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Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories (1992) — Avustaja — 399 kappaletta

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"Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story," by Russell Banks (1984): 8.5
- I'd read this before. I remember flipping through a girlfriend's Scribner short story collection and reading this story about a beautiful man fucking and fucking over the ugliest woman alive and being strangely moved. He threads every very delicate needle carefully, and you're often unsure whether he falls too much on the side of self-incrimination or self-aggrandizement and gendered projection or full-fleshed humanity and that ambiguity is exactly what works here, esp. as it's coupled with the narrator's own wonder at his actions, at his motivations, and ultimately his own burning desire to want to know whether he's good or bad, whether this thing, this affair, was "good" or "bad."

"The School," by Donald Barthelme (1974): 8.25
- I've read Barthelme and I've not liked Barthelme. Two-thirds through this short short-story I was prepared to amend all of that, throw off those immature thoughts that, while the absurd had its place, the imperative had passed by the time his work made its way to my hands (oh, and that the humor was too little or too droll). Indeed, two-thirds through this simple story of a school where an escalating series of deaths happens (from plants to snakes to puppies to Korean boys and classmates), I felt overturned--the humor was there, and not simply in the dry language, but embedded in the trajectory of the story itself (i.e. once you realize that things are going to keep dying and that these things will be increasingly 'meaningful', thus the puppy and boy turns are a bit humorous), and the surreality was working. All of that held, that is until the final page, when he leans EVEN further into the same and makes the school a complete Anarchosurrealworld. The thread was lost, despite the image of the gerbil walking into the class on its own, and I'm back to where I started.

"The Hermit's Story," by Rick Bass (2002): 7.75
- The piece: recounting of a near-death exp. under a frozen lake during a blizzard, in which we Learn Something and humans, animals, and what connects us. Of the breed of plodding, contemplative litfic that corkscrews a Big Theme overtop of an otherwise mundane story — and the thing about these is that they often work. Here we're about halfway there.

"The Fireman's Wife," by Richard Bausch (1989): 9
- A churning little present-tense portrait of ineffable domestic disaffection. Bausch's hand is never heavy on the story, and there's little overt authorial intercession in the narrative, save the implicit centering/privileging of the wife's emotional state on account of being tied to her perspective.
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Ebenmaessiger | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 8, 2019 |
There were several really great essays in this collection, and as an essayist, I got a lot of instruction and ideas for my own nonfiction writing. There were a handful that I didn't much care for, but that's almost always the case when it comes to large collections. I'd definitely recommend for writers and teachers as well as nonfiction readers.

My one gripe is with all anthologies that use a random organizational structure, like alphabetical order. It's probably great for people who like to skip around anyway, but I read everything front-to-back and like there to be some emotional story told through the arrangement of the pieces.… (lisätietoja)
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StefanieBrookTrout | 1 muu arvostelu | Feb 4, 2017 |
Most of these stories were fantastic. This is not only a collection of entertaining stories but also a collection of instructive stories. I will definitely refer back to this volume often. There were a few duds in my opinion, so I'm curious to know why those stories were selected for the anthology.
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StefanieBrookTrout | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 4, 2017 |
Probably one of the better short story anthologies I've read (still have the Oxford and Ecco anthology left). Starts off incredibly strong, meanders for a bit, gets interesting again, then boring, then great, then really great, and then finishes strong. So, your typical anthology.

Absolute favorites:

"Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story," Russel Banks
"The Hermit's Story," Rick Bass
"The Fireman's Wife," Richard Bausch
"The Disappeared," Charles Baxter
"The Caretaker," Anthony Doerr
"Communist," Richard Ford
"The Kind of Light that Shines in Texas," Reginald McKnight
"The Secret Goldfish," David Means
"Sea Oak," George Saunders
… (lisätietoja)
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Mifune | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 17, 2012 |



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