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“Very seldom anymore do I come across a book that makes me feel like everything—anything—is possible. Troublers does. Walsh’s tautly elegant language renders a world at once iconic and strange, one in which every action and sentiment seems lovingly considered, mercilessly dissected, and expertly defamiliarized. A terrific first book, Troublers points to a new way of doing literature.”

Brian Evenson, author of Windeye


“Walsh’s stories are so odd and wonderful that they seem to have been treasured from some heretofore nonexistent Eastern European country that should now, finally, be properly celebrated.”

Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances


“In Troublers, Rob Walsh entertains marvelous, profound little dances which never fail to twirl you somewhere you’ve never been. In his world, ‘heartless betrayal is both the engine of modern television and a kind of stainless upholstery to which no ethical principal can stick.’ But inside Troublers’ beautifully rendered exterior lies a heart so pure. ‘Let’s poke the thing!?’ as Walsh directs.”

Terese Svoboda, author of Bohemian Girl


“This hilarious collection may likely be the most honest portrait of human behavior you will ever read. Using the fantastic as pitch and the sinister as yaw, each story steers you on a hovering journey over the bumbling, spellbinding fields of all that we lose and fail to understand.”

Alissa Nutting, author of Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls


Troublers wields a pace of the impending. Declarative, modest, wry. Like Faulkner, Walsh layers and interlaces, envelopes us in heat and dryness and longing.”

J.A. Tyler, author of Colony Collapse


Acknowledgments

Cover image “Storm” © 2012 Sébastien Plisson. Used by permission. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editors of the journals in which these stories first appeared: 5_Trope: “The Butcher” (excerpt, as “The Butcher and the Neighbor”); Adj Noun: “The City of Sheldon”; American Letters and Commentary: “The Fall”; Caketrain: “More Like May,” “After the Playpen Was Built”; Columbia: “A Hole”; Elimae: “The Butcher” (excerpts, as “The Butcher and the Snakes” and “The Butcher and the Window”); Fairy Tale Review: “The Dog”; Fugue: “My Wife the Officer”; Lit: “D-Age”; Juked: “Don Wayne”; The Lifted Brow: “The Two” (excerpt, as “Three Stories”); Mississippi Review: “The Butcher” (excerpt, as “The Butcher and the Powerline”); Noon: “He Lived on Lover’s Peak,” “The Two” (excerpt, as “Awful Spark”); Redivider: “Seven Seas”; Sleepingfish: “The Butcher” (excerpt, as “The Butcher and the Second Opinion”); Web Conjunctions: “The Two” (excerpt, as “Five Stories”). Text © 2013 Rob Walsh.