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The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories Summary and Reviews

The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories

by Sam Pink

The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories by Sam Pink X
The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories by Sam Pink
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2020
    288 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

It was maybe the first job I'd ever had where people were happy to see me.
An odd feeling indeed, to wield this kind of power.
To be this kind of force.
As near to magical as any mortal should stride.
A technician of unspeakable joy.

Braving the neon mountains to return with blue raspberry concentrate.
Tearing out sundae cone fangs from the mouths of snow beasts.
And so on.

Cone dealer, sunshine stealer, alleyway counselor, lunch lady to the homeless, friend to the dead, maker of sandwiches. Metal wrangler. Stag among stags. And so it goes―another journey through time spent punched in. A life's work of working for a living. Blood, death, and violence. Dirty dishes, dead roaches, and sparkler-lit nights. Nights ahead and no real fate. So open your mouths because the forecast calls for sprinkles. Thirteen delights, scooped and served. Let it melt down your hand. Let the sun burn your face. It's the ice cream man, and other stories.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Pink, who is also a visual artist and a musician, continues exploring a world of the relentlessly profane with...tender humanity...His characters don't need redemption so much as they need a sandwich, or a blanket, or someone to talk with in order to pass the time, and herein lies the collection's greatest, and most surprising, strength. A voice like none other writing today—Pink is riveting." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[H]umorously understated...Pink's incisive, empathetic collection will resonate with readers who share an appreciation for the absurd." - Publishers Weekly

"Pink's prose is sharp and tight, with short sentences fired off in rapid succession. Consequently, even longer stories like 'Blue Victoria' can be read quickly, and the whole collection could be finished in a day. Readers who miss Charles Bukowski's blue-collar-centered fiction will find lots to like here." – Booklist

"Sam Pink's latest book comprises 13 grisly, spare, and poetic stories that delve into the darkest corners of modern society...Divided into sections on Chicago, Florida, and Michigan, Pink zooms in on the mundanities and dirty realities of labor—and the rare moments of humanity that manage to break through it." - BuzzFeed, 1 of 83 Books to Keep on your Radar This Year

"These stories make me feel like I'm eavesdropping, spying. They are the glass against the door and the ear hovering over it, the keyhole and the eye peering through. Sam Pink writes grit and beauty just as they are—no cheap tricks, no overblown metaphors. He gives us true laughter in the face of despair. Give this book to anyone who thinks they hate reading. Give this book to your best friend and your enemies. The Ice Cream Man is for all of us, is all of us." - Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest

"There's really nothing like Sam Pink. He's one of my all-time favorite writers, and The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories is truly excellent. These stories are abruptly funny; strange in an oddly familiar way; sometimes super sad; always, always generous; and an absolute pleasure to read." - Halle Butler, author of The New Me

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Author Information

Sam Pink

Sam Pink's books include Person, The No Hellos Diet, Hurt Others, Rontel, Witch Piss, and The Garbage Times/White Ibis. His writing has been published widely in print and on the Internet and translated into other languages. He currently lives in Michigan.

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