“Gilbert Sorrentino has long been one of our most intelligent and daring writers. But he is also one of our funniest writers, given to Joycean flights of wordplay, punning, list-making, vulgarity and relentless self-commentary.”—The New York Times“Sorrentino’s ear for dialects and metaphor is perfect: his creations, however brief their presence, are vivid, and much of his writing is very funny and clever, piled with allusions.”—The Washington Post Book WorldBearing his trademark balance between exquisitely detailed narration, ground-breaking form, and sharp insight into modern life, Gilbert Sorrentino’s first-ever collection of stories spans 35 years of his writing career and contains both new stories and those that expanded and transformed the landscape of American fiction when they first appeared in such magazines and anthologies as Harper’s, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories.In these grimly comic, unsentimental tales, the always-memorable characters dive headlong into the wasteland of urban culture, seeking out banal perversions, confusing art with the art scene, mistaking lust for love, and letting petty aspirations get the best of them. This is a world where the American dream is embodied in the moonlit cocktail hour and innocence passes at a breakneck speed, swiftly becoming a nostalgia-ridden cliché. As Sorrentino says in the title story, “art cannot rescue anybody from anything,” but his stories do offer some salvation to each of us by locating hope, humor, and beauty amidst a prevailing wind of cynical despair.Gilbert Sorrentino has published over 20 books of fiction and poetry, including the classic Mulligan Stew and his latest novel, Little Casino, which was shortlisted for the 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award. After two decades on the faculty at Stanford University, he recently returned to his native Brooklyn.