John McNally


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The vomitorium -- The New Year -- The end of romance -- Smoke -- The first of your last chances -- The politics of correctness -- The grand illusion -- The greatest goddamn thing -- Roger's new life -- Torture -- Limbs


Troublemakers is an often hilarious, sometimes frightening, occasionally off-the-wall collection of stories about men living on the edge. From the streets of Chicago's southwest side to the rural roads of Nebraska to the small towns of southern Illinois, these men tread a very fine line between right and wrong, love and hate, humor and horror.

Each story is a Pandora's box waiting to be opened: a high school boy with a new driver's license picks his brother up from jail; a UPS driver suspects his wife of having an affair but cannot find any tangible evidence of her indiscretion; an unemployed man's life begins to unravel after he discovers a dead man in a tree in his own backyard; two boys spend Halloween with an older thug; a young college teacher's patience is tested by both his annoying colleagues and the criminals who haunt his neighborhood. In story after story, McNally's troublemakers lead readers to a place no less thrilling or dangerous than the human heart itself.

Series Title

John Simmons Short Fiction Award

Award Date



McCracken, Elizabeth

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Men, Social life and customs


Copyright © 2000 by John McNally. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, without permission in writing from the publisher.