You’ve met the characters in The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure. They’re the quirky visionaries and misguided dreamers we all know…and might even be. These characters are absurd, hilarious, and completely believable.
From the self-appointed historian of the title piece to the frustrated wage slaves of “Our Spring Catalog” and “The Pipe,” these are individualists who don’t quite adhere to mainstream ideals. Pendarvis draws his humor from the world of high school ambitions and misunderstood intentions allowed to breathe and take shape. Always original but somehow familiar, these are stories plugged into the collective unconscious of our imaginary lives.
Jack Pendarvis’s work is difficult to describe but a pleasure to experience, infused with humanity and laugh-out-loud funny. Comedic literary talent of this caliber is rare.
Jack Pendarvis was the 2007-8 John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi.
He is a contributing writer to The Oxford American. His work has also appeared in 'The Believer', 'The New York Times', and elsewhere. 'Awesome' is his third book.
“…at once the funniest and saddest thing I've ever read…You laugh at what's on the page; you're haunted by what's not…Pendarvis shows his willingness to undercut a tender, beautiful paragraph with a punch line…[he] isn't afraid to let it seep into his stories to mingle with the poignancy and poetry there…In the end, all these stories are unfailingly kind to their characters and respectful of their cracked dreams. Pendarvis' people want to be noticed, they want to be heard, they want to be recognized as special. In other words, they're human. Only funnier.”
— Laura Lippman, NPR
Publication Date: January 12, 2007
trim size: 9 x 6 x 0.6