ISBN-10: 1913505537
ISBN-13: 9781913505530
Publisher: And Other Stories
Publish Date: 10/18/2022
Dimensions: 7.80" L, 5.10" W, 0.90" H

Get ’em Young, Treat ’em Tough, Tell ’em Nothing


Price: $17.95


Dark, profane, and hilarious, yet ultimately humane, these ten stories are the latest and best of Robin McLean’s reports from the eternal battlefront that is the United States. Ranging across the continent, from Alaska to Missouri, from the flatlands to the mountains, each tale is a snapshot of the political, racial, and sexual undercurrents roiling contemporary life, and each finds a way into the nerves and blood that pulse beneath the question of how to live a decent life.

Here you’ll find stolen children living life to the fullest on the run and on the road, soldiers guarding empty frontiers, and rugged individualists brought low by an uncaring nature. You’ll find prehistoric beasts rubbing talons with hustlers as well as death machines lurking beneath the bucolic countryside. Here you’ll find hatred, friendship, and pitch-black humor all seething in the same stew.

Get ’em Young, Treat ’em Tough, Tell ’em Nothing marries the sardonic moral and political explorations of a Flannery O’Connor to the surreal, scuzzy wit of a Denis Johnson. It is a brazen State of the Union for a nation on the edge.


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writes at times with the hyper-keen vividness of
nightmare: not surrealism but a kind of American expressionism, like a darker,
gristlier Donald Barthelme–grotesque,
comic and unsettling." –David Hayden, The Guardian

"[McLean's] prose moves with muscle and rhythm, the
dialogue swift and captivating ... circumstances are rough, even dire, and people
are worn out, angry, smart and stubbornly, vigorously alive ... McLean
unsentimentally renders their various precipices with incredible energy and
humor ... [McLean is] a writer who refuses to unsharpen her vision, whose
investment is in the clarity and freshness of the imagery and an honest
portrayal of our craven impulses." –Aimee Bender, New York Times Book Review

"Sharp, noirish,
thought-provoking stories of lives out of joint." –Kirkus Reviews

"Taking each story in was like watching a film, half drunk, just
the events and images really sticking. Then some time later finding the
sensations there, the emotional consequences, fully formed and ingrained
somehow in my head . . . These stories hit you like life hits you. " –Cynan

challenge you to point to another writer like McLean. Her vision is brutal, yet
hilarious. We will see her everywhere. These tales are so surprisingly
original, so strange and moving, so funny, so irreverent, I swallowed them, I
ate them whole." –Deb Olin Unferth

"These stories, they churn and turn with ferocious pace and a brute subject-verb force. McLean is a writer of pure conviction, unafraid of risk, unconcerned with convention, objective but deeply humane, alive to wonder and strangeness. This collection, like her first, is beautiful and harrowing. I'll say it again and again: Nobody writes like Robin McLean." –Chris Bachelder

"I loved these
brilliant, atmospheric and original stories - Robin McLean is such
an exciting writer, and this is her best so far." –Joanna Kavenna

"Robin McLean has always excelled in narrators who communicate their own self-sufficiency even as they inadvertently reveal the extent to which they're actually barely holding it together. They live in places where a bed frame and box spring are just a dream. They remind us that they're still evolving . . . And yet somehow in the face of all of that, her protagonists summon lift, and generate that tenderness necessary to continue. The results are fictions that unite the personal and the political in ways that we need now more than ever." –Jim Shepard

"Not since Denis
Johnson's Jesus' Son have I read a book of stories that so
resonated in my soul. McLean's prose sings with a fierceness that is ornate and
sparse, spiritual and secular, peaceful and violent. These are stories that
remind of Annie Proulx, Joy Williams, and Flannery O'Connor: surprising in the
fundamental weirdness of mundane life pressed inextricably into the
borderlands. The best collection of stories I have read in years." –Christian Kiefer

"No writer casts a sharper light on the feral edges of the human
condition than Robin McLean. " –John Larison

"Deeply engaged with the rural, with people on
their way off the grid, Robin McLean's fiction is at once fantastical and
intensely observed. These are stories about human frailty and darkness, shot
through with small moments of glory.."
–Brian Evenson

"Where so many
American writers balk at genuine human darkness, Robin McLean steps inside with
a poet's eye and an ill-used gavel she swiped from the decaying desk of some
corrupt, abusive judge. The results are gripping, chilling, and far too
realistic for the term. These ten modern parables lay bare our species'
manifold predicaments here in the dimming light of imagined futures. An
unforgettable book." –Kyle

"Robin McLean writes with a
kind of tender violence, her sentences aimed like fire hoses at a burning
world. I loved this collection, and its cast of extraordinary characters will
haunt my dreams." –Dani Shapiro

"Get 'em Young, Treat 'em Tough, Tell 'em Nothing is
a series of dispatches straight from the trenches of modern survival, where no
one secures the life they were promised yet they fight, flail, and flounder on
all the same. Fusing severe wit and our crudest desires into the gritty, tender
heart of human tenacity, McLean writes about enduring hope and disillusionment
like no one else." –Josie Smith, Greenlight Bookstore

Praise for Pity the Beast

"Not since Faulkner have I read American prose so bristling with life and particularity." –J. M. Coetzee

"Pity the Beast is a work of crazy brilliance. It's a worthy successor to William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, and the rare book that creates more space for later writers to work in." –Sandra Newman, The Guardian

"I have never read a book that made evil seem so natural–which is both the most unsettling thing about this novel and its greatest accomplishment." –Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

"Pity the Beast is bold, asperous, and defiant." –Cynan Jones

"Pity the Beast is one of those that takes off the top of your head, both with its cascading verbal brilliance, and the power with which it employs our archetypes of violence, pursuit and survival. It's as real as a dream in which every impossible thing arrives already known yet glinting with new meaning, like a fire." –Jonathan Lethem

"With stunning, gothic prose, Pity the Beast is a suspenseful feminist western and story of revenge that oscillates between a broad worldview of civilization, and the minutiae of a harsh environment." –Two Dollar Radio HQ bookstore

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ISBN-10: 1913505537
ISBN-13: 9781913505530
Publisher: And Other Stories
Publish Date: 10/18/2022
Dimensions: 7.80" L, 5.10" W, 0.90" H
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