The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories

The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories

3.8 (433 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The stories in The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories, a collection from Ethan Rutherford, map the surprising ways in which the world we think we know can unexpectedly reveal its darker contours.

In stories that are alternately funny, persuasive, and compelling, unforgettable characters are confronted with, and battle against, the limitations of their lives.

Rutherford's work has been selected by Alice Sebold for inclusion in the volume of The Best American Short Stories that she edited, and also published in Ploughshares, One Story, and American Short Fiction.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 225 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • New York
  • English
  • 0062203835
  • 9780062203830
  • 1,126,823

Back cover copy

Alternately funny, menacing, and deeply empathetic, the wildly inventive stories in Ethan Rutherford's The Peripatetic Coffin mark the debut of a powerful new voice in contemporary fiction

Worried about waning enrollment, the head counselor of the world's worst summer camp leads his campers on a series of increasingly dubious escapades in an effort to revive their esprit de corps. A young boy on a sailing vacation with his father comes face-to-face with a dangerous stranger, and witnesses a wrenching act of violence. Parents estranged from their disturbed son must gird themselves for his visit, even as they cannot face each other. And in the dazzling title story, the beleaguered crew of the first Confederate submarine embarks on their final, doomed mission during the closing days of the Civil War.

Whether set aboard a Czarist-era Russian ship locked in Arctic ice, on a futuristic whaling expedition whose depredations guarantee the environmental catastrophe that is their undoing, or in a suburban basement where two grade-school friends articulate their mutual obsessions, these strange, imaginative, and refreshingly original stories explore the ways in which we experience the world: as it is, as it could be, and the dark contours that lie between.
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Review quote

"Refreshingly raw . . . [Rutherford's] powerful debut presents each scenario in a humorous, reality-based manner, exploring life's various limitations and exposing the truth of its unpredictability... Rutherford reveals something painstakingly humane and beautiful in mistakes and misdirection."--Nylon Magazine
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Rating details

433 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 22% (97)
4 44% (191)
3 26% (114)
2 6% (24)
1 2% (7)
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