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The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories
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About the Author

Steve Almond has published over one hundred stories and poems-in publications ranging from Playboy to Tin House to Zoetrope--and a two previous collections of stories, My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow. He is the author of the bestselling novel Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.

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Almond does not mention his famous sweet tooth in his latest collection (having debuted with the acclaimed My Life in Heavy Metal, he recently ventured into nonfiction with Candyfreak, a history of sweets in this country). But he does throw in enough sex, wit, and brutal honesty to revive interest in the short story format and have college students all over Boston clamoring for his sex writing seminar. In the title story, a sophisticated magazine exec gets sucked into a relationship with a nerdy doctor only to be dumped by him-as usual. In another, a reunion with a college buddy zips from awkward to bizarre as the friend and his parents share their conviction that aliens have implanted cartridges in their heads. The most serious story centers on a ten-year-old baseball player, hungry for his father's approval, whose precocious ability to focus on the ball leads to tragedy. Almond's stories are often bittersweet and bordering on the absurd (imagine sex acts involving a woman with a removable polymer eye). They are also wildly inventive and highly recommended for academic libraries and all contemporary short story collections.-Christine Perkins, Burlington P.L., WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

In this sexy, fast-paced second collection of stories, Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and the nonfiction Candyfreak, takes on love and loss around the turn of the millennium, showing how average people living in big cities and university towns tackle heartbreak with humor. The title story traces the flailing love between a magazine editor and a commitment-phobic medical resident who seems too good to be true. In "Appropriate Sex," a refreshing addition to the growing genre of stories about the goings-on in undergraduate writing workshops, a writer-in-residence is treated to a parade of students who "discourse on Tristam Shandy," seduce him and get him stoned in the same office hour. "A Happy Dream" portrays the lucky outcome of a blind date on which Kate, a bike messenger masquerading as a chimney sweep, forces Henry, a cautious sous-chef, to think on his feet. While struggling with his own recent breakup, the narrator of "Skull" listens as his friend confesses how he and his new girlfriend are finding love in unlikely ways that involve her prosthetic eye. Almond doesn't dig too deep or offer up grand theories about romantic love, but his easy, natural storytelling and consoling reminders that intimacy is awkward and messy will carry readers happily along. (Apr. 22) Forecast: Almond scored a surprise hit with Candyfreak, his confessional tour of candy factories. This laid-back follow-up delivers more guilty pleasure and should attract-and satisfy-Almond's new fans. Author tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Always enjoyable, often hysterical."
--New York Times Book Review

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