Uncomfortably Numb by Sharon EnglishUncomfortably Numb by Sharon English

Uncomfortably Numb

bySharon English

Paperback | October 30, 2002

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A city suburb, 1980. The front of propriety, the freakish stillness and the bush parties. This is the home of Germaine Stevens, a social misfit who thinks she's struck ultimate cool when she's accepted into her preppie high school's only counter-culture group, the Rockers. Yet has she really just traded one kind of conformity for another? And is she still a loser?

Her friends are desperate characters: Regina's on the road to ruin, Bono's more boy than girl, and Jackie's postering her bedroom into a rock`n'roll tomb. Yet beneath the party-hardy attitude, no one is as disaffected as they seem, or want to be.

In a voice that ranges from tough to achingly vulnerable, Sharon English powerfully conveys the anger, lust and absurdity that spiral into one girl's growing fight against the tuned-out numbness of her world.

Sharon English is the author of two collections of short stories. Zero Gravity (Porcupine's Quill, 2006) was long-listed for the 2007 Giller Prize, short-listed for the 2007 ReLit Award, and included as a Globe and Mail notable book for 2006. English's first collection, Uncomfortably Numb, was praised by the Globe and Mail, THIS Magazi...
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Title:Uncomfortably NumbFormat:PaperbackPublished:October 30, 2002Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889842507

ISBN - 13:9780889842502

Appropriate for ages: 14 - adult

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

`The Wellington of Sharon English's debut collection is a city unmistakably like her hometown of London, Ont. A linked-story exploration of teenage angst and folly, this book would likely make its author the main event at her high-school reunion -- if she dared to show. In the tidy suburb of Greenview, Germaine Stevens joins her friend Jackie in a darkened bedroom. Jackie may have ``an idiot'' for a dad -- but a useful one. He's a drug wholesaler with a station wagon full of samples. To the raw tones of Meat Loaf, the girls pop tabs of Probene ``for the relief of stress, anxiety and mental agitation.'' Barely graduated from building snow forts, the two now collaborate on bedroom shrines to flamed-out rock stars. Jimi Hendrix gets a black baby doll mummified in gauze; Jim Morrison sulks from a poster with X's taped over his eyes. Germaine (``Germ'' to her dearest) is our jaded guide to a life cursed with two-faced parents, laughable teachers and gag-making, uncool schoolmates -- such as Debbie, who whispers in French class with minty breath, ``It's freaky ... but I really feel Tony's my destiny.'' She's even got the diamond to prove it.'`English's first collection adds weight to the premise that the linked short story is our strongest form. She risks the hard discipline of remaining in the heart and behind the eyes of a suburban teenager, and with no narrative cheating. She pulls it off.'