praise For LAST DAY ON EARTH
How crisp and sharp are the new stories of Eric Puchner!…A model of the contemporary short story, rich in meaning and emotion…The writer wonderfully cultivates concision, irony, and an imagination freed from taboo…It often takes longer to read a collection of short stories than a novel. This is not the case with Last Day on Earth which goes by almost too quickly, exploding our heads like a disco ball, reflecting a world in pieces."
-Les Echos (France)
Puchner’s affecting collection explores the endings of things — relationships, childhood, the illusion that one is a morally upstanding person — as well as what endures for the sympathetic characters in these nine stories…This is top-notch realistic fiction, sensitive to the complexities of more or less ordinary lives.
-San Francisco Chronicle
The best short stories take you deep into a character or a situation, without all the set up and plotting that a novel usually entails. They have a certain intensity…Eric Puchner’s short stories have this quality of intensity, and of delicious surprise…Last Day on Earth, for all of its characters’ alienation, has a warm heart—rare moments of unmasked tenderness that make life on earth bearable.
-Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review
There’s an intriguing array of characters in Eric Puchner’s short story collection…and every one is written with a wealth of telling detail and understanding…In Last Day on Earth, Puchner shows us the many complicated facets of family and domestic life, of adolescence, parenthood, and coming of age, through a variety of highly compelling lenses.
-BuzzFeed ("31 Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Spring")
Regardless of how modern our times might be, there's always a generation that's attempting to come of age in suburban America...These stories get right to the heart of what's it like to be a not-quite adult.
-Newsweek (Best New Book Release)
Intriguingly varied…Puchner can be wildly funny…or oddly touching…Without fundamentally challenging the traditional short story structure, the author finds a way to bend it to suit a skewed and fantastic vision of the world.
-Kirkus Reviews (STARRED)
Memorable portraits of suburban angst. [Puchner] is an old-fashioned major-scale composer, but, in the hands of a skilled artist, even a familiar tune can seem fresh and surprising…a unique take on themes of family and belonging.
Masterful tales on the pain of having family.
-The Straits Times (Singapore)
Nine successful, thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable stories…funny and honest…Each story in Last Day on Earth has a cool hook but also a deeper thread of insight running through it…a poignant, emotionally charged and interesting perspective on family and self.
Painstaking realizations and sincerity that will make you want to give your best buddy a ring on the phone…a strong collection of stories focusing on the family dynamic…thought-provoking…make[s] the reader consider how precious life truly can be.
Puchner manages to curate some extraordinary scenarios and paint well-defined characters with skillful craft…positively illuminating…Puchner’s second collection [is] more than worthwhile for anyone looking to see the raw messiness inherent in our experience as constantly developing humans.
[A] sharp story collection…Puchner deftly captures the nuances of human interactions, and while characters in the nine tales often stumble at the crossroads, there remains the hope that one day they may find the answers they seek.
As always, Puchner expertly limns contemporary life in all its dark and troubling absurdity.
Ray Bradbury meets Tom Perrotta in the new collection by Puchner, which blends science fiction with all-too-real suburban horrors…[Includes] the instant classic, "Beautiful Monsters."
Eric Puchner is an alchemist who captures the joy and danger in everyday life and, with precision, humor, and empathy, turns these moments into gold. These stories allow us to look at our own lives more closely and with more courage and understanding - a poignant and unforgettable collection from a great storyteller.
-Yiyun Li, author of Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life and Kinder Than Solitude
Eric Puchner’s Last Day on Earth is a direct hit to the solar plexus that manages to be completely entertaining. The characters in this collection are both familiar and surprising and the grace Puchner lends to their struggles and hopes is profound. That he also writes sentences, paragraphs, pages that are funny, propulsive and true is nearly annoying, but this kind of consummate skill can only result in gleeful admiration. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a collection more. There is not a false note in this book.
-Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest
Pushing the bounds of the Richter Scale, the nine stories in Last Day on Earth are going to shake up the story world.
-Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fortune Smiles and The Orphan Master's Son