Here are some lost members of the Boomer Generation-chronic underachievers at work and love-recurring characters in Dennis E. Bolen's Anticipated Results, his first story collection with Arsenal Pulp Press. Seeking solace in each other's dysfunctional company; conducting ill-organized interventions; throwing disastrous dinner parties; trying to fix their cars: all the disparate behaviours of a societal subset whose demeanour masks a disquieting rage at how they've lost their way and an impotent desire to try to find it again.
Written with unnerving eloquence evocative of Raymond Carver, Anticipated Results could be about any of us--wracked with self-doubt and anguish over what has come before, yet still clinging with vigor to the idea of what may yet come to be.
Bolen's spare language and elliptical narrative style recall Raymond Carver, one of the masters of the modern short story.
Genuinely entertaining; filled with the kind of people you might sit next to at the legion, guys with great stories to tell. After killing an afternoon shooting the breeze, you can get in your Lexus for the drive to the new condo while they order another round from the bartender who knows them by sight.
Dennis E. Bolen's seventh work of fiction shows a writer at the top of his game ... Anticipated Results dances with clever language that both mocks and questions a generation's legacy. Boomers will see themselves in this cast of characters, and other generations will get an idea of how the Boomers' idealism went sideways.
-Quill and Quire (STARRED REVIEW)
The strongest stories include "Kitty," "Qualicum Beach," and "Anger," each of which delineates human ties, self-contemplation, and the stark, sometimes comforting realization of one's place in the world. Admirers of Raymond Carver should appreciate this collection.
Bolen's beautifully fluid writing and his captivatingly damaged characters had me addicted ... highly recommended for anyone looking for insight into what makes men tick at any age, and for readers who crave a wild literary ride of expertly rendered plots and prose.
it's downright dangerous ... Bolen knows how men think.
It's wholly captivating ... I know these people. I have attended their awkward dinner parties and joined them on boozy camping excursions ... [Anticipated Results] is well worth picking up. It captivated me enough to finish it in only two sittings which says a lot.
-Vancouver is Awesome
Bolen's spare prose and empathy for his characters make for a compelling read.
Anticipated Results revels in the basic human desire to connect with someone else-over a drink or six.
If ever I had to illustrate to someone the exact opposite of what I meant by 'bourgeois'--in terms of style, sensibility, and preoccupation--I'd point them to Dennis E. Bolen's writing. In the now-hilarious, now-heartbreaking tales that make up Anticipated Results, Bolen shows that there are no boring moments in life, only slightly quieter times when turmoil temporarily withdraws from the surface to work its magic deeper down.
-Charles Demers, author of Vancouver Special and The Prescription Errors