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Twilight Of The Superheroes Hardcover – Jan 26 2006

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Fsg Adult (Jan. 26 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374299412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374299415
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,871,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Short-story master Eisenberg delivers, with signature intelligence and humor, six elegant, soulful new tales in her fifth book of stories. In a nuanced and compassionate family portrait, "Some Other, Better Otto," complex expressions of love and despair circle around a high-strung brother and his prodigiously talented, mentally ill sister. Several other stories also portray families pulling simultaneously apart while cleaving together, but each character and each motive is unique in Eisenberg's hands. The extraordinary, near–novella-length "Window" follows a young, naïve woman into a marginal, backwoods life with a secretive and dictatorial man who has business in arms dealing and a toddler son he's left in her care. The title piece is set in Manhattan around the events of 9/11 and focuses on the post-collegiate ennui of a group of 20-something friends facing an uncertain future. The author is at the top of her form delving into the varied but devastating truth that, even after an apocalypse, people still have to lie in the beds they've made, unable to sleep. A terrific addition to the oeuvre of one of America's finest and most deeply empathetic short story writers. (Feb.)
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"There aren't many contemporary novels as shudderingly intimate and mordantly funny as Eisenberg's best stories."--Ben Marcus, The New York Times Book Review
"A masterly collection . . . Instead of forcing her characters' stories into neat, arbitrary, preordained shapes, Deborah Eisenberg allows them to grow organically into oddly shaped, asymmetrical narratives--narratives that possess all the surprising twists and dismaying turns of real life."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Eisenberg's filament-thin weavings of desire, obligation, and missed opportunities remind one strongly of Henry James. . . . Eisenberg is a master of condensation and reconstruction, making beautiful murals from broken glass."--O, The Oprah Magazine
"Ambitious and resonant . . . Whether the subjects be lovely young girls grown old or waning superpowers, Eisenberg makes masterful short work out of marking their decline and fall."--NPR's Fresh Air
"The deepest pleasure in Ms. Eisenberg's stories is their vertiginous unpredictability, like obstacle courses the author jumps and rolls and shimmies through, clasping the reader to her like an infant. . . . These are fearless, fierce, light-bearing stories, offered in defense of what still matters."--The New York Observer
"Dazzling . . . Her distinctive voice and mastery of the short story elevate her to the ranks of kindred spirits like Gina Berriault, Alice Munro, and even Chekhov."--Time Out New York
"With every story in this superb new collection, Deborah Eisenberg, one of America's finest writers, offers new ways of seeing and feeling, as if something were being perfected at the core. The half dozen long stories here put her light years ahead of most story writers."--Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle
"Outstanding . . . Eisenberg offers enough insight and intelligent observation to amply justify her reputation as the American Alice Munro."--Yvonne Zipp, Christian Science Monitor.
"Like other current masters of the short story--Joy Williams, Lycia Davis, Ben Marcus--Eisenberg works her own fertile ground so faithfully and assiduously that she brooks no comparison. She simply writes like no one else."--Lisa Shea, Elle
"He stories are so skillfully crafted that they seem composed more of shapes and textures than of printed words. Reading her makes you wish, as you study the family in front of you in the grocery line, that you could see their thoughts rendered as one of Eisenberg's stunning inner monologues"
--Judith Lewis, Los Angles Times
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Complex relationships and troubling histories are skillfully telescoped in Eisenberg's new collection of six urbane, probing stories. Deborah Eisenberg is nearly unmatched in her mastery of the short-story form. Now, in her newest collection, she demonstrates once again her virtuosic abilities in precisely distilled, perfectly shaped studies of human connection and disconnection. From a group of friends whose luck in acquiring a luxurious Manhattan sublet turns to disaster as their balcony becomes a front-row seat to the catastrophe of 9/11; to the Roman holiday of a schoolteacher running away from the news of her ex-husband's life-threatening illness, and her unlikely guide, a titled art scout in desperate revolt against his circumstances and aging; to the too painful love of a brother for his schizophrenic sister, whose tragic life embitters him to the very idea of family, Eisenberg evokes "intense, abundant human lives" in which "everything that happens is out there waiting for you to come to it." Eisenberg's seventh collection of stories, Twilight of the Superheroes, confirms her talent for fiction that, like Chekhov's, insinuates you right into the characters' gnarled hearts, by methods so subtle and slippery that you're not sure where you are or how you got there. Highly recommend. Another book worth looking into is by Giorgio Kostantinos--The Quest. Highly Recommend
Anne Spencer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c3582e8) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0c5e64) out of 5 stars Superb Series Of Short Stories Feb. 11 2006
By C. Hutton - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Eisenberg has a wicked sense of literary creation. The colorful book jacket alone encompasses so many meanings and allusions. The battered Batman-like superhero watches over the mayhem of 9-11 and over the New York City loft where Ms. Eisenberg's characters of the titled story have gathered. The title itself invokes the opera of Richard Wagner, "The Twilight of the Gods." And the reader has not even reached the actual story itself.

The author is an acquired taste who makes the reader work at understanding the motives and actions of her flawed but all-too-human characters -- this is not beach reading. For those who enjoy the craft of her story-telling, the reader is referred to last year's "Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg" and to 1996's "The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg" -- the latter is the reprinting together of her first two books of stories while the former is a 'best of" collection from all her published works.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0c5eb8) out of 5 stars Post-9/11ist stories about lostness and aloneness Jan. 21 2007
By DVL - Published on
Format: Hardcover
With "Twighlight of the Superheroes," Deborah Eisenburg is throwing another log onto the early but incipient literary bonfire of "Post-9/11ism." Indeed, these stories are a testament to Post-9/11ism's leading attributes: expectation of imminent doom, the globe as a child that has lost its innocence, the theory that, contrary to the trend prevalent throughout most of history, the teenagers, 20- and 30-somethings of today will be the first generation to live less happily than their parents, as well as the feeling that our world, through its fast-paced ambition and utter forwardness, has made tragic mistakes for which our children and grandchildren will pay.

The title story, of course, says this the best. And as a 17-year-old who expects to reside one day in no place other than a city like New York, I finished it with tears in my eyes. Not because the story was dark, or polemic-sounding, which it was, but because, counter to those strides, there is empathy for the characters, and an underlying, godless faith that we as people will survive, continue to wake up in the morning and live the lives we make for ourselves. The world in which this story was written is not the world that existed ten years ago. This is a time of monumental change, and I welcome the recent movement of Post-9/11ism with open arms.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0ca30c) out of 5 stars Classic Short Stories April 13 2006
By John Matlock - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Eisenberg is one of the masters of the short story, winning award after award. Her stories have the tight composition characteristic of writing that has to tell a story in a few pages. The actions, the characters have to be distilled down to the essense of the story. In short stories you do not have the option of stringing out the character development over time, each word, each sentence has to ahve meaning.

Here are six of her latest stories. If you are a fan of hers, here is your next fix. If you are new, you are in for a special delight. Here are characters living out their lives as best they can. They are limited by their own abilities, their own beliefs, their families, and basically the beds that they have made for themselves.

Ms. Eisenberg is provessor of fictional writing at the University of Virginia.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0ca6d8) out of 5 stars Stunning Aug. 22 2006
By Zolma - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The stories in this book are absolutely stunning. I want to know more about every single character. I care about them and hope that during my lifetime Ms. Eisernberg writes more stories with these characters. They are real, yet each one represents something. Amazing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0ca7bc) out of 5 stars One of the best short story collections in years Sept. 24 2009
By An admirer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Deborah Eisenberg's stories are highly intelligent, witty, and complex--so complex they're like small novels.
They're actually about something, too. This collection is her apotheosis as an artist (thus far); and she has
just won a well-deserved MacArthur "Genius" grant!