by Capra Press on January 11, 2015


The Man Who Gave Away His Organs: Tales of Love and Obsession at Midlife by Richard Michael Levine

The eight stories and the novella that make up The Man Who Gave Away His Organs: Tales of Love and Obsession at Midlife, by Richard Michael Levine, have the cultural scope, time span, and in-depth character development usually found only in novels.

As the subtitle suggests, the mostly middle-aged protagonists have reached some crisis in their lives, generally revolving around love and obsession, in some cases obsessive love, when an unexpected turn of events or twist of fate leads them in new, unanticipated directions. Even when they explore ideas, the stories are intimately connected to life in all its vibrant detail. They are hilarious and tragic, sometimes at the same time, and sharply observant of people, places and society.

The characters remind you of people you know, and then, also like people you may know, can turn bizarre and incomprehensible even to those closest to them.

The dialogue in these stories snaps with wit. The prose is at once lyrical and prickly, tender and sardonic, and always, sentence-by-sentence, read-aloud beautiful.

Above all, The Man Who Gave Away His Organs will entertain you throughout as few other short story collections have.

Richard Michael Levine has written magazine articles for many national publications, including Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, New York, The New York Times Magazine and Esquire, where he was a contributing editor and wrote a monthly column on the media for a number of years.  He has been a staff writer and editor at Newsweek and The Saturday Review and has taught at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.  His bestselling non-fiction book, Bad Blood: A Family Murder in Marin County, was published by Random House and New American Library and has been translated into several language.  His poetry has been widely published in literary magazines and collected in Catch and Other Poems.