By Josh Wolk
Updated December 02, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

While many know Boyle from novels like “The Road to Wellville,” his farcical, manically inventive imagination is best flexed (and digested) in short stories — a point never truer than in this phone-book-thick volume, in which Boyle deals out satirical fare with the sly, dazzling facility of a cardsharp. In 70 stories spanning 25 years and grouped by “Love,” “Death,” “And Everything in Between,” one finds morally lax Elvis impersonators, chicly outfitted survivalists spooking Montana locals, bored Jersey teens looking for trouble, lustful germaphobes donning body condoms, L.A. shopping addicts suffocating under all their stuff, and other dark, surreal mischief. Together, they comprise a waggish gazetteer of the postmodern American landscape.

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