Assaultingly funny, E. J. Lipman's first collection is the work of a dark but playful comic genius. The tales depict a range of subjects--from fast-talking party crashers, to solitary travelers and inebriated spacemen. Yet there is a gentle cohesion detectible therein: the self-aware but light-handed voice of the embedded author. Lipman's narrators reveal a world where our relations with the inanimate, the utilitarian, the fantastic, and the ethereal are as much a part of his character's general cognizance as their internal musings, highlighting a simple but often imperceptible truth of human life in the postmodern era. The tales of Isolated Voices are to be read and read again. They are punctuated in this collection by the beautiful and complex drawings of Eva Roca, which aside from their synergy with the text are themselves objects of wonder and rumination for the reader.