Bream Gives Me Hiccups
Pub: September 8, 2015
Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories is the remarkable fiction debut by Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg, famous for his roles in The Social Network and other films, but also for his regular pieces in the New Yorker and his two critically acclaimed plays. This collection of hilarious, moving, and highly inventive stories explore the ridiculousness of modern-day life, in the tradition of Woody Allen, Simon Rich, and David Sedaris. Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups moves from contemporary L.A. to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions. In one piece, a tense email exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by his sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide (The situation reminds me of a little historical blip called the Karađorđevo agreement); in another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing (she didn’t have “one” of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen); in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention (I’ve been calling Mabel all day, she doesn’t pick up! Yes, of course I dialed the right number – 2!).United by Eisenberg’s gift for humor and character, and grouped into chapters that each open with an illustration by award-winning cartoonist Jean Jullien, the witty pieces collected in Bream Gives Me Hiccups explore the various insanities of the modern world, and mark the arrival of a fantastically funny, self-ironic, and original voice.