ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
For more than four decades, Thomas McGuane has been heralded as an unrivaled master of the short story. Now the arc of that achievement appears in one definitive volume—forty-five stories, including two new and six previously uncollected pieces. Set in the seedy corners of Key West, the remote shore towns of the Bahamas, and McGuane’s hallmark Big Sky country with its vast and unforgiving landscape, these are stories of people on the fringes of society, whose twisted pasts meddle with their chances for companionship. Moving from the hilarious to the tragic and back again, McGuane writes about familial dysfunction, emotional failure, and American loneliness, celebrating the human ability to persist through life’s absurdities.
About the Author
THOMAS McGUANE lives on a ranch in McLeod, Montana. He is the author of ten novels, three works of nonfiction, and three previous collections of stories, To Skin a Cat, Gallatin Canyon, and Crow Fair.
“Dazzling. . . . Potent. . . . Cleareyed. . . . There’s so much to praise and parse. . . . The stories are uniformly brilliant. . . . Would it be ludicrous to list, say, 20 of them as favorites?. . . . McGuane has emerged a master of the short story. . . . Cloudbursts is clearly the product of a life’s worth of thought and feeling and experience; it ought to be savored. That said, if you find yourself tearing through the book like a flash flood washing out a dirt road, I say go for it. You can always reread later, and you probably will.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Wonderful, essential. . .compelling and often astonishing. The stakes always feel high (characters can die and do die), and there's no such thing as a not-funny McGuane story. The result is a continuous succession of storytelling delights.” —The Los Angeles Times
“Prose as chiseled and striking as a Rocky Mountain butte. . . . The brightness and humor of the writing never fails to delight.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A masterful addition to the form.” —Minneapolis StarTribune
“Sharply observed. . . . McGuane belongs on the social observer shelf with other short story masters including Anne Beattie, John Cheever, and Roald Dahl. . . . Simply a masterpiece.” —New York Journal of Books
“More than a few [stories] are what you might call, what you should call, masterpieces. . . . A great writer.” —Washington Independent Review of Books
“[An] outstanding career-capping volume, , , , Brief, stormy, and refreshing, McGuane’s stories erupt like the namesake of this marvelous collection.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Powerful. . . . Damn funny. . . . McGuane is a master, choosing his words with a lapidary’s precision and setting them in sentences that burn brightly, finishing his stories with epiphanies to treasure…One of our finest living short-story writers.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A career-spanning collection of short stories from McGuane, who’s observed America's outskirts with equal measures of pathos and humor. . . . Putting all these stories in one place also spotlights the evolution of his prose over time. In his early stories, he could pull off a Cheever-esque domestic drama like 'The Millionaire,' about a family secreting away their pregnant teenage daughter at a summer home. . . . The newer stories, by contrast, are at once sturdier and more sensitive. . . . A stellar writer on the outdoors who’s gotten better at describing interior wildernesses over time.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)