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Adam Levin 

When: Mon., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. 2012

It took Adam Levin nine years to write his thousand-page debut novel, The Instructions, but when he finally finished, the response was vociferous and nearly rabid: Out of nowhere, Levin popped up on year-end best-of lists, became the object of innumerable critical superlatives, and earned comparisons to David Foster Wallace and Phillip Roth. You know, no pressure. Fortunately for all of us, his follow-up, Hot Pink, looks to be equally praiseworthy, though in a completely different way: It's a short-story collection, for one thing, concerned less with novelistic sprawl than with the small-scale tragedies and triumphs of "overweight romantics, legless prodigies, quixotic dollmakers, Chicagoland thugs, dirty old men, protective fathers, balloon-laden dumptrucks, and walls that ooze gels." Levin reads at Moe's Books (2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) on Monday, Feb. 27. 7:30 p.m., free. 510-849-9938 or MoesBooks.com

— Ellen Cushing

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