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Orientation: And Other Stories
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2011: You would be hard pressed to find a more consistent collection of short stories than Daniel Orozco's Orientation: And Other Stories, which gives us a surprising glimpse into lives that are too strange for a novel, but too fascinating to ignore. "The Bridge" tells us about bridge painters, who must, with some regularity, talk people down from throwing themselves off bridges. "I Run Every Day" profiles a boy whose embrace of isolation and his jogging routine leads him to commit a terrible act. But "Hunger Tales," the stickiest story in the book, is a series of deeply affecting vignettes about how the things we eat can make us feel guilt, loneliness, and comfort all at the same time. Orozco, whose work has been featured in McSweeney's, Harper's, and Best American Short Stories, recalls the melancholic tone of Dave Eggers (especially if you've read his short stories in How We Are Hungry) paired with the wit of George Saunders and a trace of Joyce Carol Oates's dark humor. But Orozco’s voice is unique, even if it is universally felt. --Kevin Nguyen
Breakfast’s boiled egg, the overhead hum of fluorescent lights, the midmorning coffee break—the reassurance of daily routine keeps the world running. But when pushed—by a coworker’s taunt, a face-to-face encounter with a woman in free fall—cracks appear and reveal alienation, casual cruelty, madness, and above all a simultaneous hunger for and fear of the unknown.
In this fantastically original debut collection, Daniel Orozco leads the reader through the secret lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. Orozco reveals the secret pleasures of late-night supermarket trips for cookie binges, exceptional data entry, and an exiled dictator’s occasional piss on the U.S. embassy. The stories are formally inventive: a love affair blooms between two officers in the impartially worded pages of a police blotter; a new employee’s first-day office tour includes descriptions of other workers’ most private thoughts and actions; during an earthquake, the consciousness of the entire state of California shakes free for examination. Each story in the collection has a gut-punch impact, softened only by lyricism and black humor. Orozco is a major new talent and an important addition to the landscape of American fiction.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:20 -0400)
In this collection, Orozco leads the reader through the secret lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. Each story in the collection has a gut-punch impact, softened only by lyricism and black humor.
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