Item description for Tender As Hellfire by Joe Meno...
"Features some of the liveliest characters that one is apt to meet in a contemporary novel. Vividly described."-Publishers Weekly
"Extremely vivid. . . . Any number of novels have been written about unhappy childhoods and bizarre families, but this one surpasses many."-Kirkus Reviews
Joe Meno limns a near-fantastical world of trailer park floozies, broken-down '76 Impalas, lost glass eyes, and the daily experiences of two boys trying to make sense of their random, sharp lives.
Joe Meno is the author of the novels Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails,and How the Hula Girl Sings. He was the winner of the 2003 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction and is a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.5" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2007
Publisher Akashic Books
ISBN 1933354305 ISBN13 9781933354309
Availability 0 units.
More About Joe Meno
Joe Meno is the founder of BrickJournal, a print and online LEGO(r) fan magazine. He has organized and run LEGO fan events, acted as an advisor on LEGO projects, and helped design LEGO sets.
Joe Meno currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois.
Reviews - What do customers think about Tender As Hellfire?
For The Tender Minded May 5, 2005
Wow...another crappy trip down to "workin' class land" with clever character names and no depth. I saw this clown and his "band" open up for Link Wray once and his tuneage sucks as much as his writing. At one point, Link invited a couple of the guys from his band to jam and they couldn't hang! The folks at Columbia College and the Northshore eat this stuff up because they don't know any better.
Working Class fiction? Mar 21, 2004
Joe Meno always talks of his "blue collar" roots because his dad was a steel worker. Columbia professors are not really "blue collar" eh Joe??? A mockery of literature from a small mind who just happened to know people, right Joe???
This guy is a hack, skip it at all costs...
It stinks Feb 13, 2004
I read 3 pages of this and gave it to my upstairs neighbor, a guy who hoards cast-off novels from bargain stores and piles them on his floor to give the illusion of being a wise hermit (he's actually a packrat without a job). Even he didn't like "Tender as Hellfire." It reads like any other college boy's attempt to be "literary" using forced slang and run-on sentences---kind of like Bret Easton Ellis, but dumber. Avoid at all costs (assuming you could even find it).
Excellent Oct 20, 2003
This novel does a wonderful job of drilling into your head just how stagnant and alienated a child must feel after being forced into such an unpleasantly dull environment during his formative years. The author's voice is exceptional, and few stories I've read have had such unique characters. Each chapter is a short story in and of itself, a few so compelling that I was tempted to flip back and read them a second time before moving on in the book, but at the same time I could hardly help but race to the end.
A Dangerous Novel Jul 17, 2003
--And that's exactly what I liked about it. Many readers, no doubt missed the themes of desperation and alienation that accompanied a boy's transition into adolescence. In a time where the answer to avoiding another Columbine is a cocktail of ritalin and anti-depressants, "Tender as Hellfire," displays the stark realities of poverty, where the liminal state from child to man becomes (quite literally) a trial by fire. Most striking of all, Meno is able to bring sympathy to his narrator's older brother, whose reaction to his socio-economic-imposed ostracism is pyromania. I call it a dangerous novel, because it dares to tell the story of American "trailer trash." Someone had to publish news of their existence; not pretty, but Meno certainly couldn't wait on Hollywood.
"Tender as Hellfire" is an easy read about complex characters, and Meno doesn't pull any punches. Leave your judgments at page one, or stick with PC Oprah books.