Start Reading

The End of the Straight and Narrow: Stories

313 pages5 hours


This debut collection received critical acclaim and is now available for the first time in trade paper. The stories in The End of the Straight and Narrow take on the inner lives of the zealous, their passions and desires, and the ways religious faith is both the compass for navigating daily life and the force that makes ordinary life impossible.

In Landslide,” an aspiring evangelist witnesses the miraculous event that launches his career, but fails to notice the mental decline of his college roommate. In Moonland on Fire,” a divorced, born-again father, his new wife, and his estranged teenage son battle to save their dilapidated home from a massive fire. In Deep in the Heart” a dying boy reveals his final wish to his estranged parents: he wants to kill a deer. In Seventeen One-Hundredths of a Second” an aging virgin is drawn into a precarious friendship. The five linked stories that comprise the collection’s latter half focus on a woman blinded suddenly while giving birth, who years later begins a process of disappearing that confuses her family and leads to ultimately violent and disintegrating ends.

Ranging from the coastal highways of Southern California, to the mountains above Salt Lake City, to the swampy bayous and pine forests surrounding Houston, Texas, the stories often take place against the backdrop of disastera landslide, a fire, a drowning, a hurricaneas the characters question whether faith illuminates the world or leaves them isolated within it.

Read on the Scribd mobile app

Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.