Goes Like This

Fantagraphics. Jun. 2023. 192p. ISBN 9781683967729. pap. $39.99. F
Crane follows the breakout success of his magnum opus Keeping Two with a collection of shorter works created over the past few decades. Crane both pays tribute to and subverts genre expectations in several of the stories collected here: the thrilling “Hand of Gold” opens with a cowboy discovering a mortally wounded man clutching a satchel containing a fortune and goes on to depict the calamities that ensue as greed overrides compassion, as well as in the science fiction story “The Dark Nothing,” about a trio of astronauts harvesting rare minerals from an asteroid. “Before They Got Better” follows an aging electrician as he struggles to maintain fragile relationships with his wife, daughter, and granddaughter. The early masterwork “Below the Shade of Night” focuses on a disaffected teenager whose desperation to escape his small town leads him to fatefully reckless behavior. A young man becomes convinced his girlfriend is having an affair after she calls his phone but asks for someone else in the paranoid thriller “Trash Night.”
VERDICT These emotionally resonant, innovatively illustrated stories assure Crane’s standing as one of the finest storytellers of his generation.
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