scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 712
Out of the wreckageAssorted Fire EventsDavid MeansFourth Estate 10 pp165David Means begins a story called What I Hope For with the sentence I dont want anyone to die in my stories any more Its the seventh and shortest and most cheerful story in an unsettling fiercely felt debut collection and by the time you reach it you may well share his ambitionIn the previous six stories you will have read an account of a man beaten and left for dead on a railway line and been led into lives damaged by the deaths of a brother spilled from a canoe of a toddler suddenly swallowed up by the earth in her own back garden of a boy on a golden beach buried alive in a sandslide So when he expresses his desire that From here on out it has to be glorious life you want to believe Means means itHe doesnt of course or in any case he cant stick with his resolution however hard he seems to try and mortality muscles its way into all the stories that follow culminating in the title piece told by a cool pyromaniac who you fleetingly think might just be the author and whose aunt for no reason we are told took a can of gasoline placed it in her car drove to a quiet cul-de-sac and poured the gas over her head and lit herself on fireFrom these kinds of wreckages of lives Means attempts to salvage a vivid kind of honesty His prose is often something to behold impacted and intense constantly interrogated by qualifications and caveats tentative precise always feeling for its footing It inches you into the difficult drama two steps backward one sideways It can sometimes give you lives in single sentences In its rigour and controlled sense of experiment it is reminiscent of some of the best of the more singular American short story writers of the last few decades Edward Dorn
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA