"Richly imagined and darkly comic, Things We Didn’t See Coming follows
a single man over three decades as he tries to survive in an
increasingly savage apocalyptic world that is at once utterly fantastic
and disturbingly familiar. Here, coming-of-age is complicated not
only by family troubles and mercurial love affairs, but treacherous
weather, unstable governments, pandemic, and technology run amuck.
About The Author
Steven Amsterdam is a native New Yorker who moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 2003. He currently works as a palliative care nurse. "
Given that its nine linked stories are set in a postapocalyptic near future, the pleasure of Amsterdam's debut collection is surprising. Over the course of the book, just about every possible disaster assails the unidentified country in which the stories are set. Floods, drought, mob rule, and a virus that has one deranged character coughing up blood—each play a role in the disintegration of the world as we know it, and Amsterdam's narrator survives them all, first as a thief, later as a bureaucrat (which turns out to be not much different from a thief), and finally as a 40-year-old, cancer-ridden tour guide. Among the high points are “Dry Land,” in which the narrator encounters a drunken mother and her daughter clinging to each other in a cataclysmic flood, though each is more likely to survive alone; and “Cake Walk,” with a narrator who hides in a tree while a man infected with a deadly virus destroys his campsite. Though a couple of the later stories lack polish and punch, Amsterdam's varied catastrophes are vividly executed, while his resilient narrator's travails are harrowing. (Feb.)
-- Publishers Weekly
"Breathtakingly strange. . . . The kind of book that can inspire us to think differently about the world and entertain us at the same time." --"The Washington Post
""Things We Didn't See Coming" feels like a genuine discovery. It is the most compelling portrait of dystopia I've read in years. . . . Timely and unexpectedly moving." --Taylor Antrim, "The Daily Beast"
"A small marvel, overflowing with ideas. Scary, funny, shocking and touching by turns, it combines the readerly pleasures of constant reorientation with the sober charge of an urgent warning. "Things We Didn't See Coming" refracts our life-and-death fears through those moments of human contact where they are most keenly felt." --"The Guardian "(London)
"Deeply smart . . . and full of surprises." --"Time Out New York"
"[The narrator] is a wry obs
Number Of Pages: 199
Published: 8th February 2011
Dimensions (cm): 20.295 x 13.284 x 1.676
Weight (kg): 0.209