By Margot Mifflin
Updated October 27, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Assorted Fire Events

type
  • Book

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-

Assorted Fire Events

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • David Means

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