Ron Carlson is a master of the contemporary short story. In The Blue Box, he extends that mastery to the short short story, offering us a captivating glimpse of a writer at play. With that voice of his—sharp, sensitive, and wry, brimming with good humor—Carlson inhabits one standby after another of the American pop landscape, past and present: monster flicks, action heroes, unsupervised teenagers, blogging. Coming in for special scrutiny is the world of education, in hilarious send-ups of recommendation letters, teacher evaluations, style guides, and a MOOC. Whimsical, wistful, and gently surreal, The Blue Box delights in life’s unending absurdities, and reminds us not to take anything—especially ourselves—too seriously.
Praise for Ron Carlson
“Carlson never drops an extra word or a false phrase.”—The Washington Post
“Carlson’s focus is transporting, absorbing. It shakes you from stupor, strips you down. He understands that most of us live in a world of enervating crap, whether in the cliffs of Idaho or the canyons of the city.”—Esquire
“His poems are conversational, extremely accessible, willfully casual and consistently funny, but also laced with a lightly worn sadness, a symptom of everyday heartache.”—Ron Padgett
“Carlson writes about the natural world with convincing authority… with Ron Carlson, you really are in expert hands.”—The New York Times Book Review