By Neil Smith
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780307386106, 242pp.
Publication Date: January 8, 2008
In Neil Smith’s nine stories, average people find themselves in decidedly unusual situations, as the mundane and the fantastic collide. A woman mourning the loss of her husband finds solace in talking to his ashes, entombed in a curling stone. The title story zeroes in on a girl with Fred Hoyle syndrome, whose age expands and contracts like the universe. The members of a support group for people with benign tumors begin to suspect that their meekness has caused their medical woes.
Bang Crunch creates an extraordinary world inhabited by all-too-human characters, and heralds the arrival of a literary talent with an unfailing, exacting concern for the profundities of our lives.
“Smith's writing has real spark and energy.... It's a fizzing debut.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Marvelously readable and inventive.... Smith's work is vehemently quirky but executed with the panache and facility of a polished veteran.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“An assured and imaginative short-story debut. Smith's ability to write from an absurdly wide ranges of character perspectives...is a disarming delight.”
—The Washington Post
“Flamboyant and impishly humorous. . . . Bang Crunch? That's the sound of a talented new writer making his mark.”
—The Toronto Star
“A remarkably fresh and self-assured debut. . . . Smith demonstrates the range of both his imagination and his empathy. . . . [He] is not just a natural, he's a kind of literary chameleon. He adopts the voices of men, women, and children with equal ease.”
—Quill & Quire
“Smith seems able to write about anything with flair and sympathy. . . . Bang Crunch is great fiction.”
—Toronto Globe and Mail
“Supremely crafted. . . . A polished and marvelously textured first book of short fiction.”