Viral: Book summary and reviews of Viral by Emily Mitchell

Viral

Stories

by Emily Mitchell

Viral by Emily Mitchell X
Viral by Emily Mitchell
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  • Published Jun 2015
    208 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

A guidebook introduces foreign visitors to a recognizable but dreamlike America, where mirrors are haunted and the Statue of Liberty wears a bowler hat. A department-store supervisor must discipline employees who don't smile enough at customers, but finds himself unexpectedly drawn to the saddest of them all. A woman reluctantly agrees to buy her daughter a robot pet, then is horrified when her little girl chooses an enormous mechanical spider for a companion.

The characters in these stories find that the world they thought they knew has shifted and changed, become bizarre and disorienting, and, occasionally, miraculous. Told with absurdist humor and sweet sadness, Viral is about being lost in places that are supposed to feel like home.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A rich collection that takes the familiar obsessions of love and loneliness and views them from uncanny angles in ways that are magical, cutting, and intensely recognizable." - Kirkus

"Readers captivated by her seemingly effortless style will also appreciate the biographical fantasies she spins about herself." - Publishers Weekly

"Sometimes offbeat, sometimes lightly searing, but mostly both ... Unsettling, absurdist takes on the recognizable; for most readers." - Library Journal

"Emily Mitchell is a masterful, magical writer, and Viral is an astounding collection." - Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth

"Emily Mitchell's remarkable, innovative stories run the gamut of human experience - there are young lovers and old haters, there is laugh-out-loud funny stuff and melancholy reflection, straightforward plots and curvy free association. In short, this is a many-tentacled book of great variety, and it's exciting to see it unleashed upon the world." - Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply

"Binding together and moving through this delectable collection there's a mystery, the one that makes you keep turning the pages, its insistent heartbeat that of the beloved, the forever lost, the world you thought you knew, whatever is always waiting for you just around the bend." - Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex

This information about Viral was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Emily Mitchell

Emily Mitchell's stories have been published in Harper's, Ploughshares, New England Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Maryland. Her novel The Last Summer of the World was published in 2007. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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more short stories...

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