Breakfast's boiled egg, the overhead hum of fluorescent lights, the midmorning coffee break - the reassurance of daily routine keeps the world running. But when pushed - by a coworker's taunt, a face-to-face encounter with a woman in free fall - cracks appear and reveal alienation, casual cruelty, madness, and above all a simultaneous hunger for and fear of the unknown.
In this fantastically original debut collection, Daniel Orozco leads the reader through the secret lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. Orozco reveals the secret pleasures of late-night supermarket trips for cookie binges, exceptional data entry, and an exiled dictator's occasional piss on the U.S. embassy. The stories are formally inventive: a love affair blooms between two officers in the impartially worded pages of a police blotter; a new employee's first-day office tour includes descriptions of other workers' most private thoughts and actions; during an earthquake, the consciousness of the entire state of California shakes free for examination. Each story in the collection has a gut-punch impact, softened only by lyricism and black humor. Orozco is a major new talent and an important addition to the landscape of American fiction.
Here is a collection of short stories that excites me. The author's talent is evident from the opening page, and the brevity of the stories enables busy readers like me to enjoy them in the small bits of free time we have to read. Daniel Orozco's characters and modern, mostly work-life settings add up to a rare type of writing: short stories that read like mini page-turners. Orientation is filled with people very similar to ourselves and to those we encounter every day, but instead of being humdrum - as our lives can sometimes seem - these characters are captivating for their eccentricities, coping methods, compulsions, and for the spark of recognition they ignite in us. (Reviewed by Stacey Brownlie).
This collection has been a long time coming, and it's been worth the wait.
Starred Review. Precisely written, deeply human stories.
With a strong and sure talent, Orozco helps us to see each day as a ritual of orientation, of waking up in the morning and carrying on with the business at hand. For all short story readers.
In the story "The Bridge" from Daniel Orozco's collection of short stories Orientation, one man is traumatized when he witnesses a woman commit suicide by jumping from the bridge he's employed to paint. Though the story is fictional, suicide jumping is an all too frequent occurrence in real life. The Golden Gate Bridge, located in San Francisco, California, holds the macabre record for being the world's most popular suicide point, with an estimated 1,550 deaths having occurred at the national landmark.
The pedestrian walkway stands approximately 220 feet above the San Francisco Bay, and, according to an article in The New Yorker (2003), "Jumpers who hit the water do so at about seventy-five miles an hour and with a force of fifteen thousand pounds per square inch. Eighty-five per cent of them suffer broken ribs, which rip inward and tear through the spleen, the lungs, and the heart......
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...