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Short Accounts of Tragic Occurrences

The ugliest man in Soviet Russia hosts his first and only “game show.” The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles prompt a young man to kill himself. A game of beer-pong results in the end of civilization. Nick McArthur’s debut book is just what the title suggests – a one-off tome on brevity and heart-break and an all-out exploration of weirdness. Despite the obvious differences, these stories are alike in both form and theme, and they share a single, impossible universe. Each of these tales inhabits a world that is at once strange and recognizable, fantastical and dull, warmly inviting and cruelly grotesque. Each of these stories is odd. Each of them is funny. And each is at least a little on the tragic side.

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