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Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure

Tekijä: Craig Lancaster

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
1341,533,214 (4.5)-
A championship basketball coach caught between his team, his family and the rabid partisans in his town. A traveling salesman consigned to a late-night bus ride. A prison inmate strippedof everything but his pride. A teenage runaway. Mismatched lovers. In his debut collection of short fiction, award-winning novelist Craig Lancaster returns to his home terrain of Montana and takes on the notion of separation in its many forms — from comfort zones, from ideas,from people, from security, from fears. These ten stories delve into small towns and big cities, into love and despair, into what drives us and what scares us, peeling backthe layers of our humanity with every page.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 4/4
This book of stories was amazing. They imbued all kinds of emotions and left me feeling inspired, happy and drained, sometimes all by the same story. ( )
  grandpahobo | Mar 23, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
Ten excellent short stories. Mostly sad or bittersweet, but with subtle characters and plot perfect for the short story format. The author focuses on typical themes of family, love, loss, honesty and integrity, but with a refreshing and personal approach. The stories are set in or around Billings, Montana or use Billings as a reference point and I wish the author had done more to describe that area or perhaps weave its characteristics into the stories. I understand the author also as written two novels. I will look for these.
  shearon | Dec 4, 2011 |
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

As the 90 or so years of its existence is starting to show us more and more, perhaps the most lasting legacy of the academic short story is that it allows us to concentrate on character in such an intense way; stripped of its need to carry a strong plot like a full novel must, but still armed with the full power that literature has, the format seems to lend itself to penetrating looks at the human condition, exploring all the complicated facets that arise from sometimes very pedestrian situations. This is certainly the case, for example, with the new story collection Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure by Craig Lancaster, the author of last year's very affecting examination of the ins and outs of Asperger Syndrome, 600 Hours of Edward; because although little actually "happens" in the course of these stories, the events themselves are deliberately loaded for maximum effect, with Lancaster looking at how sometimes innocuous stimuli can have far-reaching consequences in the life of the average person, or at the very least can give us a much clearer view of the people around us as they react to it.

Take for example the best story in the book, also its first, "Somebody Has to Lose," which has a deliciously simple yet expansive conceit at its core: that the teenaged female basketball progeny of an otherwise unremarkable small town, so freakishly good that she was once featured on Johnny Carson as a young girl, has finally become old enough to join the high-school team, right in the same period when a once multiple-championship-winning coach is in the middle of a career-defining slump, all by coincidence happening during the town's 125th anniversary. It's certainly not a substantial enough idea to carry a whole novel; but under Lancaster's delicate style, it's the perfect milieu for exploring all kinds of interpersonal relationships that might arise from such a flashpoint -- the coach's relationship to his "sports widow" wife, his relationship with the town's overzealous boosters and local paper, his relationship with the teen athlete herself (and the athlete's relationship with the coach's teen daughter, itself more complicated than first assumed), etc.

Granted, not all the stories work this well -- one of the weaker entries, for example, "Alyssa Alights," is not much more than a simplistic Social Realist screed, as preachy and sentimentally manipulative as a forgotten 1930s WPA propaganda play -- but when they do work well, as they mostly do here, it's a real delight to inhabit Lancaster's lonely, darkly majestic Montana locations and desperate characters, a look at a slowly eroding 21st-century America that's as strong as many more well-known titles by major presses. It comes strongly recommended.

Out of 10: 8.5 ( )
  jasonpettus | Nov 15, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
This collection of short stories encompasses a wide range of content and emotion. Some made me stop and think, others made me laugh and a few made me sad. Each one kept me entertained from start to finish. I loved both of Lancaster's full-length novels and he has done a masterful job with this recent transition to short stories. ( )
  Darcia | Sep 5, 2011 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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A championship basketball coach caught between his team, his family and the rabid partisans in his town. A traveling salesman consigned to a late-night bus ride. A prison inmate strippedof everything but his pride. A teenage runaway. Mismatched lovers. In his debut collection of short fiction, award-winning novelist Craig Lancaster returns to his home terrain of Montana and takes on the notion of separation in its many forms — from comfort zones, from ideas,from people, from security, from fears. These ten stories delve into small towns and big cities, into love and despair, into what drives us and what scares us, peeling backthe layers of our humanity with every page.

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