The Hospital for Bad PoetsBook - 2009
Hallman's clever debut collection (after two works of nonfiction) invites the reader into ordinary homes and heads before dropping sly twists of the surreal to examine contemporary culture. In Ethan: A Love Story, odd uncle C-- bonds with his six-year-old nephew, Ethan, with the help of a violent video game. In Savages, a high school grad's father begins an affair with his neighbor, rendezvousing in the cave she's cut into the shrubberies between their homes. In the title story, an unnamed poet is taken to Nietzsche's hospital for bad poets after collapsing and is given Rilke and oxygen to remedy his chronic acuteness. The dark final story, The History of Riddles, ties the collection together with a couple who falls in with a very serious board game culture involving deep philosophy and ancient rites.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Milkweed Editions, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 240 p. ; 22 cm.