Henry Goldblatt
September 13, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Nine Inches

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Tom Perrotta
publisher
St. Martin's Press
genre
Short Stories

We gave it an B+

Get your mind out of the gutter. This isn’t about porn. Nine inches refers to the space that must separate junior high schoolers at a dance. In his first short-story collection in 19 years, Perrotta (Little Children) mines his familiar but fascinating territory — the intersection of class, envy, and boredom in suburbia. The standouts: ”The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face,” about a Little League game that turns into Armageddon, and ”Backrub,” about a teenager rejected from every college he applied to who turns to running pizza and drugs. B+

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