"Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories" is the whip-smart fiction debut of Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg. Known for his iconic film roles but also for his regular pieces in the "New Yorker" and his two critically acclaimed plays, Eisenberg is an emerging literary voice. Read more...
"Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories" is the whip-smart fiction debut of Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg. Known for his iconic film roles but also for his regular pieces in the "New Yorker" and his two critically acclaimed plays, Eisenberg is an emerging literary voice.
Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, "Bream Gives Me Hiccups" moves from contemporary L.A. to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions. In one piece, a tense email exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by his sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide ("The situation reminds me of a little historical blip called the Karadordevo agreement"); in another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing ("she didn t have one of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen"); in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention ("I ve been calling Mabel all day, she doesn t pick up Yes, of course I dialed the right number 2 ").
United by Eisenberg s gift for humor and character, and grouped into chapters that open with illustrations by award-winning cartoonist Jean Jullien, the witty pieces collected in "Bream Gives Me Hiccups" explore the various insanities of the modern world, and mark the arrival of a fantastically funny, self-ironic, and original voice."
- ISBN-13: 9780802124043
- ISBN-10: 0802124046
- Publisher: Grove Press
- Publish Date: September 2015
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-06
- Reviewer: Staff
The debut story collection from actor Eisenberg is a quick, witty read. The title story features the hilarious Yelp-like restaurant reviews of a sensitive nine-year-old, whose alcoholic mother drags him around to restaurants so that her ex-husband will foot the bill. The rest of the stories borrow from similar modernist tragicomic scenarios: one story is called “My Little Sister Texts Me with Her Problems”; another, “My Spam Plays Hard to Get,” features a coy email from a porn star with a passion for Chaucer; and, in more old-fashioned missives, a first-year college student chronicles her roommate woes to a tolerant teacher back home, in “My Roommate Stole My Ramen: Letters from a Frustrated Freshman.” Eisenberg’s brand of comedy is frequently compared to Woody Allen’s, and it’s easy to see why—the stories are populated with neuroses, highly difficult people, anxious mothers, and therapists; all seem to function in the same self-contained New York universe. Reading the stories requires a certain tolerance for (or delight in) cultural references. But they’re also charming, deftly written, and laugh-out-loud funny. (Sept.)