- Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER
- Format: Hardback | 224 pages
- Dimensions: 144mm x 221mm x 22mm | 399g
- Publication date: 19 February 2013
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 1451649312
- ISBN 13: 9781451649314
- Sales rank: 748,206
In "Middle Men," Stegner Fellow and "New Yorker" contributor Jim Gavin delivers a hilarious and panoramic vision of California, portraying a group of men, from young dreamers to old vets, as they make valiant forays into middle-class respectability. In "Play the Man" a high-school basketball player aspires to a college scholarship, in "Elephant Doors," a production assistant on a game show moonlights as a stand-up comedian, and in the collection's last story, the immensely moving "Costello," a middle-aged plumbing supplies salesman comes to terms with the death of his wife. The men in Gavin's stories all find themselves stuck somewhere in the middle, caught half way between their dreams and the often crushing reality of their lives. A work of profound humanity that pairs moments of high comedy with searing truths about life's missed opportunities, "Middle Men" brings to life a series of unforgettable characters learning what it means to love and work and be in the world as a man, and it offers our first look at a gifted writer who has just begun teaching us the tools of his trade.
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"I love the wit and intelligence and rigor with which Jim Gavin renders characters who find themselves spiraling down the water column. Middle Men is peerless in its portraits of American males dimly coming to appreciate the disastrous convergence of their own fecklessness and feelings of entitlement with the increasingly unforgiving hard times bearing down on them, and on most of the rest of us as well."--Jim Shepard "author of You Think That's Bad and Liked You'd Understand, Anyway "