Finalist, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize (BC Book Prizes)
A YouTube star becomes famous after he documents his breakup online. An anxious, lactose-intolerant office worker obsesses over a stranger who says "Nice shorts, bro" to him in passing. A couple wants to open up their relationship to a ghost. A monster just wants to find love in his human skin.
In these unconventional, interconnected stories--the first work of fiction by acclaimed poet Daniel Zomparelli, editor-in-chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine--gay men look for love in any way possible. From social media, to finding someone within a dream, the ways in which these characters search for joy becomes both limitless and overwhelming. With wry abandon and a beguiling heart, Everything Is Awful is a deadpan, tragicomic exploration of love, desire, and dysfunction in the twenty-first century.
At times outrageous but always unflinchingly honest. -Broken Pencil
Written in flat, earnest prose reminiscent of the 'Alt-Lit' movement, Zomparelli's stories pull humor from the banalities of lives devoted to anonymous sex, cellphone apps and social media.
-New York Times
Juicy, funny, and thoroughly absorbing ... This book, full of hookups and texts and chemically enhanced evenings, is about a particular kind of modern gay experience, and there is a pleasure to seeing oneself, one's city, one's generation laid out in such buoyant, fun prose.
Daniel Zomparelli completely reinvents the short story in this sardonic debut collection. Through quipping prose that fuses poetry and digital communication, Zomparelli distinctively establishes himself as a zeitgeist writer to heed. -Vivek Shraya, author of even this page is white and She of the Mountains
Zomparelli's book -- like his body of work -- does the smart and risky thing of trying the same questions on for size over and over again, probing the edges of our hang-ups with agitation and admiration. -Quill and Quire
Filled with ghosts and lovers, grief and beer, funerals and bad dates, Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person is about the lies we tell to comfort ourselves and everybody else, the identities we create and then destroy, and the moments when human longing pushes us toward honesty. Crystal clear, cynical, and incisive, Daniel Zomparelli's stories will take up permanent residence in your head.
-Jen Sookfong Lee, author of The Conjoined and The End of East
Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person is inventive and incisive, a compulsively readable and often hilarious collection of linked stories about the anxiety of intimacy and connection. A weird, perfect gem of a book. -Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People
This is admittedly the first book I've read since Grindr was invented. Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person seduced me out of a sex app death march with writing so dreamy, heartbreaking, funny, and like Zomparelli himself: tender as hell. -John Early, comedian
It's called Everything is Awful and You're a Terrible Person and it delivers, tongue-in-cheek.
-The Globe and Mail
Brilliant is not too strong a word to describe Everything Is Awful and You're a Terrible Person. Funny, wicked, moving, profane and sad come to mind too. This is a bomb of a book wrapped up in 32 short stories ... It feels like an explosion of fresh air. -Vancouver Sun