Melvin Levin is dissatisfied—with his job, with life, with it all. He’s too polite and too boring, and the monotony of his days is only broken when he has to clean up after his neighbor’s frequently vomiting cat. That is, until he receives a mysterious death threat in the mail. Under the thrill of potentially getting murdered, Melvin begins to feel truly alive again. The threat gives Melvin a sense of self-importance—someone wants him dead—and, ironically, a new lease on life. However, soon, Melvin becomes obsessed with the threat, increasingly forming the basis of his new, unstable identity. The greatest danger to Melvin might not be his threatener but his own deranged mind.
Dripping with voice, The Threat is a hilariously relatable story of self-doubt, aging, and frustration. Literary yet accessible, Stein’s story explores what happens when the only way you can live is by feeling like you might die.