A support group for people who suspect their benign nature has caused benign tumours to grow inside them; a girl with Fred Hoyle syndrome whose age expands and contracts like the universe; a recently widowed woman talks to her husband's ashes, which are entombed in a hollowed-out curling stone; a store detective's valiant act to save a pair of pink calfskin gloves is entwined with the unfortunate results of an unsuccessful space mission, and a teenage boy is forced to confront his feelings for his best friend when he sees a day-glo guinea-pig in an exhibition. Unexpected humour and tenderness intertwine with loneliness and hopefulness in this remarkable book from an already acclaimed writer. In nine richly varied stories, written in intense, clear-eyed prose, the reader is led into an exploration of the human need for connection, however tenuous or absurd, and at whatever cost. The stories operate with heartbreaking precision, drawing us past the surface of characters' lives and into the moments of decision and recognition that shape these people irrevocably.
Rendering grief, loneliness, hope, love and happiness with exquisite subtlety and intelligence, Neil Smith proves himself an able chronicler of the human condition. Bang Crunch constitutes a significant achievement by a powerful new writer.
Neil Smith has published widely in Canadian journals and magazines. He has received a number of literary awards and has been nominated three times for the prestigious Journey Prize. BANG CRUNCH is his first story collection.