Kick in the Head: Stories

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Fiction - 240 pages
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   In stories that are as diverting as they are disconcerting, Steven Rinehart plumbs the psyche of that most perplexing beast: the American male. Set against a stark Midwestern landscape dotted with trailers, guns, cars, and crashed, these are deftly crafted and oddly resonant portraits of men behaving badly and men who have it bad—usually at the same time.
   A Boy Scout struggles through a bizarre boys-to-men ritual.  A man starts a love affair with a diabetic who prefers booze to insulin.  Another man who's finally enjoying his first sex-only relationship destroys it by clinging to a white lie. From the high school teacher battling his attraction to a troubled student to the patron who becomes a conspirator in a violent outburst in a bar, these are guys who have a lot to learn and seem to insist on doing so the hard way.  Linked throughout the collection in surprising ways, Rinehart's stories ultimately form a cohesive work that introduces his as a writer of striking vision and offers a sharp-focus snapshot of men who need a kick in the head—and get it when they least expect it.  

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hayduke - LibraryThing

An impressive debut collection of short stories by a writer to keep an eye on. Each of these stories had elements that made me wince and I mean that in a good way. Rinehart examines in close-up detail the basest of human foibles with humor and pathos. Read full review

Kick in the head: stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In Rinehart's engaging debut collection of short stories, men seek to make connections with women, often without welcome and rarely with much introspection or insight. But the stories ring true ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Steven Rinehart spent his childhood on military bases in Europe.  His family then moved to Illinois, and he went to school in Hawaii and Iowa.  His stories have been published in a variety of magazines, including Harper's, GQ, Story, and Ploughshares and he has received both NEA and Michener Fellowships. He lives in New York City.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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