An intriguing, varied collection of short fiction
A young and ingratiating assistant to a movie star makes a blunder that puts his boss and a major studio at grave risk. A long-married couple hires an escort for a threesome in order to rejuvenate their relationship. An assistant at a prestigious literary journal reconnects with a middle school frenemy and finds that his carefully constructed world of refinement cannot protect him from his past. A Bush administration lawyer wakes up on an abandoned airplane, trapped in a nightmare of his own making.
In these and other stories, Tom Bissell vividly renders the complex worlds of characters on the brink of artistic and personal crises — writers, video-game developers, actors, and other creative types who see things slightly differently from the rest of us. With its surreal, poignant, and sometimes squirm-inducing stories, Creative Types is a brilliant new offering from one the most versatile and talented writers working in America today.
I’d only read Bissell’s non-fiction before I gave Creative Types and Other Stories a try — specifically, The Disaster Artist and Magic Hours. With hindsight, the latter should have given me an idea of what to expect from this very good collection of stories (there’s some subject overlap). Each story is a snapshot in a character’s life, as they are forced to confront their current situations and question what they want, and even who they are. Continue reading