Searches and Seizures, Stanley Elkin
People say Elkin is a comic genius, and he is, and people say he’s one of the language’s most superb stylists, and he is, but he’s also an underrated chronicler/investigator/up-ender of what people think about when they think about masculinity. This book is comprised of three novellas that, in turn, deal with the kaleidoscopic possibility of manhood: the worst a man can be (Alexander Main, the hideous main character of The Bailbondsman), the things a man must deal with (Ashenden of The Making of Ashenden, who is sexually forced by a bear), and the danger of a man succeeding (Marshall Preminger of The Condominium, who becomes a kind of god and is brought low in the process).
Suggested by Ben Greenman, New York Times best-selling author of three novels, including The Slippage (Harper Perennial, 2013).
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