Something Is Out There

Richard Bausch, Author . Knopf $24.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0-307-26627-9

Fissures of familial and amorous transgressions erupt in the seemingly placid lives of everyday people in Bausch's eighth collection (after novel, Peace ), where power outages, raging snow storms and the sweeping Mississippi River form a backdrop seething with looming menace for unhappy marriages and drowning dreams. In subtle but firm prose, Bausch allows his characters to stumble along a harrowing path that they hope will lead them to be, as the protagonist of “Blood” proclaims, “Free at last.” But freedom is elusive for many characters, including the two women and two children of the title story who hide out in a house during a storm. Elsewhere, sacred ground—be it the bed of a minister and his wife, a friend's marriage or a confessional booth—forms the stage for the pursuit of pleasure, healing and escape. Throughout, Bausch takes the chaotic fallout from simple acts—delaying a friend's husband so she can plan a surprise party, killing time on an errand, sleeping in and nearly missing an appointment—to show how dangerously close we may be to encountering a predatory world eager to destroy our comforts, relationships and beliefs. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/12/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 162 pages - 978-0-307-59288-0
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-307-27914-9
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