The Shape of the Final Dog and Other Stories
By Hampton Fancher
(Blue Rider Press, Hardcover, 9780399158230, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2012
Best known as the original screenwriter of Blade Runner, author Hampton Fancher makes his debut with this extraordinary collection that bears all of the hallmarks that have made him beloved to film fans. These are stories about people and places that exist just outside our perceptions of space and time: in “Narrowing the Divide,” an escaped lab rat winds up in a philosophical conversation with a man whose wife sleeps in the next room; in “Cargot,” a failed actor is reincarnated as a garden snail and avenges himself with a Hollywood producer’s wife; and in “The Black Weasel,” a washed-up bartender finds an unlikely traveling partner in a slow-witted drifter with a suspicious bankroll. These are also stories about survival and instinct, with elements of the absurd and the sublime. The Shape of the Final Dog is a rare literary work that is mordantly funny, deftly written, and bound to delight and entertain.
Hampton Fancher is the original screenwriter for Blade Runner and the writer and director of The Minus Man (winner of the Grand Prix Jury Award, Montreal Film Festival). Born in East Los Angeles, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Praise for THE SHAPE OF THE FINAL DOG by Hampton Fancher: “Hampton Fancher’s kaleidoscopic reality is delicately fractured, skewed, but rendered all the more true. Inhabitants of his world are both scheming strivers and wide-eyed dupes, shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves, who in all their strangeness churn up a wealth of tender feelings from the depths. The beguiling stories in The Shape of the Final Dog are set in a place where anything can happen—and things add up.”—Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, author of The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite “Hampton Fancher has worlds falling out of his sleeves. His fictions are full of irresistible stealthy voices, surreal U-turns, and vernacular wit—Buñuel meets Sherwood Anderson.”—Jonathan Lethem “Darkly funny, seductive, essential stories that pulse in the imagination. In these fearless high-wire trickster tales, Hampton Fancher offers something rare and beautiful; he writes as Nijinsky once danced, willing to risk it all.”—Mary-Beth Hughes, author of Double Happiness "Hampton Fancher's stories don't just tap dance at the edge of the abyss: they tap dance while juggling while wearing a crab costume while channeling Shakespeare. They are absurd and real and amazing."—Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances