Search >>
Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for Biography
Pulitzer Prize for History
Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
National Book Critics Circle Award
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
National Book Award
National Book Award for Fiction
National Book Award for Nonfiction
Man Booker Prize
Man Booker Prize
New York Times Best Books
New York Times Best Fiction Books of the Year
New York Times Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
LA Times Book Prize
LA Times Book Prize for Fiction
TIME Magazine Best Books
TIME Magazine Best Fiction Books of the Year
TIME Magazine Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
Amazon.com Best Books
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year
ALA Notable Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction
ALA Notable Books - Nonfiction
PEN/Faulkner Award
Pen/Faulkner Award
100 Best Novels
The Novel 100: The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time
Modern Library 100 Best Novels of the Century
FAW Best Books of the Year
Best Books of the Decade
Best Books of 2016
Best Books of 2015
Best Books of 2014
Best Books of 2013
Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2011
Best Books of 2010
Best Books of 2009
Best Books of 2008
Best Books of 2007
Best Books of 2006
Best Books of 2005
Best Books of 2004
Best Books of 2003
Best Books of 2002
Best Books of 2001
Best Books of 2000
Best Books of 1999
Best Books of 1998
Best Books of 1997
Author Honors
New Yorker 20 Under 40 (2010)
New Yorker Twenty Best Young Fiction Writers in America (1999)
Granta Best of Young American Novelists (2007)
Granta Best of Young American Novelists (1996)
Granta Best of Young British Novelists (2003)
MacArthur Fellows in Fiction
National Book Foundation 5 Under 35

Scar Vegas
TOM PAINE

Scar Vegas by Tom Paine
15 reviews (2000) (224p)
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

Visit this book's Amazon.com page >>


Book Description
Featuring ten stunning stories, Scar Vegas grips the reader with breathtaking, gut-wrenching, and relentlessly entertaining narratives set on a bedrock of piercing political consciousness and clear-eyed reportorial vision. From a teenage anarchist to a Marine Corps general, Tom Paine's passionate characters make the kind of heartbreaking decisions that crackle with moral-and spiritual-consequences. And with each story Paine displays his mastery of language and nuance, flowing effortlessly from drug culture dialect to the clipped English of a Romanian émigré. With stinging wit and unmatched skill, Tom Paine will "startle you with the muscular vigor of his prose and the ability to tell a tale that sucks you in and won't let go from start to finish" (Newsday).


Amazon.com Review
An urban legend making the rounds goes something like this: a guy accepts a drink from a good-looking woman in an airport bar and, three hours later, wakes up in a bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney. This apocryphal tale of involuntary black-market organ donors figures in the title story of Tom Paine's debut collection, Scar Vegas. But though a purloined kidney provides a twist, Paine has already delivered the knock-out punch much earlier as he catalogs the black comedy of errors dogging the marriage of Janey "Fruit" Loop to semipro football player Breezy Bonaventure. At the center of the nuptial confusion is Johnny Loop, ex-con brother of the bride and the tale's narrator: "We are the Loops. Someone sure as hell is Fruit if you are the Loops." As he negotiates his sister's beer-guzzling fiancé and the fiancé's belligerent teammates, Johnny maintains his sang-froid: "I ain't never surprised. This world ain't never sprung nothing on me. Some people get themselves hit by lightning and other strange things but that ain't me at all." By the time Johnny discovers, in fact, that that is him, Paine has already led his character and readers on so vividly surreal a tour of the Loser's Las Vegas that the ending seems less a surprise than the only possible conclusion to such an adventure.

But the weirdness and pathos in "Scar Vegas" pales in comparison to what Paine gives us in "General Markman's Last Stand" in which a Marine Corps officer long idolized by his men faces his greatest challenge yet: his retirement party. Suffice it to say there's more to Markman than meets the eye. And in "Will You Say Something, Monsieur Eliot?" the author hits home with an agonizing encounter between a wealthy, shipwrecked American and the boatload of Haitian refugees who rescue him. Each of the 10 stories in this collection is larger than life--not for this writer carefully understated dissections of personal relationships or quiet domestic drama. Instead Paine gives us white slavers, Romanian brothers on a road trip to Reno, Myanmar witch doctors, and delegates to an Anarchist convention. The voices are fresh, the stories unflinchingly true to themselves; Scar Vegas is as compelling as it is edgy. --Sheila Bright


Tom Paine Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

BACK

Pulitzer Prize | National Book Critics Circle Award | National Book Award | PEN/Faulkner Award | Man Booker Prize | Contact