03-18-2008 11:58 AM
Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days. Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill, an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his daily and future life. Called back from college and set to work by family obligations, Miles never left home again. Even so, his own obligations are manifold: a pending divorce; a troubled younger brother; the failing grill, and his adolescent daughter, Tick.
Fresh out of college in the summer of 1961, Happy lands his first job as a graphic designer (okay, art assistant) at a small Connecticut advertising agency populated by a cast of endearing eccentrics. When he's assigned to design a newspaper ad recruiting participants for an experiment in the Yale Psychology Department, Happy can't resist responding to the ad himself. Little does he know that the experience will devastate him, forcing a reexamination of his past, his soul, and the nature of human cruelty -- chiefly, his own
Apex Hides the Hurt
When the town of Winthrop needed a new name for their town, they did what anyone would do -- they hired a nomenclature consultant. If you want just the right name for your new product, he's the man. His "Apex Hides the Hurt" campaign -- for a multicultural bandage -- is his crowning achievement. After leaving his job (following a mysterious misfortune), his expertise is called upon by the town of Winthrop. Once there, he meets the town council, who will try to sway his opinion over the coming days. Our expert must decide the outcome, with all its implications for the town's future.
Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced.
Kings of Infinite Space
Paul Trilby is having a bad life. His wife left him. Three subsequent girlfriends left him. He's fallen from a top-notch university teaching job, to a textbook publisher, to, eventually, working as a temp writer for the Texas Department of General Services. When he begins a tentative romance with the office's sassy mail girl, he begins to notice things are truly wrong. Strange sounds come from the air conditioning vents, the ceiling bulges, a body disappears. Mysterious men lurk about town, wearing thick glasses and pocket protectors. Trilby has crafted a hilarious and horrifying spoof on our everyday lives.
Young Martin Dressler begins his career as an industrious helper in his father's cigar store. In the course of his restless young manhood, he makes a swift and eventful rise to the top, accompanied by two sisters. As the eponymous Martin's vision becomes bolder and bolder he walks a haunted line between fantasy and reality, madness and ambition, art and industry, a sense of doom builds piece-by-hypnotic piece until this mesmerizing journey into the heart of an American dreamer reaches its bittersweet conclusion.