Nine Shiny Objects

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Product Details

$27.99  $26.03
Custom House
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Brian Castleberry's stories have been published in The Southern Review, Day One, Narrative, and other literary journals. He lives in Virginia, where he teaches literature and creative writing at the College of William & Mary.


When, in 1947, a Navy pilot reports that he's seen nine shiny objects flying over the Cascade Mountains, he sets off a chain reaction that affects nine characters, whose lives intersect in remarkable ways over the course of the following four decades. What Castleberry has written is not a novel about UFOs or cults or rock-and-roll but rather a literary saga that dauntlessly explores what it takes to believe.--Rachel Beanland, author of Florence Adler Swims Forever
The truly shining objects are the nine stories that make up this gripping, shapeshifting novel. A debut out of this world.--Hernan Diaz, author of In the Distance
Impressive... Memorable characters inhabit a surprising, engaging story of American idealism and its dark opposite.--Kirkus Reviews
Castleberry proves very adept at altering each chapter's style and pacing to reflect the different personalities. Moreover, his evocation of each era is excitingly vibrant and authentic... These characters pop off the page, with one composite character--America herself--emerging brilliantly from the gestalt.--Locus
It's worth it to take your time and savor this one.--BookPage
"Sharply-tuned, funny, satisfyingly strange, and preternaturally poised, unspooling in immaculate prose. Brian Castleberry has that rare, can't-be-taught ability to turn smoothly at any point in any direction, giving each sentence, no matter how casual, a quiet current of electric suspense."--William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Barbarian Days
"Scrappy and smart, intently observed and often darkly funny, these people navigate lives where everyday struggle and pleasure ride precariously on a deep undercurrent of menace."--Chelsey Johnson, author of Stray City
Discovering the nature of the characters' associations and intersections across the chapters is one of the richest pleasures of the book. Another pleasure: the detailed portraits of 20th-century American life. Each chapter is a neatly packed and well-researched time capsule, ...the close-clinging omniscient narration nimbly taking on the voices of each decade.--New York Times Book Review
Each character's chapter has its own voice, and swells with its own concerns, but they all crackle with tension and linger on loss....The perspectives overlap, but the composite leaves some questions unanswered, some connections intriguingly unrevealed....Castleberry's memorable tale probes fissures and anxieties that are undeniably current."--Booklist
In this extraordinary novel, Castleberry brilliantly hopscotches from person to person, from era to era, while somehow making all this fancy footwork look effortless and essential.--Jenny Offill, author of Department of Speculation and Weather