The author of the acclaimed books of social observation The Peep Diaries and Hello, I’m Special is back, this time with a mind-altering collection of short stories. In Look Down, Niedzviecki’s trademark penetrating cultural observations become breathtaking stories that confront head-on the hypocrisies, humiliations and hilarities of modern life.
*In Doing God’s Work, God’s personal assistant devises an outlandish way to kill the number one deity by playing to his never ending need for human attention.
*Punk Rock Roll Model is a rip-roaring mockery of the rock-n-roll lifestyle that revolves around a young man with an extreme attitude in the employ of a failing punk legend.
*Prenatal is a new take on “right to life”, wherein a pregnant 10th grader finds herself struggling with her fetus’ insistence that she abort him before both their lives are ruined.
*The Useless and the Colorist both explore the commodification of culture – in The Useless an artist finds himself compelled by a politician’s resonant rhetoric to rethink his efficacy to society; in The Colorist, the old visionary appointed by the government to invent new colors is challenged by a young upstart.
*Real Estate and Undead are two stories with different takes on the rise of the Web. In Real Estate, a man uses the ‘Net to explore his obsession with young girls; In Undead, a man struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife’s friend, finds himself haunted by a funeral home website’s online broadcasts.
*Displacement explores the so-called ‘Holocaust Industry’, as a man haunted by his childhood in a post-WWII displacement camp risks being consumed by his demons when he gives up everything in a bid to become a flavored cream cheese mogul.
*In the epic Special Topic: Terrorism, a young undergraduate gamer finds himself in way over his head when a group assignment to start a terror organization goes viral.
*Finally, the title story, Look Down, This is Where It Must Have Happened, is a vicious satire of nostalgia, a psychopath’s send-up of the way high-school era friendships need to be cruelly cut back before they permanently choke off the possibilities of adulthood.
Ten years in the making, this wildly imaginative, gracefully executed collection romps through social conventions, confronts some of society’s most intractable arguments, and adds to Niedzviecki’s reputation as an astute commentator, a powerfully original thinker, and a master storyteller. Look Down, This is Where It Must Have Happened is a millennial masterpiece, an explosive book that urgently captures the zeitgeist of our fractured times.