“I write a little every day, without hope and without despair.”
— Isak Dinesen
Bob Thurber’s short, sharp, quietly ferocious tales are indeed filled with trouble—yet they are also filled with a strange magic. For all that they are unflinching, often shocking in their emotional violence, they seem to whisper, here is more life. And under a line like “time heals nothing,” there is a soul that refuses to quit.
— Dawn Raffel, author of The Secret Life of Objects
Addictive, seductive, unflinching!
Not since I first read Flannery O'Connor have I been so emotionally engulfed by an author who can bottle up his personal pain, distill it into liquid tragedy, and dip his quill deep in that black ink to paint stories so startling, so unflinching in the face of truth, that I find myself gripping the book with both hands, unsure whether to jump and cheer or shave my head in mourning. This rich writing is like cheesecake to the soul: addictive, seductive, intimate. I want more.
Susan Pieters, Pulp Literature
In this uncompromising collection of stories, Thurber weaves his tales around such facets of the human condition as Fathers and Fools, Women and Children, Marriage and Divorce, Art and Artifice. Typically unsettling and revelatory, Thurber knows how to cast a story that depicts the coarse reality of life, and his skills are displayed here with both passion and sentiment.
Reviews / Articles
Shanti Arts: The Trouble With Thurber (May 4, 2014)
RUCKERPEDIA: Nothing But Trouble (April 30, 2014)
North Attleboro Author Has More Stories to Tell (April 9, 2014)
2nd Edition (2016) from Shanti Arts
The odd, desperate love between a brother and sister trying to survive the summer of '69.
The thing is, reading this book, even at it’s darkest places, you can see Bob Thurber’s fingerprints. He’s so sharp – especially at short fiction – that he writes short burning chapters from which you can’t tear away. He slugs you right in the gut without any maudlin posturing – you’ll probably ask for more. Raw and horrific throughout, but genuinely funny in places, Paperboy is a fine first novel, if hard to bear. — Three Guys One Book
Authenticity, a defining characteristic of this collection, is at times so stark that one is moved to avert their glance in an effort to assuage the impact of what is surely to follow. It's as if the writer pulls the reader into a dark corner and then, in a few clipped sentences, unloads the torment that for most of us words fail. Thurber insists on exacting a brief recompense from language . . . and memorably achieves it in Nickel Fictions.
— Dennis Must, Novelist
The 2006 Meridian Editor’s Fiction Prize
In Bob Thurber’s award-winning CINDERELLA SHE WAS NOT, Raymond, its loathsome narrator, solicits the full-bosomed, randy sister of his moneyed but uncomely wife. Bereft of evident redeeming attributes, the story’s characters paradoxically revel as if liberated by Raymond’s dire maxim: “Life doesn’t care about any of us.”
A familiar motif in many Thurber stories, CINDERELLA SHE WAS NOT evokes a dysfunctional but compelling universe of ordinary mortals deprived of oxygen by jaded circumstances, and where morality glitters like dice ear studs in a collection plate. One can’t help staring at it.