McSweeney’s is in dire straights and needs money. As much as I’d like to help them more, I already subscribe to the quarterly and Wholphin along with buying the occasional book now and then (Icelander was my last and was one of my favorite books of the year), but if you are out there reading this and you are looking for some good smart content, McSweeney’s is your place.
Who am I kidding? I went back and bought Issues #1-3 of the Quarterly. I am a packrat and compulsive spender. Issues before #10 are very hard to get without paying large sums on eBay, and they are only offering reprints of 1-3 on a limited basis. Now with these I will have issues #1-3, 9-16, 18-23.
While some issues are more uneven than others, I’ve never been disappointed with a single issue. In fact, McSweeney’s has some of the best content out there and is definitely the most unique publication. Issue #13 was in comic book form. Issue #15 was all about Iceland. Issue #16 had a comb. Issue #17 was cleverly disguised as junk mail. Issue #19 came in a cigar box. Issue #22 was magnetic. One issue was interspersed with letters received by Ray Charles’ estate. One had stories that were each written in twenty minutes. I could keep listing the great things the Quarterly has printed, but it would ruin the what-will-they-think-of-next anticipation.
It sounds gimmicky, but it also features some of the highest quality stories I have ever read. Highest recommendation.