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My Life in Heavy Metal

B

In an assured debut, Almond gathers 12 short stories, all focusing on the fragility of human relationships, both romantic and otherwise. While this may be terrain well traveled, he sets moments of misguided passion and unrequited neediness against such unlikely backdrops as a Motley Crue concert and the frigid confines of an apartment in Poland. Almond’s unsparing viewpoint rarely makes for happy endings, but, to his credit, he also never stoops to all-encompassing cynicism, choosing instead to capture the often brutal miscommunication between the heart and the mind. B

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