Author: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Title: Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory: Stories
Narrator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Baron Vaughn, James Urbaniak, Kimiko Glenn, Colman Domingo, Natalie Morales, Raúl Esparza, Will Brill, Stephanie Beatriz, Emma Galvin, and Nicholas Gonzalez
Publication Info: Random House Audio, 2019
This collection of short stories focuses on love, and the deep emotions and tragedies that go with it. Bob-Waksberg is noted as the creator of BoJack Horseman, and his stories have the same mix of melancholy with the fantastical and a wry optimism. He also enters his stories in creative ways such as a bulleted list, a missed connections personal ad, travel articles, and instructions for the party game Taboo.
Standout stories include:
“Most Blessed and Auspicious Occasion” – a parody of the Wedding Industrial Complex where a couple’s attempts to have a simple wedding are upended by their families’ insistence on keeping with their culture’s traditions of slaughtering goats and exchanging commitment eggs.
“The Serial Monogamist’s Guide to Important New York City Landmarks” – a guide to the city where every landmark reminds one of a moment in a past relationship.
“Rufus” – written from the perspective of a dog who relates a story that touches on his man’s new boyfriend, a relationship that ends partially because of his man’s devotion to Rufus (although Rufus is not aware of this, he just wants the door to be open).
“You Want to Know What Plays Are Like?” – a woman caustically reviews a community theatre performance, slowly revealing that the playwright is her brother, and discovering that the story is based on their family’s tragic past.
“More of the You That You Already Are” – narrated by a man who works in a presidential theme park dressed in a large-headed mascot costume of Chester A. Arthur as he struggles to keep his job as management begins replacing cast members with genetically-modified mutant Presidents.
As weird as this all sounds, these stories are clever and heartfelt. It’s definitely worth a read, or a listen.