The fourteen stories gathered here display both Boyle's astonishing range and his imaginative muscle. In the title story of this rich new collection, Boyle writes a tale that is by turns magical and moving, a powerful investigation of what it means to be human. Other tales range from the drama of a man who spins Homeric lies in order to stop going to work, to the sad comedy of a child born to Mexican street vendors who is unable to feel pain. There may be no one better than T.C. Boyle at engaging, shocking, and ultimately gratifying readers while at the same time testing his characters' emotional and physical endurance. The fourteen new stories gathered here display both Boyle's astonishing range and his imaginative muscle. From "Wild Child," a retelling of the story of Victor, the feral boy who was captured running naked through the forests of Napoleonic France, to "La Conchita," the tale of a catastrophic mudslide that allows a cynic to reclaim his own humanity, these tales are by turns magical and moving, showcasing the mischievous humor and socially conscious sensibility that have made Boyle one of the foremost living masters of the short story.