Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi GartnerBetter Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner

Better Living Through Plastic Explosives

byZsuzsi Gartner

Hardcover | April 5, 2011

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From an emerging master of short fiction and one of Canada's most distinctive voices, a collection of stories as heartbreaking as those of Lorrie Moore and as hilariously off-kilter as something out of McSweeney's.

In Better Living through Plastic Explosives, Zsuzsi Gartner delivers a powerful second dose of the lacerating satire that marked her acclaimed debut, All the Anxious Girls on Earth, but with even greater depth and darker humour. Whether she casts her eye on evolution and modern manhood when an upscale cul-de-sac is thrown into chaos after a redneck moves into the neighbourhood, international adoption, war photography, real estate, the movie industry, motivational speakers, or terrorism, Gartner filets the righteous and the ridiculous with dexterity in equal, glorious measure. These stories ruthlessly expose our most secret desires, and allow us to snort with laughter at the grotesque world we'd live in if we all got what we wanted.

ZSUZSI GARTNER is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling story collection All the Anxious Girls on Earth and the editor of Darwin's Bastard's: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow. She is the winner of a 2007 National Magazine Award for Fiction and the recipient of numerous awards for her magazine journalism. Her second colle...
Title:Better Living Through Plastic ExplosivesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.54 × 5.42 × 0.76 inPublished:April 5, 2011Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670065188

ISBN - 13:9780670065189


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Weird but fun short stories Zsuszi Gartner’ s delivers a sharp collection of short-stories filled with dark humour and snark. At first I thought the stories were just bizarre but then I found myself chuckling at some of Gartner’s outlandish metaphors or agreeing with the strange reasoning of her characters.I was sucked in and I decided to surrender to the wonderful weirdness of the stories. A few of my favourites: “Once, We Were Swedes” – a journalist who’s now teaching at a college is drifting apart from her spouse. She reminisces about the early stages of their relationship when they used to talk IKEA to each other. Loved the glossary at the end of the story. “Floating Like a Goat” – a young mother writes a letter to her daughter’s grade one art teacher. A wonderful rant about stifled creativity and lost dreams. “We Come In Peace” – angels are sent to inhabit the bodies of five teenagers to experience the earthly senses. Divinity is no match for teenage hormones and high school drama. This collection is not filled with happy endings and we wouldn’t all agree with the characters’ thoughts and actions (at least not in public) but that’s what makes these short-stories a must-read, the opportunity to explore different, not-so-traditional views in a fun, entertaining way. If you are looking for the unusual, pick-up this collection.
Date published: 2016-11-08

Editorial Reviews

“Zsuzsi Gartner’s writing is dazzling, effortless, and clear as a bell. She’s able to crystallize a cultural moment in a way entirely her own that is both instantaneous and eternal. I couldn’t let go of it and read it all in one go.” - Douglas Coupland“What crazy, wonderful writing this is—hilarious, exuberant, apocalyptic, heart-stopping. Gartner sees all, dissects all, loves all. An absolutely irresistible collection.” - Barbara Gowdy