Turtleface and Beyond

Arthur Bradford. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25 (208p) ISBN 978-0-374-27806-9
The short stories in Bradford’s new collection (Dogwalker) all share a protagonist, Georgie. Lucky for us, Georgie has a knack for being around when someone is about to do something “spectacular and stupid.” Georgie narrates with such charisma (“It was an irresponsible thing to do. I even knew it at the time, but I still went ahead.”) it’s easy to understand why women crawl in bed with him unbidden or how he is friends with so many friendless people. Georgie evenhandedly recounts the series of mishaps and strange scenarios he finds himself in as he makes his way from Vermont to Resort Tik Tok in Thailand, before ending up in Brooklyn. In the title story, Georgie’s friend Otto attempts a running cliff dive into a remote river to impress some women and severely injures himself and the turtle that breaks his fall. Further adventures involve snakebites, prostheses, and a big, mysterious box in a backyard. With this delightful collection, Bradford maintains a finely calibrated comic tone on the edge of dark, which through some feat of magic remains buoyant and mirthful. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/15/2014
Release date: 02/03/2015
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-374-71284-6
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-250-09745-3
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