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The Family Unit and Other Fantasies

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A superb collection of darkly comic, deeply compassionate, largely fantastical stories set in our jittery, polarized, increasingly impersonal age. Whether it’s the tale of a corporation that buys a man’s family; two supposed survivors of a super-storm who are given shelter by a gullible couple; an erotic adventure set during an urban terrorist alert.


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A superb collection of darkly comic, deeply compassionate, largely fantastical stories set in our jittery, polarized, increasingly impersonal age. Whether it’s the tale of a corporation that buys a man’s family; two supposed survivors of a super-storm who are given shelter by a gullible couple; an erotic adventure set during an urban terrorist alert.

38 review for The Family Unit and Other Fantasies

  1. 4 out of 5

    karen

    i am enjoying this so far, but i gotta say - this font choice is just way too small for heatwave-sleepy eyes. when i squint, i am just that much closer to being asleep, and i kept drifting off in the hothouse of my apartment.... zzzzzzz review TK i am enjoying this so far, but i gotta say - this font choice is just way too small for heatwave-sleepy eyes. when i squint, i am just that much closer to being asleep, and i kept drifting off in the hothouse of my apartment.... zzzzzzz review TK

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. While I finished reading this set of stories a few months ago, I did not have time to write a full review. Now that I do have the time, I no longer have access to my copy of the stories and thus the many notes I took while reading. However, I do remember enough to provide a brief commentary. The majority of the stories were very well written. Klavan has a way of painting a clear picture of characters so quickly, that is especiall I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. While I finished reading this set of stories a few months ago, I did not have time to write a full review. Now that I do have the time, I no longer have access to my copy of the stories and thus the many notes I took while reading. However, I do remember enough to provide a brief commentary. The majority of the stories were very well written. Klavan has a way of painting a clear picture of characters so quickly, that is especially important for short stories. I quite enjoyed his depiction and development of futuristic type settings, which did not read as farfetched or outlandish, as Klavan elegantly took modern technology and current societal norms and just pushed them to the (believable) next level. I felt this was done especially well in The Family Unit and Hole in the Ground. I don't believe that the stories were intended to be connected, but I did find myself constantly searching for the Easter egg and common thread incorporated into most of the stories: the mention of someone or something located "90 miles north of the city." I found this clever set of stories to be most successful because of Klavan's creativity and imagination, as well as his strength in balancing futuristic/new with believable, thus preventing the stories from turning into something too outlandish and too unrealistic, which I find terribly dull and lacking restraint. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemplating the state of our current world, and speculating about the various ways it has the potential to progress....both comically and tragically.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    Finding the horror in every day life is the theme uniting the stories in The Family Unit. There was a little too much bleak gloom, sexual acts without meaning and selfish entitlement yielding isolation and misery for me to call reading the stories a good experience. But most are clever and all of them interesting. The ones that worked best for me are: "What the Wind Blew In", where the needy become the creepy in a way that rings true at a disturbing level; "The Son He Never Had", in which a libe Finding the horror in every day life is the theme uniting the stories in The Family Unit. There was a little too much bleak gloom, sexual acts without meaning and selfish entitlement yielding isolation and misery for me to call reading the stories a good experience. But most are clever and all of them interesting. The ones that worked best for me are: "What the Wind Blew In", where the needy become the creepy in a way that rings true at a disturbing level; "The Son He Never Had", in which a liberal-minded father resolves his unfinished business with his unethical, tycoon son under the emotionally complex circumstances surrounding the son's accidental death; and "Modern Sign". "Modern Sign" is a perfect piece of irony centered around the hollowness of an ad man's success which takes one life and saves another. It has an ingenious switch of POV in the middle, as well. It could be studied for technique as well as substance. And the question it raises has no definitive answer inside the confines of the story, itself. Can something good come of work done with a deceitful intent? Since I really don't like reality TV, I have to give a plug, as well, for the lead story "Family Unit". We need cautionary tales about what we're doing to ourselves in the direction herein foreshadowed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Josef Hernandez

    A very good short story collection that is sure to make you think For a full review, please go to http://www.examiner.com/review/the-fa... and follow me on Twitter @josenher A very good short story collection that is sure to make you think For a full review, please go to http://www.examiner.com/review/the-fa... and follow me on Twitter @josenher

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Grieve

    I usually like short stories, and expected perhaps a Ray Bradbury type collection here, with the word 'fantasies' in the title. However the three or four stories I read were not particularly interesting, and not very well written. I get that the premise of each story could be good, but needs either developing into a full story, or made to leave the reader wondering. Review of an advance digital copy from the publisher. I usually like short stories, and expected perhaps a Ray Bradbury type collection here, with the word 'fantasies' in the title. However the three or four stories I read were not particularly interesting, and not very well written. I get that the premise of each story could be good, but needs either developing into a full story, or made to leave the reader wondering. Review of an advance digital copy from the publisher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eilish Toohey

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  8. 4 out of 5

    Corey

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christian

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deaidra Coleman

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica G

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brett Sãvory

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hhkk Jui

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nika Sergeeva

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mohamad

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jami

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eldritch Reading Reindeer Welcomes 2022!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chip Phillips

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Crowe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Buried In Print

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carra

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

  29. 4 out of 5

    justablondemoment

  30. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  31. 5 out of 5

    Is

  32. 5 out of 5

    Fate's Lady

  33. 5 out of 5

    Melki

  34. 5 out of 5

    Annabelle

  35. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Appleseth

  36. 5 out of 5

    zakarie

  37. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Clark

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn McAbee

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