Through The Safety Net: Stories Charles Baxter

ISBN: 9780670804771

Published:

Hardcover

216 pages


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Through The Safety Net: Stories  by  Charles Baxter

Through The Safety Net: Stories by Charles Baxter
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 216 pages | ISBN: 9780670804771 | 4.65 Mb

Read one paragraph of a Charles Baxter story, and you know youre in the hands of a master. Consider, for example, the opening line of Winter Journey: Harrelson, perpetual Ph.D. student, poverty-stricken dissertation nonfinisher, academic man ofMoreRead one paragraph of a Charles Baxter story, and you know youre in the hands of a master. Consider, for example, the opening line of Winter Journey: Harrelson, perpetual Ph.D. student, poverty-stricken dissertation nonfinisher, academic man of all work, gourmand, stands in the tiny kitchen cluttered with yellow note pads, a basketball, books, misplaced bookmarks, and boxes of ant killer, staring down at a dented saucepan of cold soup.

In a single sentence, Baxter has limned a whole life. The story that follows of Harrelsons drunken drive through the snow to rescue a fiancée who no longer wants him simply fills in the contours. Baxter specializes in ordinary lives--each story is an accretion of details, some funny, some disturbing, that create a complete world. The events that happen in this world are equally ordinary--people make love, make dinner, make decisions they may or may not carry out--but just when you think you know where things are going, Baxter throws in a gentle curve that sends you right off the road.

The title story, for example, takes the reader through a day in the life of Dinah Nadler, a dentist, wife, and mother whose regular consultations with a psychic take a dark turn. His warning that theres a black spot ... blinking, at the horizon of her life freights even the most commonplace actions with dread.

Baxter only hints at what might be happening in Dinahs life, but he does it so well that the ambiguity of his mild-seeming conclusion, Then she went back to the window, cupped her hands on both sides of her face, and looked outside to see what was happening, is truly chilling. Each of the 11 stories in this collection demonstrates Baxters quirky, chiaroscuro view of the universe, and also stands as testimony to the fact that he is one of the best fiction writers at work today.

--Alix Wilber



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