Middle Men (Hardcover)
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In Gavin’s stories LA is a purgatorial place occasionally shot through with great uplifting beauty and fire, a place filled with workers and dreamers. Sometimes we drive through amber light that looks like the “inside of a pharmacy bottle.” And, sometimes, just like one character who feels “blessed as he noticed something both beautiful and preposterous, the kind of thing that was only possible in Los Angeles,” we see the darkness and the light of this city, the magic, come alive in print and we feel grateful, too. This could definitely be one of those essential Skylight Books books.

— From arlo klahr


In Middle Men, Stegner Fellow and New Yorker contributor Jim Gavin delivers a hilarious and panoramic vision of California, portraying a group of men, from young dreamers to old vets, as they make valiant forays into middle-class respectability. In "Play the Man" a high-school basketball player aspires to a college scholarship, in "Elephant Doors," a production assistant on a game show moonlights as a stand-up comedian, and in the collection's last story, the immensely moving "Costello," a middle-aged plumbing supplies salesman comes to terms with the death of his wife. The men in Gavin's stories all find themselves stuck somewhere in the middle, caught half way between their dreams and the often crushing reality of their lives. A work of profound humanity that pairs moments of high comedy with searing truths about life's missed opportunities, Middle Men brings to life a series of unforgettable characters learning what it means to love and work and be in the world as a man, and it offers our first look at a gifted writer who has just begun teaching us the tools of his trade.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781451649314
ISBN-10: 1451649312
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 19th, 2013
Pages: 224
Language: English