❮Read❯ ➶ Among the Missing ➺ Author Dan Chaon – Horse-zine.co.uk


Among the Missing explained Among the Missing, review Among the Missing, trailer Among the Missing, box office Among the Missing, analysis Among the Missing, Among the Missing 2af2 In This Haunting, Bracing New Collection, Dan Chaon Shares Stories Of Men, Women, And Children Who Live Far Outside The American Dream, While Wondering Which Decision, Which Path, Or Which Accident Brought Them To This Place Chaon Mines The Psychological Landscape Of His Characters To Dazzling Effect Each Story Radiates With Sharp Humor, Mystery, Wonder, And Startling Compassion Among The Missing Lingers In The Mind Through Its Subtle Grace And Power Of Language

  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • Among the Missing
  • Dan Chaon
  • English
  • 10 June 2017
  • 9780345441614

About the Author: Dan Chaon

Dan Chaon is the author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications Chaon s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best Ame



10 thoughts on “Among the Missing

  1. says:

    Among the Missing, Dan ChaonIn this haunting, bracing new collection, Dan Chaon shares stories of men, women, and children who live far outside the American Dream, while wondering which decision, which path, or which accident brought them to this place Chaon mines the psychological landscape of his characters to dazzling effect Each story radiates with sharp humor, mystery, wonder, and startling compassion Among the Missing lingers in the mind through its subtle grace and power of language 2006 1383 149 9643057569 20

  2. says:

    In 2006, there was a film in Malayalam which became a cult film of sorts It was called Thanmathra Molecule , and depicted a man s frightening descent into Alzheimer s But what gave the story its poignancy was the bond between the protagonist and his son the single minded effort on the part of the former to make the latter an officer of the Indian Administrative Service Incidentally, the movie also focussed on the relationship between the protagonist and his father.Speaking on the movie, the director said that he chose the name of the film to represent Indian society Even if each family was nuclear an atom, in fact , it was joined to a multitude of other families each son was a father, each mother a daughter, each son a father in his turn and so on and so forth In India, the joint family never died, but formed a loosely structured molecule.This metaphor stuck in my mind, and I was immediately reminded of it the moment I read the stories in this collection Because Dan Chaon is writing about a molecule that is fast coming unstuck If I were asked to pick a theme running through all the stories in this collection, I would say family Here are fathers, sons, mothers, daughters and siblings, all loving and hating, bonding and drifting apart I am not familiar with American society, but from the laments I have heard from friends and relatives settled abroad about deteriorating relationships, I conclude that the strong familial fidelity that is the norm in India is conspicuous by its absence This in itself is not a bad thing it gives a lot of freedom to individuals, and does prevent parental notions of control which can become claustrophobic But it does remove the safety net below the tenuous thing we call security.This is illustrated in the story Falling Backwards This tale, told from back to front, traces the life of an alienated woman at her current lonely stage in life to her childhood moments of companionship with her father It ends with the telling metaphor of her father and herself falling backwards willingly from a construction scaffolding, knowing that the net will catch them.Chaon flirts with horror he confesses himself a horror fan , but there is nothing supernatural in these stories What we see are glimpses of the darkness just below the surface In a way, it is frightening than ghoulies and ghosties and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night because it is the darkness of the mind that is made visible In I Demand to Know Where You Are Taking Me, one of the darkest stories in the collection, a macaw becomes the mouthpiece of a convicted rapist for his sister in law, who has a love hate relationship with him In Here s a Little Something to Remember Me By, a shameful childhood secret keeps on haunting a man, who is not allowed to grow up because his silence might have cost his friend his life In both these stories, the conclusion is left tantalisingly uncertain.The fluidity of time as explored in Falling Backwards as well as the fiendish face behind the smiling visage are hinted at in Big Me, which could be a frightening tale of a psychotic murderer or an innocent child s fantasy, depending on how we look at it.In the title story Among the Missing, there is a telling image of a family which apparently committed suicide en masse by driving into a lake This story serves as a template, I feel, for all things Dan Chaon is trying to articulate.Looking at their photograph, you couldn t help imagining them all in that car, under the water I saw it as a scene in a Bergman film a kind of dreamy blur around the edges, the water a certain undersea color, like a reflection through green glass Their bodies would be lifted a bit, floating a few centimeters above the upholstery, bobbing a little with the currents but held fast by the seat belts Silver minnows would flit past the pale hands that still gripped the steering wheel, and hide in the seaweed of the little girl s long, drifting hair a plastic ball might be floating near the ceiling Their eyes would be wide, and their mouths slightly open their skin would be pale and shimmery as the inside of a clamshell but there would be no real expression on their faces They would just stare, perhaps with faint surprise.This image stayed with me, long after I closed the book The short story is an entirely different proposition from the novel, even though both are forms of narrative The novel is usually a relatively long and leisurely read, and the reader has a long affair with it there is time for character development, philosophical discourses, interior monologue whereas the short story wins purely on how effective it is in conveying its theme with the most economy of words If the novel is a marriage, the short story is a whirlwind affair conducted over a weekend.The best short stories are those that hit you with the force of a sledge hammer which the stories in this collection do.Well worth reading, if darkness does not bother you If sunny literature is your cup of tea, better leave it alone.

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  4. says:

    Among the Missing is a collection that reminds me why I dislike short stories as a genre Characters are introduced, developed, and then the story ends I enjoyed the collection because it holds together thematically very well The plot sequence of a disappeared body frames a discussion of how we lose track of ourselves over our lifetime, how we lose connections with those we purport to love.The story Here s a Little Something to Remember Me By, particularly interested me in the way it weaves together questions of memory how accurately can we remember the past with those of identity how well can do the people around us know who we are Can we ever be known by someone else and with the terribly certainty that our lives will always be a ruined version of what we once imagined.The nostalgia for a life led in possibility and hope permeates the collection While I didn t find myself identifying with the protagonists didn t find myself yet willing to admit the disappearance of my life as I imagine d it I couldn t help but be affected by the pessimism of the collection, the quiet tragedy of an argument for life as a disappointment dreams, plans and schemes as inevitably lost So not a cheery collection, by any stretch of the imagination, but one that consistently and carefully considers what we lose by living.

  5. says:

    Among the Missing is Dan Chaon s second collection of short stories and the first book of his I have read I once read a creepy little story of his called The Bees in a contemporary horror anthology It stood out because of its incredibly disturbing subject matter spousal abuse and horrific imagery of a man who literally can t escape his past The story haunted me for weeks, and thinking about it now, it still does The stories in this collection are much less horrific, but they still manage to disturb You can t walk away from a Dan Chaon story without feeling slightly unhinged The stories in Among the Missing involve characters of all ages, from all walks of life, from different socio economic backgrounds, but the one thing they all have in common is denial They are all in denial about something failing marriages, mental illness, bad parenting, being sexually molested as a child, hatred of one s family, life threatening diseases They are the subtle everyday denials that, I think, everyone at some point suffers from, the kind of small but not insignificant denials that we hide from our loved ones and co workers that still enable us to function in our everyday lives, just not to our full potential Chaon writes beautifully, and, thankfully, he lightens the load of such powerhouse emotional stories with some humor Granted, it is extremely subtle humor, so subtle that some people who have read Chaon s work can t seem to find it, they are too overwhelmed by the tragedy The humor is there, though It may be of the dark gallows variety, but it s there Among my favorites in this collection although all 12 of the short stories are brilliant Safety Man , in which a widowed mother of two girls finds solace and protection from a blow up doll that her husband bought her as a joke not long before his untimely death Here s a Little Something to Remember Me By , in which a man is forever haunted by the disappearance of his best friend from grade school and an incident that occurred in the park that he is unable to share with anyone, even his wife Late for the Wedding , in which a young college age man starts up a relationship with a much older professor, who, as it turns out, has a son that is close enough in age with the young man to be than awkward If you can appreciate the efficiency of prose in the art form of the short story and or just like great writing, you may want to check out Dan Chaon.

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  7. says:

    I feel so lucky to have stumbled upon this short story collection on the library shelves I ve always enjoyed reading Dan Chaon My Book Club first introduced him to me through the disturbingly thrilling Await Your Reply I then read the haunting Stay Awake.This collection is less gruesome than either of those reads, but just as compelling I love best Chaon s ability to tap into our innermost insecurities for examination From the insecure widow looking for comfort from an inflatable torso in Safety Man to a survivor wracked with unspeakable guilt in the title story It s not like it ruined my life, I was going to say, but then I didn t Because it occurred to me that maybe it had ruined my life, in a kind of quiet way a little lie, probably not so vital, insidiously separating me from everyone I loved He doesn t cross the line into magical realism but his stories retain an other worldliness that appeals to me It s the stuff of deepest fears and imaginings, our dreams and nightmares, and even our everyday weaknesses All of these stories somehow hinge on a seemingly random twist of fate There are so many people we could become, and we leave such a trail of bodies through our teens and twenties that it s hard to tell which one is us How many versions do we abandon over the years How many end up nearly forgotten, mumbling and gasping for air in some tenement room of our consciousness like elderly relatives suffering some fatal lung disease The characters inhabiting these stories are male and female, young and old, single, married, divorced and widowed They are dark and disturbed, but also subtly funny and wry which is always a pleasant surprise in Chaon s work She looked at me as if I might be one of them, a spy from the world of the ignorant Despite each story s unique brilliance, the book holds together nicely A great collection Highly recommend.

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  9. says:

    So clearly the question is, if I don t like short stories why do I keep reading collections of short stories Let me explain as quickly as I can I heard of Dan Chaon s great book Among the Missing and so I reserved it from my library without realizing it was a book of short stories At the same time, Await Your Reply a novel was available furthering my expectation that Chaon was a novelist I read Await Your Reply and it wasn t great, but it was okay and it wasn t what had been recommended after all, so I wasn t so bitter and then later before Among the Missing had come in I found Fitting Ends and checked it out again without realizing it was a book of short stories until I started reading it While I was reading Fitting Ends, Among the Missing finally came in on reserve I was not a huge fan of Fitting Ends for a few reasons, read that review if you want info , but again it was not the one that was recommended and now I had Among the Missing in hand and soI read it In Among the Missing, Chaon again deals with the complexities of family relationships, addiction, loneliness, and obviously loss The loneliness theme especially paired with the white trash, intelligent reader I found particularly compelling for my own personal reasons In Big Me, the very astute 8 year thinks If no one knows you, then you are no one and Colleen in Looking Backward she wonders if she will ever not be lonely Perhaps, she thinks, being lonely is a part of her, like the color of her eyes and skin, something in her genes All of the characters in these stories have secrets or social awkwardness usually because they are intelligent, but not good at relating to people and so wallow in their own lonliness to some extent Those that seem to be the most normal or well adjusted turn out to still be harboring something such as Tom in Something to Remember Me By After I m Gone.I also enjoyed his take on parenthood My mother in law once said that parenthood is 9 parts boredom coupled with 1 part complete terror Chaon deals with parenting well in Prodigal It doesn t matter what you do In the end, you are going to be judged, and all the times that you re not at your most dignified are the ones that will be recalled in all their vivid, heartbreaking detail and I could actually feel the goodness moving out of me, the way you can feel blood moving when you blush or grow pale Come on, guys I said, let s not fight This is fun, isn t it Let s have fun But my gentle voice was just an imitation, to describe the moment when instead of enjoying his children s company he is moved to parent mediator Lots of the other stories talk about the relationship between parent and adult child and the loss that arises when they don t really know each other bringing up the slightly trite question of can we ever know anyone , but Prodigal was the only one that dealt with parent and young child relationship For a collection of short stories it held together remarkably well I won t repeat my complaint about short stories see review of Fitting Ends if you want it , but besides that it was a good book All of the stories featured some missing personsome were dead, some were actually missing, and some were just ideas of people who never were but that of course made them missing These characters were still similar both to each other and occasionally to some of the characters from Fitting Ends and Await Your Replylots of lawyers, a few realtors, readers, drunks, and general white trash sprinkled throughout , but at least they weren t in the same small town although we still get a lot of rural NEwrite what you know Danny boy and they were complex and compelling that those found in Fitting Ends Overall, I think each of the stories managed to say something unique, but similar to the others.

  10. says:

    A powerful collection of short stories that explores troubled relationships, unresolved grief, and other emotionally charged territory The images in the story are often grisly and graphic readers with tender sensibilities, be forewarned In an author interview at the end of the book, Chaon explains his tendency to go for the image that sticks with you long after you wish it would fade away To me, American life itself is often fairly haunted, uncanny, unsettling in both its large events and small details This is a country where a town can literally dry up and disappear over the course of less than a century, where thousands of people go missing every year It s also true that one of the commonplaces of end of century America is the sense that it s very easy to have a secret life All that said, I loved this book The writing is incredible I m about to add some of my favorite quotes from the book to the quotes database here at GoodReads Note The e book version of this book requires a complete re edit There are extra spaces in the middle of words and apostrophes only appear where they are not needed There are hundreds of errors of this type My advice Don t buy the e book until some future GoodReads reviewer advises you that the text has been cleaned up completely.

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