Hall of Small Mammals: Book summary and reviews of Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce

Hall of Small Mammals

Stories

by Thomas Pierce

Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce X
Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2015
    304 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

The stories in Thomas Pierce's Hall of Small Mammals take place at the confluence of the commonplace and the cosmic, the intimate and the infinite. A fossil-hunter, a comedian, a hot-air balloon pilot, parents and children, believers and nonbelievers, the people in these stories are struggling to understand the absurdity and the magnitude of what it means to exist in a family, to exist in the world.

In "Shirley Temple Three," a mother must shoulder her son's burden - a cloned and resurrected wooly mammoth who wreaks havoc on her house, sanity, and faith. In "The Real Alan Gass," a physicist in search of a mysterious particle called the "daisy" spends her days with her boyfriend, Walker, and her nights with the husband who only exists in the world of her dreams, Alan Gass.  Like the daisy particle itself - forever locked in a curious state of existence and nonexistence, sliding back and forth between the two - the stories in Thomas Pierce's Hall of Small Mammals are exquisite, mysterious, and inextricably connected.

From this enchanting primordial soup, Pierce's voice emerges - a distinct and charming testament of the New South, melding contemporary concerns with their prehistoric roots to create a hilarious, deeply moving symphony of stories.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The book is expertly paced (there isn't a dud in this eclectic bunch) and many of the stories' endings - some sinister, some melancholic, others heartfelt - prompt momentary reflection, though thankfully not always in ways that are expected." - Publishers Weekly

"A promising debut that studies hard-luck types from new and provocative perspectives." - Kirkus

"It's thrilling to find a writer with an imagination as wild and wonderful as Thomas Pierce... This is a fantastic, rewarding book of stories." - Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth and The Family Fang

"Thomas Pierce has a delicate, shaping presence in all these stories, which are sure to be talked about, admired, and paraphrased nervously, because they take us out of the comfort of our known world." - Ann Beattie

"Wry, wrenching, and elegant." - Brian Kimberling, author of Snapper

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Author Information

Thomas Pierce

Thomas Pierce was born and raised in South Carolina. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Oxford American, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Virginia creative writing program, he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife and daughter.

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