Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Four for a Quarter


Four for a Quarter: Fictions
by Michael Martone

Quality Paper
2011
Price: $16.50

E Book
2011
Price: $9.99

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Four is the magic number in Michael Martone’s Four for a Quarter. In subject—four fifth Beatles, four tie knots, four retellings of the first Xerox, even the sex lives of the Fantastic Four. Four for a Quarter returns again and again, obsessively, to its foundational number, making chaos comprehensible and mystery out of the most ordinary.


“Forty years ago, when I was four times four and Michael Martone was four, we both had offices on the fourth floor of the fourth best university in the US. Even before I met Michael, I was forewarned of his forthright flare. These stories fortify my early impressions. We are fortunate to have them.” —Jane Smiley


“4x4: some of the things Four for a Quarter: Fictions do—

1) magnify, siphon, ruminate, conjugate
2) excavate, pitch, careen, spiral
3) tease, dazzle, touch, torch
4) travel & warp time; skewer & savor flesh; mix & match whatnot; divide & multiply all” —Janet Kauffman


"Reading Michael Martone’s Four for a Quarter is like flipping through radio stations in your car in the middle of the night in West Texas, a wash of wonderful elegiac fragments, memories, anecdotes, haunting bits and pieces of ordinary days, from Beatles’ backstories to the Eat Mor Chikin cow, from Santa Claus to baseball under the lights. You’ll have a hard time putting it down, and when you do, you’ll be eager to get back to it. A masterful performance." —Frederick Barthelme


“Udders & Teats: Old Red, who got fed PBB fire retardant; Ada, full of hardware; Elsie, built like a steer; Bambi, who used to put her foot in the bucket about once a week (so I had to give the milk to the barn cats). Later we milked a goat, and we felt diminished.” —Bonnie Jo Campbell