A Kind of Flying
"These stories are full of surprises, jolts, and lightning strikes of recognition. Do yourself a favor and read Ron Carlson." —Stephen King
Ron Carlson's stories, sometimes wicked or bittersweet, often zany, are rich with a hard-earned hopefulness frequently absent in contemporary fiction. In this generous gathering from collections no longer available, longtime fans and new readers alike can savor the development of a master of idiosyncrasy.
Properly celebrated for his range, Carlson offers us a rural sheriff who's wary of UFOs ("Phenomena"), a lawyer on a mission in remote Alaska ("Blazo"), a baseball player turned killer-by-accident ("Zanduce at Second"), and a nineteen-year-old who experiences an unsettling sexual awakening during an Arizona summer ("Oxygen"). Here also is a man accusing Bigfoot of stealing his wife, followed by Bigfoot's incomparable response. Not least of the treasures is "The H Street Sledding Record," a story perfect for family holiday reading, in which a young father creates the magic of Santa by throwing manure on his roof on Christmas Eve.
This book proves Carlson's axiom that "a short story is not a single thing done a single way," and it offers us—finally—a full view of his remarkable talents.
Praise For A Kind of Flying: Selected Stories…
— Michael Cunningham
Ron Carlson's characters embrace a sophisticated, earthy, heroic morality. They are the fellows you hope will teach your children, marry your sisters, tell you stories.
— Antonya Nelson
I was entirely and happily in Carlson's thrall. The word 'happily' seems especially apt for this writer, who is a master of that rarity in contemporary fiction, the happy ending.
— Margot Livesey - New York Times Book Review
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393324792, 466pp.
Publication Date: October 17, 2003