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The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories
Simon Rich
The Dog Stars
Peter Heller
Stay Awake - Dan Chaon I was in the middle of the title story when I realized that Dan Chaon had written a collection of horror tales. In these stories, human beings perpetrate horrors such as abandonment, abuse, neglect upon each other. Relatives are left to clean up the emotional refuse after events such as a house fire, or parental suicide. I came across one review that labeled Chaon an "evil puppet master," and I suppose that is because he puts his characters through the wringer. Some stories in this collection are stronger than others, but I gave the overall collection four stars, because Dan Chaon writes fiction that works on me at a very personal level. There is always a line in his work, or a mood that he evokes that rings very true to me, and my own experiences.