Saunders is a great one for internal reverie. We see directly into his characters' minds - their secret dreams and fantasies - before he reveals these reveries for what they are: delusions. If I have any criticism it is this: he has a habit of revisiting characters, themes and ideas, which in a collection of just ten stories, feels like a bit of a cheat. Nevertheless, this is an absorbing read.
This smorgasbord of stories explores love's dark underbelly. The author kickstarts the collection with a riotous story about a tiger in a zoo which falls in love with its keeper. In a frenzy of passion, it commits an act that sets off a series of events in which, after escaping from captivity, it kills a baby and a woman in the most guileless, unintentional manner.
The Next Thing: McClanahan's first novel will be put out next year by Tyrant Books. He is also writing The Sarah Book in 2012, a chapter of which is included here. Which is all looking pretty good for McClanahan disciples, particularly as he's planning some readings in Europe for next year. Look out for him.