states of his characters. . . . Stone illuminates his stories by the steady black light of his tragic sense of life, employing the best possible sentences for the job.” —San Francisco Chronicle   “A new book from Stone is so valuable: It’s like a thunderstorm in the desert: highly enjoyable, but all too rare . . . Stone’s prose is, as always, lean and unobtrusively graceful.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch   “Excellent all the way around.” —Robert Birnbaum   “Quintessential Stone . . . Deliciously dark.” —USA Today'
Publisher: Mariner Books ISBN: 9780547488424 Pages: 208