Crowley introduces this collection with a disclaimer about the shape of his stories: unlike other writers who may have certain noticeable patterns or proclivities in their language, Crowley professes that he’s more of a chameleon, with his language and style changing to suit the story. Having read a number of his longer works in addition to these shorts, I’m not entirely convinced. There is a certain quality of the fable in his writing, even when the circumstances or mode of his characters suggests otherwise. And while these stories range across a wide territory in both place and time, there are recurring themes: aging, mortality, endings and beginnings—extraordinary reflections on ordinary lives. The titular story imagines every person in the whole world piling into New York City—just for a night—one evening together, before they return home, forever changed.