Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.
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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Summary & Study Guide Description

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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The following version of this book was used to create this Study Guide: Wallace, David Foster. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Back Bay Books, 2007.

"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" is a collection of 23 short stories. While not all of these short stories are related to one another, there are certain short stories that are linked together. For instance, "Adult World (I)" and "Adult World (II)" are divided into separate stories, but contain all of the same characters -- plus there is no chronological jump between Part I and Part II.

There are four short stories that are all titled "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men," all of which share the same format (the appearance of a transcription of an audio recording) and the same content (men discussing their sexual histories). There are no characters that recur between the four different chapters of "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men." Examples of the topics discussed in the different interviews conclude: a man discussing his quirky and ultimately non-sexual desire to tie women up with satin restraints in his bed; a man relaying a story told to him by a sexual partner about when she was kidnapped by a rapist. There are also many shorter, comedic interviews, such as with a man who cannot help shouting "Victory for the forces of democratic freedom!" whenever he climaxes, for reasons that are unknown to him.

There are two short stories that are both titled "The Devil is a Busy Man." These two stories do not share the same characters, but they do share the thematic similarity of being ethical dilemmas about money.

There are three short stories that are titled "Yet Another Example of the Porousness of Certain Borders," each of which is followed by a seemingly random Roman numeral. While all three of these stories are extremely short -- about two pages on average -- they share no common characters and no obvious themes.

Many of the short stories not mentioned here contain some similar themes to one another, but are not necessarily directly related. For example, the short story "Datum Centurio" is formatted like a lengthy dictionary definition of the word "date" from the year 2096. By discussing the extinction of typical dating -- in favor of incredibly sophisticated virtual-reality pornography -- "Datum Centurio" is effectively a postscript to all of the other stories that discuss the messy difficulties that rose out of modern dates. At a first appearance, the story "Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko" has very little to do with the rest of the collection: it is a creation myth about the origins of cable television, told in the tone and style of a Homeric epic. However, even this story ultimately hinges on male-female relationships: the debutante Sissee Nar (recipient of a ton of plastic surgery) is the first breakout star of the first cable network thanks to her featured role where she lays on a beach and naps, to the delight of male viewers.

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