Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
Whether she takes on evolution and modern manhood, international adoption, real estate, the movie industry, science and faith, art, or terrorism, Gartner fillets the righteous and the ridiculous with dexterity in equal, heartbreaking, and glorious measure.
Angels crash land, lovers speak IKEA, a mountain swallows tony West Coast properties, and a killer stalks the great motivational speakers of North America.
These stories ruthlessly expose our covert fears and fathomless desires and allow us to snort with laughter—while grieving at the grotesque world we’d live in if we all got what we wanted.
"Up in Canada there lives a brilliant, unusually nimble writer who deserves an ample U.S. audience. Her name is Zsuzsi (pronounced Zhu-zhee) Gartner, and not only would it be great if she could fully break through the U.S.–Canadian fiction border, but it would also be great if she broke though the unstated barrier that exists between ‘experimental’ fiction (her side) and the calmer, more linear, narrative-type of fiction that many readers are initially more comfortable giving a whirl. There are Customs officials stationed at both the geographical and the artistic posts, and in the latter case, they inquire of all writers trying to pass through, ‘Why should you be read?’ That's an easy one to answer here. There are countless rewards to be found when reading the dexterous, sardonic stories in Gartner's collection, including the presence of suburban send-ups, yuppie send-ups, parental send-ups, gender send-ups, hilarious characters, plentiful social satire, and a surprisingly deeply emotional core. Never sentimental, but never brittle either, and always hyperalert, like the best writers and border-crossers, Better Living Through Plastic Explosives is a unique pleasure for all readers."
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