Bullet In the Brain by Tobias Wolff (1995)
Tuesday’s Tale of Suspense November 24, 2020
Murder, nostalgia, understanding life. Bullet In the Brain is a fast read (15-minutes), unforgettable, and will draw you into the story immediately and hard. Do you love stories that explore language? Author Tobias Wolff has a reputation as a sharp academic. In this story, Wolff has crafted his narrative with fast tension and then redirects into an irresistible slow motion that keeps the readers hanging on every sentence. Truly a master writer.
Anders, a bitter literary critic by trade (a lover of literature), walks into a bank. He engages the other customers with sarcasm and wit when two bank robbers enter the front doors. For Anders, language has always provoked wonder (he is quite the entertaining logophile)—but a jaded one. You’ll love the cynicism laced with humor. In this story Anders discovers that even danger holds a disdain for him. Read it slowly to enjoy Wolff’s chills, the humor, and this extraordinary character who jumps off the page into your mind. Savor the last lines. Say them aloud, because they have quite a slap.
Read it here:
Listen to the audio here:
Tobias Wolf is the author of novels The Barracks Thief and Old School, the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army. Also short story collections In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, and The Night in Question. His Our Story Begins, won The Story Prize, 2008, and he received the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award, both for excellence in the short story, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. His work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and other magazines and literary journals.
Listen to an short interview with Tobias Wolff speak about short stories:
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