Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Assorted Fire Events

Posted on

Assorted Fire Events

Current Status:
In Season
David Means
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it an A-

A worthy shelf-mate to Denis Johnson and Tobias Wolff, David Means writes dark, sinewy stories set in New York’s Hudson Valley and in Michigan. The protagonists in his second collection, Assorted Fire Events, are often widowed, dying, or marked for death, and their compelling digressions drive some powerhouse narratives. ”The Gesture Hunter” portrays a man whose memory of a lost son has driven him to ”collect” the random physical gestures he sees strangers make. In ”The Railroad Incident, August 1995,” a businessman is beaten by thugs during a soul-searching walk. While he tends to rely on violence as a dramatic device, Means writes with sure-handed emotional intensity, conjuring brushfires of the psyche in lushly sensual detail. A-