The Lousy Adult


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The Lousy Adult

, 216 pages
October 2013



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The Lousy Adult

In The Lousy Adult, William J. Cobb reveals a world where love and respect collide with achievement and desire, a world where people often get what they want, yet must pay the price of alienation, remorse, and retribution in order to obtain it.

In "The Sea Horse," a teenage boy defends a battered woman against her abusive husband while he deals with the loss of his own parents. In "Warsaw, 1984," a young man travels through Europe and ends up in a relationship in a country he can’t understand. The Lousy Adult presents ten short stories about defrocked priests, guilty electricians, hardened mothers, and other colorful characters who portray the complexity of the human race.

Praise for William J. Cobb's The Fire Eaters

"Cobb's short stories, printed in the New Yorker and other magazines, hinted at the power he displays in this beautifully controlled and convincing debut, winner of the 1992 Associated Writing Programs award for the novel."— Publisher's Weekly

William J. Cobb is a novelist, essayist, and short fiction writer whose work has been published in The Antioch Review, The Mississippi Review, The New Yorker, and many others. He is author of three novels— The Bird Saviors, The Fire Eaters, and Goodnight, Texas—and a book of stories, The White Tattoo.

"Each story here is a strange town, inhabited with the unpredictable. They are not just characters, they are people and your worrisome friends. You'll love hanging out with them. As a psychologically astute and loving observer, Cobb covers the full emotional range, from playfully giddy to deeply sad and enlightened. Like me, you'll have wonderful experiences reading this Decalogue."

"In a landscape dotted with stucco motels, bad cabins, parking lots, yard sales, potheads, and supermarkets, William J. Cobb somehow finds something sacred in the quirky, random, awkward moments of authentic human connection. These are terrific stories, sticky stories, cagey, hilarious, filled with Cobb’s trademark killer dialogue and tragicomic characters wanting and needing impossible things from each other."

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