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Godforsaken Idaho
by Shawn Vestal


Overview -

In this stunning novel, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From "The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death," an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to "Winter Elders," in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human.  Read more...


 
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More About Godforsaken Idaho by Shawn Vestal
 
 
 
Overview

In this stunning novel, Shawn Vestal transports us to the afterlife, the rugged Northwest, and the early days of Mormonism. From "The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death," an absurd, profound vision of a hellish heaven, to "Winter Elders," in which missionaries calmly and relentlessly pursue a man who has left the fold, these nine stories illuminate the articles of faith that make us human. The concluding triptych tackles the legends and legacy of Mormonism head-on, culminating in "Diviner," a seriocomic portrait of the young Joseph Smith, back when he was not yet the founder of a religion but a man hired to find buried treasure. Godforsaken Idaho is an indelible collection by the writer you need to read next. Named an 'Outstanding 2013 Short Story Collection' by The Story Prize, winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, winner of the Pushcart Prize, shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780544027763
  • ISBN-10: 0544027760
  • Publisher: New Harvest
  • Publish Date: April 2013
  • Page Count: 224
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.39 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Religious - General
Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-03-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

In his debut collection of short stories, Vestal, a journalist for The Spokesman-Review, focuses on down-on-their-luck types, stubborn men in the dregs of society and on the verge of giving up. The unnamed narrator of the title story is a sad sack hiding out in Idaho with his collection of Penthouse magazines and no real prospects. Having decamped from Chicago after his father's fatal heart attack, which leaves him and his mother unexpectedly penniless, the man spends his days sitting in his closet, "gorging on porn" and Russian novels. When he falls three months behind on the rent, an unpleasant encounter with his landlord turns unexpectedly tragic, but the narrator is too disgraced by that point to feel much of anything. In connected stories "The First Several Hundred Years Following My Death" and "About as Fast as This Car Will Go," several generations of a family make the same mistakes, as fathers abandon sons with predictably sad but trite results. And in the cheerily, if sardonically, titled "Families Are Forever!" compulsive liar Brad attempts to make amends with his girlfriend and her parents only to find himself—sadly, predictably—telling more lies. In Vestal's bleak vision, hope itself is godforsaken. (Apr.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews