False Bingo : Stories by Jac Jemc
Named a Fall Read by The Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune
The mundane becomes sinister in a disquieting story collection from the author of The Grip of It
In Jac Jemc's dislocating second story collection, False Bingo, we watch as sinister forces--some supernatural, some of this earth, some real and some not--work their ways into the mundanity of everyday life.
In "Strange Loop," an outcast attempting to escape an unnamed mistake spends his days taxiderming animals, while in "Delivery," a family watches as their dementia-addled, basement-dwelling father succumbs to an online shopping addiction. "Don't Let's" finds a woman, recently freed from an abusive relationship, living in an isolated vacation home in the South that might be haunted by breath-stealing ghosts.
Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense, and crafted with masterful restraint, these seventeen stories explore what happens when our fears cross over into the real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. "This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another," the sadistic narrator of "Pastoral" announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.
Combines the otherworldliness of Jeff VanderMeer's "Annihilation," the menacing irony of Shirley Jackson and the cold feminist fury of Margaret Atwood --The New York Times Book Review