Especially the Bad Things (eBook)


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Can a meaningful relationship survive on one person’s love for a beard? Can Shakespeare protect a doomed romance from an angry bee stuck in a car? How does an old iron speak to affairs of the heart? Or a necklace screwed to a wall? Or a neglected lute music CD? And how can we gauge the secret yearnings of the woman who writes novels about werewolves?

Wry and absurd, pithy and profound, the short fiction of Greg Gerke takes the pulse of couples who’ve arrived at the end of something, one-time lovers mired in “the unendurable zone.” Moments of improbable grace are salvaged from bitter break-ups, prolonged languor is punctuated by outbreaks of panic and violence, and the acute pain of thwarted hopes dissipates into indifference. In each of these stories, forty times over, Gerke diagnoses the poisons of heartache with results that pull in two directions at once: comical and grotesque, caustic and humane, sharp-tongued and stirringly sincere.