A Better Angel: Stories

Front Cover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Aug 5, 2008 - Fiction - 240 pages
12 Reviews

The stories in A Better Angel describe the terrain of human suffering—illness, regret, mourning, sympathy—in the most unusual of ways. In "Stab," a bereaved twin starts a friendship with a homicidal fifth grader in the hope that she can somehow lead him back to his dead brother. In "Why Antichrist?" a boy tries to contact the spirit of his dead father and finds himself talking to the Devil instead. In the remarkable title story, a ne'er do well pediatrician returns home to take care of his dying father, all the while under the scrutiny of an easily-disappointed heavenly agent.

With Gob's Grief and The Children's Hospital, Chris Adrian announced himself as a writer of rare talent and originality. The stories in A Better Angel, some of which have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, and McSweeney's, demonstrate more of his endless inventiveness and wit, and they confirm his growing reputation as a most exciting and unusual literary voice—of heartbreaking, magical, and darkly comic tales.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aliceunderskies - LibraryThing

This book is a perfect example for why I don't care for short stories: I read the first story, was overwhelmed with excitement at its dark, disturbing sadness, got extremely excited, and read the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cait815 - LibraryThing

Oh my god, I have found the modern day, male Flannery O'Connor! Dark, disturbing tone? The grotesque? Religious themes? Check, check, and check. With Adrian though, we have medicine instead of the ... Read full review


The Sum of Our Parts
The Vision of Peter Damien
A Better Angel
The Changeling
A Hero of Chickamauga
A Childs Book of Sickness and Death
Why Antichrist?

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Chris Adrian is the author Gob's Grief and The Children's Hospital. He lives in Boston, where he is a pediatrician and divinity student.

Bibliographic information