I’ve been casting about for something to read for a couple of weeks now, looking for something strong enough to pull me away from the distractions of retail. I brought home A Better Angel, a collection of short stories by Chris Adrian. Before opening the book, I spent about half an hour contemplating the strange and beautiful cover art, which for some reason didn’t attract my attention in the store (and yes, we’ve been showing it  face out – FSG Art Department, what went wrong?). I’m only halfway through High Speeds, but already  I realize that the stories in this collection will be strange and beautiful themselves. Lucia tells me the characters in these stories are much like the characters (or even the very same characters) in Adrian’s book The Children’s Hospital, which was a fabulous book, albeit a bit long. I had patience for The Children’s Hospital because I was crazy about it, but for retail purposes a bit of editing down would have helped sales.

So I’ve hit gold again with A Better Angel — thanks, Mr. Adrian, for making my holidays bright.

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