Rust and Bone

Craig Davidson, Author . Norton $23.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-393-06129-1

A strong stomach, an open mind and a morbid sense of humor are essential to enjoying Davidson's accomplished, macabre first collection. Calamity lurks around every corner, these stories suggest, and you never know when fate will smite you—only that it will. Davidson catapults his characters (sex addicts, fighters, gamblers and drinkers) into ingeniously grim situations that test their will. In "Rocket Ride," a young man who loses his leg to the orca he performs with in a marine park show tries to rebuild his life, in part by attending meetings of the Unlimbited Potential support group, which is full of substance-abusing amputees who wonder if karma's to blame for their plights. In the gruesome "A Mean Utility," a normal-seeming couple—an ad exec and his wife, a nurse—breed and fight vicious dogs, while in the sad "On Sleepless Roads," a repo man leaves one night's job not with the camper he was supposed to reclaim, but with the destitute man's hamster and guinea pig, which he brings home to his disabled wife. Davidson, 30, is a fine young writer with a keen sense of the absurd and a bracing, biting wit, but his focus on gore may keep many readers from appreciating his obvious talent. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-0-670-06442-7
Paperback - 239 pages - 978-0-393-32900-1
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-393-34644-2
Hardcover - 249 pages - 978-0-330-44180-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-330-44586-3
Paperback - 238 pages - 978-0-330-44181-0
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4472-2624-6
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-4472-1942-2
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-0-14-305125-1
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