Twilight of the Superheroes: Stories
- Author: Deborah Eisenberg
- Publisher: Picador
- Published: January 2007
- ISBN-10: 0312425937
- ISBN-13: 9780312425937
- Format: Paperback
- Copyright: 2006
- Subject: FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
Complex relationships and troubling histories are skillfully telescoped in Eisenberg's new collection of six urbane, probing stories.Contemporary angst is sharply portrayed when a shallow young woman joins an unpleasant family reunion called to deal with her stroke-ridden grandmother, a formerly brilliant, active woman who's now a helpless (though not clueless) ruin (";;;;Revenge of the Dinosaurs";;;;), and in the title story about four Manhattan ";;;;friends";;;; who sublet a spacious, perfect apartment, until 9/11 destroys their insular ";;;;world";;;; along with the larger one they only dimly inhabit. Eisenberg handles such matters assuredly (though the title story does lapse into needless authorial commentary), but she seems out of her element in ";;;;Like It Or Not,";;;; in which an unhappily divorced schoolteacher experiences Rome in the company of a self-declared art guide who is himself escaping a privileged life of which he feels unworthy. ";;;;Window,";;;; however, departs intriguingly from this author's usual turf, in the increasingly tense story of a young, single mother's destroyed hope for happiness with a sexy survivalist who gradually reveals both criminal proclivities and a compulsion to abuse women. ";;;;The Flaw in the Design";;;; subtly discloses how ";;;;the things that are hidden";;;; in several lives gnaw at and threaten a straying wife, her dull, ";;;;successful";;;; husband and their brilliant, accusatory, unstable college-age son. But the gem is ";;;;Some Other, Better Otto,";;;; a stunning exfoliation of emotional detail in which a 60ish attorney, unstrung by the demands and needs of his scattered siblings, receives more compassion and understanding than he yearns for or deserves from his endlessly kind, selfless male lover.Not quite equal to Eisenberg's All Around Atlantis (1997), but she's still the closest thing there is to an American Alice Munro. And this is one fine source for Woody Allen to mine for his next New York movie. Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
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