|::Compositions for The Young and Old::
A jar that holds your deepest secrets and fears. A fireman confronts his
past while trying to save a group of children who have fallen through thin
ice. A preacher's daughter goes to fantastic and desperate lengths to write
a book like Mark Twain. A man who cures people's pain and sadness through
laughter finds his greatest challenge in a little boy. In this debut
collection by Chizine editor Paul G. Tremblay, there are twenty stories
following the chronological arc of a human life. Twenty stories about the
young and old, and everyone in-between.
Introduction by the author of A PRAYER FOR THE DYING and THE NIGHT COUNTRY, Stewart O'Nan.
"Tremblay's disturbing debut story collection runs the gamut from straight-up horror through SF to psychological sketches of troubled souls."
"Paul Tremblay is a storyteller of the highest order--edgy, sensitive and fearless. As a horror writer, he possesses the deadliest secret: he knows where we live."
--Stewart O'Nan, author of A PRAYER FOR THE DYING, THE NIGHT COUNTRY, and FAITHFUL
"Paul Tremblay is one of the better short-story writers working today. His eye is both compassionate and merciless -- a rare combination -- and he has a genuine gift for language. He deserves all the acclaim he has received and much, much more.
--Poppy Z. Brite, author of LIQUOR and PRIME.
"There’s also Stoughton resident Tremblay, a high-school math teacher whose wryly told short stories are more Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) than best-selling bogeyman Koontz...Using horror the way Kurt Vonnegut used science fiction, Tremblay’s work is deadpan, ironic, sometimes twisted, even hip. A few of the pieces in his short-story collection COMPOSTIONS FOR THE YOUNG AND OLD, a compilation inspired by a Bob Mould song, wouldn’t seem out of place in McSweeney’s."
--Camille Dodero, BOSTON PHOENIX
"Ultimately what makes this collection work isn't the disparity of the different stories but the catholicism of their concerns, regardless of age
or individual situations. The macabre desperation of most of the characters,
their sudden reversals of fortune, become poignant in the midst of the world
that is, at best, in an advanced state of decomposition."
--Alan DeNiro, Rain Taxi, reviewer
"Less a collection of frights than a chronological study of life and the obstacles both real and surreal that stand in the way of contentment, Paul Tremblay's debut collection deserves to be ranked alongside the work of such masters as Twain, Conrad and Bradbury. With a confident hand, Tremblay forces us to look, not at alien worlds populated with strangers, but into the mirror, and a disturbing view of ourselves. Compositions for the Young and Old is essential reading."
--Kealan Patrick Burke, author of THE TURTLE BOY, THE HIDES, and RAVENOUS GHOSTS
"Beyond his ideas, beyond his skillful narrative, Paul Tremblay's work is imbued with something that many writers, as technically proficient as they might be, lack - and that is humanity. As with Kurt Vonnegut, Tremblay's work is threaded through with a great compassion and empathy for his characters and it is this emotional content that sets it apart from so many other genre writers. Whether it be a young boy or an old man, the characters and stories in CftYaO are all managed with a keen sense of compassion from Tremblay and it is this which makes his work so mature and appealing…"
--Simon Logan author of I-O.
"Paul Tremblay is an author of deep vision and intense literate style....One of the finest collections I’ve read in years.."
--David Niall Wilson, CEMETERY DANCE reviewer, author of DEEP BLUE
"What makes these stories stand out is Tremblay's artistic ability to effortlessly combine all the literary elements of setting, character, plot, and theme into highly engaging tales about the human condition."
--HELLNOTES review, Chris Welch
"This collection of short stories uses characters of every age bracket – and their points of view – to hit the reader hard in their deepest fears. From abandonment to Alzheimer's, Tremblay finds a way to connect the story with the reader, and from there he picks at every wound until it is exposed. He alternates between gritty noir to eloquent prose, providing tales tailor-made to any audience.
--The Horror Channel, Scott A. Johnson
"The first thing you'll notice about Paul Tremblay's brilliant debut collection is his range. Not only does this guy have storyteller in his
genes, but a one or two hit, repetitive and revivisected wonder he most
definitely is not. COMPOSITIONS FOR THE YOUNG AND OLD is an amazing story
arc documenting the life of every man and the poignant self-examinations
that ensue if we are to understand our place in this world. Here are life
lessons told with a craftsmanship rarely seen in genre fiction."
--Brian A. Hopkins, multi-award winning author of EL DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
"Paul G. Tremblay writes so cleanly, you can't find a speck of dust in the workings of a story he's had his hands on. The flow of the words is smooth,
the dialogue true, the descriptions sparse and evocative--you see the
characters not through his eyes, but through your own, by way of well-chosen
words that don't bog your mind's eye down with detail, but trigger a
familiar vision already in your experience. In short stories, he is
Bradbury-esque in his control of what is shown, what is said."
--Brett Savory, author of THE DISTANCE TRAVELED and IN AND DOWN
"There's a part of the human mind where each person stores the things that make their hands flinch back reflexively. They're the things we find in old
attic boxes, or hidden in forgotten treehouses. We flinch back for primal
or deeply ingrained personal reasons - instincts that tell us these things
are bad, possibly dangerous, and no amount of reasoning can overcome our
primary reflex to jerk our fingers away. Paul G. Tremblay is a master of
grabbing that part of the reader's mind and upending its contents over their
-- James L. Grant, author of PEDESTRIAN WOLVES and FLEM COMICS
Introduction by Stewart O'Nan
Lies and Skin (co-written with Steve Eller)
Dole as Ribbit
The Harlequin and the Train
With More Than Eyes
Hackin' at the Peach
So Many Things Left Out
The Laughing Man Meets Little Cat
Colonel Evan's Last Mission
Cover Art, design by Simon Logan
Artist: M. Lily Beacon
Site designed by Stephanie Simpson-Woods