Adam Johnson has followed up his unforgettable novel, The Orphan Master’s Son, with an impressive and equally indelible collection of stories, Fortune Smiles. The six tales in this volume will stay with me for a long time. In particular, three of them feel permanently seared in my mind. In “Hurricanes Anonymous” a father, who is trying to set his life on the right track, finds himself in search of the mother of his infant son in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Johnson’s voice for the story rivals the innovative tone that is so distinctive in the work of Junot Diaz. In “George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine” a former prison warden in East Germany refuses to believe his past played any role in the horrors of those imprisoned. And in “Dark Meadow” a man struggling with his innermost vices tries to steer his life in a new direction. Each of these remarkable stories shows Johnson’s ability to examine wayward individuals and yet offer an angle of compassion for their troubled lives. Few writers are as bold and daring as Johnson in exploring the conscience of lost souls living on the fringe of society. Nonetheless, he is able to locate the humanity buried somewhere in their core. Even while tackling subjects of personal struggle and suffering, he also finds a way to thread a stream of humor throughout. Ultimately, he offers hope for even the most broken and downtrodden of lives. Fortune Smiles is as brilliant in its range of characters as any story collection I’ve ever read.
Definitely do not miss "George Orwell is a Friend of Mine", but each of this stories is indicative of Johnson's storytelling expertise. All stories in this collection touch on disruption and disillusion.
A set of 6 National Book Award winning stories, Fortune Smiles, was more than I expected as I'm not much of a short story reader. Each story was well told, uncomfortable, yet impacting in it's own way.
Darkly unsettling. Surreally funny, although at times I wasn't sure I was supposed to be laughing. Dark Meadows in particular left me uneasy and unnerved. Every strange situation in 6 short stories seemed a metaphor for the absurdity of North Korea in the final story, or maybe it's the other way around.
Not a particularly interesting book. Was not impressed but read it all anyway
It was a normal book and none of the stories were particularly interesting to me. It was easy to read and get through but is not memorable for me.
2015 National Book Award Winner in Fiction.
The book is titled "Fortune Smiles" not "Interesting Facts: Stories"
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