From the 26-year-old scion of literary giant Stephen King comes a compelling, imaginative debut collection of four short stories both creepy and heartfelt, plus a compassionate novella about a 15-year-old son of a single mother. Set in Maine around the 2000 election, the title novella captures the teenage narrator's anger over his mother's impending marriage to Dr. Vic, while his family, led by a union organizer grandfather, seethes over Bush's election. George lays siege to his mother's relationship and helps his grandfather build a sniper's nest from which to attack the paperboy who defaces the old man's "Al Gore is the Real President" sign. Freaks and weirdos—external symptoms of his protagonists' inner struggles—people King's shorter stories, which strive to balance the lurid with a reach for emotional truth. In "Wonders," about a baseball player who takes his pregnant girlfriend to a Coney Island circus freak abortionist, the macabre and the heartfelt feel discordant, and the story ends with unearned violence. But in "Frozen Animals," King achieves a surreal blend of gory, vivid description of unanesthetized dental surgery layered with the drug-addicted dentist's intermittent memories of a happier past.