Short stories by Stanley Elkin.
Stanley Lawrence Elkin was a Jewish American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. His extravagant, satirical fiction revolves around American consumerism, popular culture, and male-female relationships. During his career, Elkin published ten novels, two volumes of novellas, two books of short stories, a collection of essays, and one (unproduced) screenplay. Elkin's work revolves about American pop culture, which it portrays in innumerable darkly comic variations. Characters take full precedence over plot. His language throughout is extravagant and exuberant, baroque and flowery, taking fantastic flight from his characters' endless patter. "He was like a jazz artist who would go off on riffs," said critic William Gass. In a review of George Mills, Ralph B. Sipper wrote, "Elkin's trademark is to tightrope his way from comedy to tragedy with hardly a slip." About the influence of ethnicity on his work Elkin said he admired most "the writers who are stylists, Jewish or not. Bellow is a stylist, and he is Jewish. William Gass is a stylist, and he is not Jewish. What I go for in my work is language."
Listing 4 stories.
When his deceased son is accused of thievery, a grieving grocery store owner condemns the world for making him rethink the innocent memories he had of his son.
An orphan-turned-salesman loses his job and resorts to bargaining off pieces of himself in an effort to appraise the value of human life.
A store owner in Minneapolis tries to live his life as a good man, but when he's killed during a robbery, he comes to learn how spiteful God really is.
A wrestler who believes he has come to terms with his mortality faces death when he is scheduled to fight against a man who has already killed at least one opponent in the ring.