Charles Yu's fiction always seems to draw austere, clean designs and his publishers just may have met the limits of what that can mean for his second short story collection Sorry Please Thank You: Stories. The question is have they taken that idea too far? For me the answer is yes, as if it didn't have Yu's name on it I would gloss over it on the shelf at a bookstore. There is just nothing about it that gives me an urge to pick it up otherwise. I was introduced to Yu by finding his first collection Third Class Superhero [seen at the bottom] in a store while traveling and the cover sold me right away. It was colorful and perfect to convey the odd and funny stories it contained. While this one just seems overly dry. Here's the official blurb for Sorry Please Thank You: Stories:
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape . . . A company outsources grief for profit, their tagline: "Don't feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you." Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, filling his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in Sorry Please Thank You, we have resounding proof of a major new voice in American fictionDoesn't all of that sound a bit more colorful? Sorry Please Thank You: Stories will be out July 24th.
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