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Booklist Online - October 27 2009

Dangerous Places

Glasser, Perry (author).


Nov. 2009. 170p. BkMk, paperback, $16.95 (9781886157699).
REVIEW. First published October 27, 2009 (Booklist Online).

 

The world-weary characters in Glasser’s third short story collection stumble on danger in the least likely places: grocery stores, shopping malls, backyards, and bedrooms. And the danger they encounter isn’t the cliff-hanging peril the title might suggest. In the novella-length opener, “An Age of Marvels and Wonders,” a former business professor, aging and going blind, teaches a single mother how to see her own potential as a businessperson while hiding her from her recently paroled ex. In “The Veldt,” a man afraid to tell his wife that he has lost his job two weeks ago avenges a teen who steals his parking spot while shopping. And in “Danger,” a coda of sorts, the narrator offers a series of brief tales of everyday people teetering between safety and harm, including a couple who picks up random hitchhikers and an Army vet caught cheating with his daughter’s friend. Glasser’s funny and authoritative voice is that of a sage storyteller, one in whose world good and evil often walk the same tightrope. These are finely crafted and original stories.

— Jonathan Fullmer

 

Caroline Leavitteville

I first met Perry Glasser on Facebook. His book of stories, Dangerous Places, boasts blurbs from Bob Shacochis, Ron Hansen, Ron Carlson and more, and he's the winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. I picked up his book and was completed and thoroughly knocked out. His stories, about people on the edge of hope, are raw, gritty, extraordinary and unlike anything I have ever read before. It's literally the best short story collection I've read. So, of course, I grabbed Perry and insisted he let me ask him questions, and he was gracious enough to comply. Thanks, Perry....

Read the interview

about Caroline Leavitt

I'm the award winning author of eight novels, most recently Girls in Trouble, which was a Booksense Selection and is now in its third printing. I'm the recipient of a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant in Fiction and portions of my novel in progress won a Goldenberg Fiction Prize. I was a finalist in the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship, a semi-finalist in the Fade In/Writers' Net Screenwriting Competition, and a National Magazine Award nominee. Four of my novels were optioned for screen, and I talked my way into writing the script for two of them. I'm a book critic for The Boston Globe, People Magazine, and a brand new magazine called Dame. I teach novel writing for UCLA, do private writing mentoring, and I am a professional namer! I live with my husband and son.

New Pages

February 1, 2010 by Alex Myer.

His stories have familiar surroundings, familiar people, and are written in prose that is a flowing, melodious tune – one you could hum. ......A former circus worker gives the main character this advice as she relates the time she was once strapped to the wheel and found herself unable to look away from the knives being thrown at her. ‘That’s okay,’ she says, ‘Every woman is a target . . . you may as well keep your eyes open. Take it all in. No one gets more than one chance on the wheel.’ It is a wonderful metaphor for fate, deftly handled throughout the piece.

Glasser has put together an excellent volume. This was a collection I had a hard time setting down, and I expect I will return to it in the future.”

Read the review

 

Virginia Quarterly Review

Spring 2010

Dangerous Places, by Perry Glasser. BkMk Press, $16.95 paper

These six stories set in the Midwest and New York City feature wildly diverse characters bound by one commonality--that their ordinary lives are made extraordinary by sudden, dangerous circumstances. In the first piece, “An Age of Marvels and Wonders,“ the elderly narrator, resigned to a life disappearing before him, falls in love with a young woman. When confronted by her jailbird ex-husband, the old man uses deadly violence to protect her. His life changes, becoming more hopeful and urgent. In “Fishhook,“ we watch a college student spy on a thief at his summer job. And when the thief brings his son shoplifting with him, he gives the student, and the reader, a closer look at what it takes to get the heart beating harder. If there’s one message here, it’s that danger, in all its manifestations, introduces excitement into our suburban existence. We are thrilled by the spectacle of it, and then shocked by its realness. And that’s Glasser’s goal, to get us closer to the realness. He asks us to consider the lives his characters lead. He lets us listen to the sound of their blood flowing, and then asks if it really sounds different from our own.
 

--Lee Clay Johnson