A spirited collection of stories revealing the extremes of the human experience from the author of The Ice Storm. In his first story collection, Rick Moody provides readers with a poignant, brazenly honest glimpse into the lives of a wide array of characters, from a paranoid husband obsessively listening in on his wife's phone calls to the junkies and sex addicts of New York City's underworld. Whether they're grasping for connection or struggling to survive in a dismal and indifferent environment, these individuals' haunting voices and the evocative worlds they inhabit make for a diverse and powerful volume. Experimenting with form -- one story is told as a term paper, another as an annotated bibliography -- Moody demonstrates the vast range of his fascinations and talents, as well as his arresting command of language. Candid depictions of contemporary society and the inner-workings of distinctive characters' minds bring these inquisitive, heartrending, and at times undeniably funny accounts to life.