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March 2009

Praise for

"Set in Wisconsin, these ten stories feature an upper-Midwestern landscape's deep snow drifts, acres of farmland and encroaching suburbs, which play a defining role in the characters' lives…The most powerful stories here are more quietly observed. "The Train" is a vignette about a group of boys who visit an abandoned granary at midnight on Halloween. "The Whales" features the same characters walking at night to a park by a lonesome county highway." –Kirkus Reviews

Trouble is a wittily demented and off-beat collection of stories about the peculiar joys and perversions of the ordinary lives of an eclectic group of boys and men….Far from being plain funny in any one-dimensional sense of the word, Somerville has a good handle on a very clean, satiric and humorous style of prose that is unique, but pleasingly reminiscent of such great, dark storytellers as T.C. Boyle and even Ray Carver. This is a book that is refreshingly, sadistically satisfying.” –Artvoice

"Wonderful. Here are stories packed with big-hearted humor, serious compassion, and plenty of loopy narrative thrust to keep you turning the pages. Patrick Somerville’s characters exist in a modern world where love and cruelty are indistinguishable, and he imbues their struggle with real grace. Oddly tender, dementedly funny, this book is a pleasure to read." —Gabe Hudson, author of Dear Mr. President

"Patrick Somerville’s debut story collection has more going for it than its subtitle-as-pubescent-mustache. All of the stories have a subtle undercurrent of brutality, and the writing is consistently sharp, direct and darkly funny, and there’s not a clunker in the bunch." -Time Out Chicago

"Fiction with irony-laced plots, lots of sex and witty banter are commonplace among today's young writers. What distinguishes Somerville as a writer of promise is his ability to touch true pathos when he's not being funny." -The Capital Times

"Patrick Somerville’s characters would like to save the world and get the girl—but somehow find themselves synthetic cheese salesmen, sledding widowers, hesitant fathers, or prepubescent video gamers instead. Despite this, they still end up being heroes. Trouble is a great collection of stories, full of the true adventures of life, and what it means to be a man.” –Hannah Tinti, author of Animal Crackers and The Good Thief

"You know you're in an interesting world when you read a first line like, 'I had been involved in pressurized and spray-on cheeses for over a decade'...The teenage boys and adult men in this collection exist mostly in the age of the Internet, video games, DVDs, 100-channel TV and a host of other fantasy-oriented gadgets. It's no wonder their lives veer into the absurd and magical, even as they cannot avoid the tragedies of an increasingly frustrating human condition. The men making and experiencing trouble in this exciting new collection may be surrounded by modes of sophisticated communication, but their most important pronouncements usually fall on deaf ears." - The Chicago Tribune


Selected Short Stories

Trouble and the Shadowy Deathblow - one story, october 2003
Flanagan’s House - the madison review, spring 2004
English Cousin - lit magazine, vol. 10, spring 2005
Black Earth, Early Winter Morning - beloit fiction journal, vol. 18, spring 2005
So Long, Anyway - epoch, 2006; best american nonrequired reading ‘07
Crow Moon - epoch, 2006
The Unrealized Subversive Fantasies of a Medium Pizza -the l magazine, august 2006
Confused Aliens - fivechapters, october 2006
The Cold War - the barcelona review, january/february 2007
Friends From Cincinnati - THE2NDHAND, spring 2007
Hair University - barrelhouse, issue 5, december 2007
Easy Love -storyglossia, issue 22, august 2007
Flat Mindy - featherproof minibooks, august 2007
Vaara in the Woods - time out chicago, october 2007
Xylophone - please don't, issue 1, novemeber 2007
Chess Partner - esquire, september 2008
You Will Be Tested, Too - the barcelona review, spring 2009
People Like Me - fivechapters, may 2009
The Universe in Miniature in Miniature - american short fiction, summer 2009
A Game I Once Enjoyed - THE2NDHAND, summer 2009
Sacred Origin Story - kneejerk magazine, summer 2009
No Sun - new south, volume 2/number 2, spring/summer 2009
The Peach - forthcoming, the madison review
The Fish - forthcoming, hobart
One Afternoon - forthcoming, epoch


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