The restraint and on target accuracy of these stories display a young writer of enormous talent and extreme confidence. This is a writer to watch.— From Robert
“This spare, sharp book—Taylor’s debut collection—documents a deep authority on the unavoidable confusion of being young, disaffected and human … the most affecting stories in Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever are as unpredictable as a careening drunk. They leave us with the heavy residue of an unsettling strangeness, and a new voice that readers—and writers, too—might be seeking out for decades to come.” — New York Times Book Review
A collection of prophetic, provocative, and dazzlingly written stories by Justin Taylor, an important new voice in literary fiction and "a new literary beast." (Padgett Powell, author of The Interrogative Mood)
Each story in this crystalline, spare, and moving collection cuts to the quick. Taylor’s characters are guided by misapprehensions that bring them to hilarious, often tragic impasses with reality. A high school boy's desire to win over a crush leads him to experiment with black magic. An assistant at a hedge fund is torn between the girl he loved in college and the older man whose attention he craves. A fast food employee preoccupied by Abu Ghraib grows obsessed with a co-worker. While his girlfriend sleeps, a Tetris player tries to beat his record, nevermind that out their window blazes the end of the world.
Fearless and wild, the stories of Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever are held together by a thread of wounding humor and candid storytelling that marks Taylor as a distinct and emerging literary talent.
Justin Taylor is the author of the story collection Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy. He lives in New York City.
“The most affecting stories in Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever are as unpredictable as a careening drunk. They leave us with the heavy residue of an unsettling strangeness, and a new voice that readers - and writers, too - might be seeking out for decades to come.” — New York Times Book Review
“Whether Taylor is exploring youth, human bonds or fantastical scenarios, he displays a gift for illuminating the connections between the mundane and the grotesque.” — Time Out New York
“Justin Taylor is a master of the modern snapshot.” — Los Angeles Times
“In his first book of short stories, Taylor hones a dark-humored and character-themed collection in the tradition of Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior or Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son.” — Oxford American
“Beautiful lines leap from the pages, and we gladly enter Taylor’s vivid world, even as it transforms what we know about ourselves and others into something slippery and ever-changing.” — Penthouse
“Taylor’s characters would like for time to both speed up and slow down - an impossible, inevitable wish that makes the moments he captures worth savoring.” — BookForum
“Mr. Taylor has perfect touch, to frightening effect, does not presume, has power, and promises us new things. There is a debt paid to Donald Barthelme...and a strange undertow of Philip Roth, which makes for a new literary beast.” — Padgett Powell, author of The Interrogative Mood
“The characters in Justin Taylor’s stories may be lost, unmoored, out of control, but their creator is astonishingly sure-handed. He unerringly locates the center of these centerless lives, and discerns the shape of their shapelessness.” — David Gates, author of Jernigan
“Taylor flirts with poetic language, teasing us with lines so lusciously packed that even a tattoo’s description can set the page on fire.” — Bookslut
“These short fictions by Justin Taylor give such a convincing account of the rough crossing of young adulthood that they practically induce seasickness. For his youthful protagonists, identity—emotional, intellectual, sexual—is unstable, constantly in motion.” — Boston Globe
“The book I keep comparing his collection to is another debut, Philip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus....a fantastic debut collection.” — Pank magazine
“These stories...shine with tenderness, humor, and genuine insight.” — Brooklyn Rail
“A young author’s nearly perfect collection of short stories....leave[s] you amazed at the power of Taylor’s art and his ability to capture the heartbreak and hope for redemption that is the essential undercurrent of life.” — Blogcritics.org