by Kevin Wilson
This is the kind of book I’m always hoping I’ll find when I’m poking around in bookstores. Which is to say, it turned out to be something magical and necessary and I’d never even heard of it before.
Wilson writes stories that are emotional in a squeeze your internal organs kinds of a way, in a feel the pressure in your chest way. He pulls you in and makes you care enough you can bear the pain his characters are in — the rawness of their lives you can see — whether they are hired grandparents, confused teenagers, grieving factory workers, or awkwardly single and obsessed with worst case scenarios.
The stories reveal a reality that is very much ours, where just one thing is off. (A big mac eating baby, the ability to create a vast tunnel network under a town, grandparenting is outsourced to family’s who can pay, parents spontaneously combust.) Though maybe we just don’t know the world really is like in his stories…
Wilson’s young, so I can hope for many more stories. He’s writing a novel now, which I suppose is bound to happen. (Doesn’t everyone want to write a novel? Publishers want to publish novels, not stories, isn’t that supposed to be the deal?) On the strength of his stories, I’ll read it. But I’m eager for more stories, intensely felt stories like these, that are absorbing, that channel the power to change the world that is most palpable in adolescence but reachable in any extreme.
I haven’t read this book a second time yet, and I’m already looking forward to reading it again. Highly recommended.