Lehane covers some of the same ground as Sam Shepard in this anthology: Damaged souls, usually male, further damage themselves and their loved ones. People make boneheaded decisions, get hurt, mess up, search for meaning and pass out. But Lehane has moved out of his comfort zone of Boston to pen a whole passel of sad sacks and losers who reside elsewhere in the United States. His short stories, while often unblinkingly bleak, are corrosive and brilliant.
After meeting the horrible father in "Until Gwen" and "Coronado," you'll be thankful for your own dad, whatever his faults. (MORROW, Sep., 224 pp., $24.95)