Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Mac's Backs Book Club discusses Book of Extraordinary Tragedies by Joe Meno.

Aleksandar and Isobel are siblings and former classical music prodigies, once destined for greatness. As the only Eastern European family growing up on their block on the far southside of Chicago, the pair were inseparable until each was forced to confront the absurdity of tragedy at an early age and abandon their musical ambitions. Now in their twenties, they find themselves encountering ridiculous jobs, unfulfilling romantic relationships, and the outrageousness of ordinary life. Doomed by fate, a family history of failure, an odd mother, an absent father, and a younger brother with a peculiar fondness for catastrophes, the two siblings have all but given up. But when an illness forces Isobel and her three-year-old daughter to move back into the family home, Aleks becomes deeply involved in the endless challenges that surround his relatives. Once Isobel begins playing cello again, Aleks comes to see a world of possibility and wonder in the lives of his extraordinarily complicated family.

"At heart, these are good people, in tough circumstances, making the same mistakes that many of us make. Will they allow themselves the chance to obtain happiness? A family of gifted individuals can't seem to stop sabotaging their own lives, but you'll want them to."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Though the family saga is relatively simple, the characters' passions and their desire for fulfillment is made achingly real. This ought to please Meno's fans and win him some more."
--Publishers Weekly

Joe Meno is a fiction writer and journalist who lives in Chicago. Winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a finalist for the Story Prize, Meno is the best-selling author of several novels and short story collections including Marvel and a WonderThe Great PerhapsThe Boy Detective Fails, and Hairstyles of the Damned. He is a professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago.

The book will be available at Mac's Backs or through our website at the 20% book club discount. We will meet at Mac's Backs, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. If you wish to join us via Zoom, please use this link -



Event address: 
Mac's Backs
1820 Coventry Rd.
Cleveland Hts., OH 44118
Book of Extraordinary Tragedies By Joe Meno Cover Image
ISBN: 9781636140612
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Akashic Books - September 6th, 2022