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Authors: Gilbert Sorrentino

A Strange Commonplace

BOOK: A Strange Commonplace
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Praise for Gilbert Sorrentino

“Gilbert Sorrentino has all the wit and charm of the great raconteur. His affection for the music of language is as fresh and appealing as that of a kid in love.”

—ROBERT COOVER

“For decades, Gilbert Sorrentino has remained a unique figure in our literature. He reminds us that fiction lives because artists make it…. To the novel—everyone’s novel—Sorrentino brings honor, tradition and relentless passion.”

—DON DELILLO

“Sorrentino [is] a writer like no other. He’s learned, companionable, ribald, brave, mathematical, at once virtuosic and somehow without ego. Sorrentino’s books break free of the routine that inevitably accompanies traditional narrative, no matter how clever and intelligent, and through a passionate renunciation shine with an unforgiving, but for all that, cleansing, light.”

—JEFFREY EUGENIDES

“For a compelling, hilarious, and ultimately compassionate rendering of life in mid-20th-century America, forget the conscientious subjectors and take Gilbert Sorrentino at his golden Word.”

—HARRY MATHEWS

“Salute Gilbert Sorrentino! His is the spirit that keeps American fiction alive and kicking.”

—MINNEAPOLIS
STAR TRIBUNE

“Perhaps in a hundred years or so, readers and literary critics alike will recognize Gilbert Sorrentino’s brilliance as an uncompromising American artist who recasts his singular, iconoclastic vision in each of his modernist masterpieces.”

—AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW

Praise for
Lunar Follies

“Hilarious … vintage Sorrentino, with the sonar ear and wicked wink.”


HARPER’S

“Like a reckless heir to Borges, Barthelme and Groucho Marx, Gilbert Sorrentino co-opts the language of critical discourse to subvert his audience’s preconceptions … [a] dizzying, very funny book.”


NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“The satire of
Lunar Follies
hews so close to the bone that it saws right through it … Sorrentino’s savagery can be Swiftian, usually exaggerating by just the slightest degree the debased language of the cultural marketplace… . Exhilarating.”


WASHINGTON POST


Lunar Follies
is yet another wily variation on the weaving of narrative betwixt itself: a slim collection of fictional art reviews of nonexistent art installations … Sorrentino’s skewer of all things postmodern is of course a grandly postmodern piece itself.”


VILLAGE VOICE

“A bravura feat of parody.”


THE BELIEVER

“Can a two-page list of paintings and artists rejected by a gallery, for instance, really be considered literary fiction? Yes, hilariously so…. Savor this book, which is highly recommended.”


LIBRARY JOURNAL
(STARRED REVIEW)

Praise for
The Moon in Its Flight

“The title piece of this collection is among the ten best stories in the history of American literature; its availability in book form—along with the other nineteen stories collected—is long overdue.”


REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY FICTION

“The highest pleasure of reading Sorrentino is found in his individual sentences, which are so delightful they could be enjoyed plucked randomly from the pages … .
The Moon in Its Flight
is a thrilling retrospective of (and, for those uninitiated, a wonderful introduction to) Sorrentino’s uniquely brilliant body of work.”

—MINNEAPOLIS
STAR TRIBUNE

“The best stories here force us to consider and reconsider how we approach the very act of reading… . In bringing down the walls that typically fortify a narrator from his audience, in exposing the artifice behind the art, Sorrentino requires us to extend that healthy distrust not only to what we read but also to the narratives shaping the world around us.”


SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“Possessing both the grace of James Joyce and the snap and crackle of Tom Wolfe, this insightful offering by the two-time PEN/Faulkner Award finalist is a must-read for those who fancy fiction served on wry.”


BOOKLIST

“[Sorrentino] drives the machinery of his stories like a fancy new coupe whose engine he perfectly understands.”

—SEATTLE TIMES

Praise for
Little Casino

“As usual, I am so awed by the fertility of Gilbert Sorrentino’s imagination, so envious of his intelligence, and so astonished at his daring technical prestidigitation, that I’m tempted to spill out my own inkpot and weep. Except that I was also left laughing deliciously all the way.”

—DAVID MARKSON

“Crafty, wise, profoundly sane, this novel is simply a masterpiece.”

—BRADFORD MORROW

“Far from being overly highbrow … Sorrentino manages to be thrillingly disorienting and, at the same time, quite accessible. Told in prose that crackles with wit and verve,
Little Casino
is another testament to Sorrentino’s unconventional and darkly comic genius.”

—BOOKSENSE.COM

“In
Little Casino,
Sorrentino … displays his intelligence, exuberance and wisdom, making his novel both entertaining and incisive.”


LOS ANGELES TIMES

“There are books like
Finnegans Wake
that teach you how to read them as you go. Then there are books like Gilbert Sorrentino’s new
Little Casino
that make you forget how to read anything else.”


PHILADELPHIA CITY PAPER

“Sorrentino shows no lack of energy or invention in
[Little Casino]
as he brings his linguistic wizardry to bear on a trio of obsessions: lust, lost loves, and lingerie.”


KIRKUS REVIEWS

A STRANGE COMMONPLACE

COPYRIGHT © 2006 by Gilbert Sorrentino
COVER + BOOK DESIGN Linda Koutsky

Coffee House Press books are available to the trade through our primary distributor, Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, 1045 Westgate Drive, Saint Paul,
MN
55114. For personal orders, catalogs, or other information, write to: Coffee House Press, 27 North Fourth Street, Suite 400, Minneapolis,
MN
55401.

Coffee House Press is a nonprofit literary publishing house. Support from private foundations, corporate giving programs, government programs, and generous individuals help make the publication of our books possible. We gratefully acknowledge their support in detail in the back of this book. To you and our many readers across the country, we send our thanks for your continuing support.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CIP DATA

Sorrentino, Gilbert.

A strange commonplace/ Gilbert Sorrentino. p. cm.

ISBN-13: 978-1-56689-182-0 (alk. paper)

ISBN-10: 1-56689-182-5 (alk. paper)

ISBN: 978-1-56689-287-2 (ebook)

1. Suburban life—Fiction.

2. Psychological fiction.

3. Domestic fiction.

I. Title.

ps3569.07S77 2006
813’.54—DC22
2005035804

1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2

             I passed through extraordinary places, as vivid as any I ever saw where the storm had broken the barrier and let through a strange commonplace: Long, deserted avenues with unrecognized names at the corners and drunken looking people with completely foreign manners.

—WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

—T. S. ELIOT

Book One
In the Bedroom
Success
Born Again
Lovers
Another Story
Movies
Pair of Deuces
In Dreams
On the Roof
A Familiar Woman
In the Diner
Happy Days
Claire
Rockefeller Center
Brothers
A Small Adventure
Another Small Adventure
Cold Supper
Pearl Gray Homburg
An Apartment
Saturday Afternoon
The Jungle
Snow
Rain
The Alpine
A Wake
Book Two
Happy Days
Claire
Another Story
Lovers
BOOK: A Strange Commonplace
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