Fun with Problems: Book summary and reviews of Fun with Problems by Robert Stone

Fun with Problems

by Robert Stone

Fun with Problems by Robert Stone
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2010
    208 pages
    Genre: Short Stories & Essays

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Book Summary

In Fun with Problems, Robert Stone demonstrates once again that he is "one of our greatest living writers" (Los Angeles Times). The pieces in this new volume vary greatly in length—some are almost novellas, others no more than a page—but all share the signature blend of longing, violence, black humor, sex and drugs that has helped Stone illuminate the dark corners of the human soul. Entire lives are laid out with remarkable precision, in captivating prose: a screenwriter carries on a decades-long affair with a beautiful actress, whose descent into addiction he can neither turn from nor share; a bored husband picks up a mysterious woman only to find that his ego has led him woefully astray; a world-beating Silicon Valley executive receives an unwelcome guest at his mansion in the hills; a scuba dive guides uneasy newlyweds to a point of no return. Fun with Problems showcases Stone's great gift: to pinpoint and make real the impulses - by turns violently coercive and quietly seductive - that cause us to conceal, reveal, and betray our very selves.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Stone's evocative prose treads through the murky waters of dead dreams and waning hopes, bringing out the pathetic and nasty side of people warped by addiction, sex, violence and time." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Alienated, angry outsiders stalk the dangerous edges of their unraveling lives in the great American novelist's collection of grim short fiction." - Kirkus Reviews

"Readers who enjoy the caustic prose of Mary Gaitskill or Lee K. Abbott will gladly take this book to bed with them." - Library Journal

"In this ironically titled collection, prize-winning novelist Robert Stone delivers insightful and at times wickedly funny portraits of troubled characters sowing the seeds of their own downfall." - Shelf Awareness

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Author Information

Robert Stone Author Biography

Photo: Greg Martin

Robert Stone was the acclaimed author of nine novels, and two short story collections, plus several nonfiction works.

He won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1975 for his novel Dog Soldiers and was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and once for the PEN/Faulkner Awards. Time magazine included it in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1937 to a "family of Scottish Presbyterians and Irish Catholics who made their living as tugboat workers in New York harbor," he died in January 2015

Novels
A Hall of Mirrors (1967)
Dog Soldiers (1974)
A Flag for Sunrise (1981)
Children of Light (1986)
Outerbridge Reach (1992)
Damascus Gate (1998)
Bay of Souls (2003)
Death of the Black-Haired Girl (2013)
A Step Behind (2014)...

... Full Biography
Author Interview

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  • Bay of Souls jacket
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