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The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, ... Else in the World Since 1953

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For a half-century, The Paris Review has published writing and interviews from the world's most brilliant authors. To commemorate the anniversary, a breathtakingly diverse and illuminating anthology has been assembled. The greatest writers here write and speak upon the greatest subjects of our time: *Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver on "Heartbreak" *Vladimir Nabokov on SEX *Ku For a half-century, The Paris Review has published writing and interviews from the world's most brilliant authors. To commemorate the anniversary, a breathtakingly diverse and illuminating anthology has been assembled. The greatest writers here write and speak upon the greatest subjects of our time: *Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver on "Heartbreak" *Vladimir Nabokov on SEX *Kurt Vonnegut and Susan Sontag on "War" *Jonathan Franzen on "Betrayal" *Jeffrey Eugenides and Norman Mailer on "Death" *Philip Roth on "God" Inspiring a dizzying range of thought and emotion, the collection holds a mirror to the world we live in and to the reader's own hopes, dreams, fears, and joy.


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For a half-century, The Paris Review has published writing and interviews from the world's most brilliant authors. To commemorate the anniversary, a breathtakingly diverse and illuminating anthology has been assembled. The greatest writers here write and speak upon the greatest subjects of our time: *Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver on "Heartbreak" *Vladimir Nabokov on SEX *Ku For a half-century, The Paris Review has published writing and interviews from the world's most brilliant authors. To commemorate the anniversary, a breathtakingly diverse and illuminating anthology has been assembled. The greatest writers here write and speak upon the greatest subjects of our time: *Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver on "Heartbreak" *Vladimir Nabokov on SEX *Kurt Vonnegut and Susan Sontag on "War" *Jonathan Franzen on "Betrayal" *Jeffrey Eugenides and Norman Mailer on "Death" *Philip Roth on "God" Inspiring a dizzying range of thought and emotion, the collection holds a mirror to the world we live in and to the reader's own hopes, dreams, fears, and joy.

30 review for The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, ... Else in the World Since 1953

  1. 5 out of 5

    Easton Smith

    Some of the stories, interviews and poems in this book deserve fives. These include the opening story "Terrific Mother," by Lorrie Moore. Also: "Snakes" by Susan Power, "You must relax!" by Joanna Scott. As a rule, the best stories and interviews are by women, and the men, especially the BIG names, write misogynistic, uncreative dribble. The exception to this rule is Franzen, who writes a typically Franzen-esque and not too bad story about a middle class white family, and Jeffrey Eugenides, whos Some of the stories, interviews and poems in this book deserve fives. These include the opening story "Terrific Mother," by Lorrie Moore. Also: "Snakes" by Susan Power, "You must relax!" by Joanna Scott. As a rule, the best stories and interviews are by women, and the men, especially the BIG names, write misogynistic, uncreative dribble. The exception to this rule is Franzen, who writes a typically Franzen-esque and not too bad story about a middle class white family, and Jeffrey Eugenides, whose opening chapter to the Virgin Suicides is in this book. Also, beware that many of the claims, such as "Kurt Vonnegut on War" are misleading: Just snippets of interviews, not really stories. Maybe if I liked poetry better I would have liked more of the poems. Even still, I felt they were particularly bad-- not lyrical nor readable, just disjointed paragraphs. If you like to read "high" literature, especially by people who seem to consider themselves REAL artists, then you will like this book. If you are unimpressed by stories of the first world problems of literary people-- alcoholic men, dysfunctional white families, Alan Ginsberg-- then you will be unimpressed by much of this book. Maybe skim through and if you don't like the first page of a story then skip it. READ SNAKES BY SUSAN POWER.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is a huge book, and I picked around in it, not reading every story and not reading much of any of the poems or essays. However, the stories I stuck with and read included a few real standouts. I think I've figured out the kind of story the Paris Review likes, and it can be summed up pretty well in one word---confusing. They don't like straightforward writing, although that's not to say the stories all are written in flowery or sophisticated language. But they all make you think---they all h This is a huge book, and I picked around in it, not reading every story and not reading much of any of the poems or essays. However, the stories I stuck with and read included a few real standouts. I think I've figured out the kind of story the Paris Review likes, and it can be summed up pretty well in one word---confusing. They don't like straightforward writing, although that's not to say the stories all are written in flowery or sophisticated language. But they all make you think---they all have ambiguous meanings. My favorites here were Lorrie Moore's "Terrific Mother", Grace Paley's "The Little Girl", Joyce Carol Oates' "Heat", Alice Munro's "Shaceships Have Landed" and Charles D'Ambrosio's "Her Real Name". I enjoyed a quite a few others, too, and got some ideas for authors I'd like to read more of. Certainly worth getting out of the library, or buying for a long trip!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aleatha Terrell

    Amazing. This was a huge anthology so of course some of the stories had completely different tones, lengths etc but I loved them all. Well the majority of them. For me, this book is more of a reference tome, or something to keep by my bed to refer to when I need it. P.S. I feel in love with Lorrie Moore

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shoshanna

    This made me excited about fiction again after being turned off of it for awhile. Such a good collection. Everything is different but you get a lot of recurring themes: tongue-in-cheek humor, obsession, intellectuals pondering intellectualism (but not in a revolting way). It's nice because you can offhandedly pick it up and read a few pages when you're passing time, yet still get something substantial. Low commitment, high payoff. I got this years ago, read some stories, got excited, forgot abou This made me excited about fiction again after being turned off of it for awhile. Such a good collection. Everything is different but you get a lot of recurring themes: tongue-in-cheek humor, obsession, intellectuals pondering intellectualism (but not in a revolting way). It's nice because you can offhandedly pick it up and read a few pages when you're passing time, yet still get something substantial. Low commitment, high payoff. I got this years ago, read some stories, got excited, forgot about it, then recently picked it up again and read a bunch more stories and was blown away again. I still have probably only read about half of it and will probably let it gather dust and then read another batch of stories in a few months or years. It's sort of like a Norton reader for graduates in its length, breadth, and quality. Good starting point: "It's Six A.M., Do You Know Where You Are?" by Jay McInerney in the Intoxication section.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Grant Reynolds

    Now this is an anthology! Weighing in at 890 pages it included stories from absolute legends in the literary world covering all the topics listed in the insanely long title. I've been reading this off and on since the beginning of September as I was mixing it in between other things. I started to write my favorite stories but there were way too many of them and I started to bore myself. So what I'll say instead is that literally every piece is fantastic, some I didn't connect with as much as oth Now this is an anthology! Weighing in at 890 pages it included stories from absolute legends in the literary world covering all the topics listed in the insanely long title. I've been reading this off and on since the beginning of September as I was mixing it in between other things. I started to write my favorite stories but there were way too many of them and I started to bore myself. So what I'll say instead is that literally every piece is fantastic, some I didn't connect with as much as other but there's not a single mediocre piece. Lot's of authors in there I've wanted to read but hadn't gotten around to yet which is always fun. I was kind of surprised that I liked the art of writing pieces in here as much as I did. As someone who is just a reader with no ambition to write I figured there wouldn't be much that I'd get out of them but they were all insightful and interesting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    Some of the essays are perfect. Some of the fiction is wonderful. But there is an excess of interviews passed off as writers' opinions of Love!, Sex!, Death!, etc., when really it's just Nabokov talking about Humbert being misunderstood in an uninteresting way, or, on Drinking!, Faulkner says his tools for writng are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky. That's the interview. It's like the last episode of Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld more than I care for seventy percent of my family members, b Some of the essays are perfect. Some of the fiction is wonderful. But there is an excess of interviews passed off as writers' opinions of Love!, Sex!, Death!, etc., when really it's just Nabokov talking about Humbert being misunderstood in an uninteresting way, or, on Drinking!, Faulkner says his tools for writng are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky. That's the interview. It's like the last episode of Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld more than I care for seventy percent of my family members, but the hype for the finale was too much to equal. This collection lists nearly every great author of the twentieth century (where the hey is Ralph Ellison?) and then delivers a bag of shit from the heavyweights. But there are a few (Raymond Carver) that knock it out the park.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    If not quite the indispensable tome it claims to be, this is an amazing compilation of literature and writerly insights. Not surprisingly, the Death section received the most dogeared pages, but other highlights include David Foster Wallace's "Little Expressionless Animals," Nicholas Christopher's "Terminus," and Borges' "Funes the Memorious." Great for a long trip, preferably to Paris, I'd guess. If not quite the indispensable tome it claims to be, this is an amazing compilation of literature and writerly insights. Not surprisingly, the Death section received the most dogeared pages, but other highlights include David Foster Wallace's "Little Expressionless Animals," Nicholas Christopher's "Terminus," and Borges' "Funes the Memorious." Great for a long trip, preferably to Paris, I'd guess.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tally Ho

    This is a beautiful book. A variety of unique voices and grouped into the big themes, except for baseball. What is it with white literary dudes and baseball. But the love and madess and sex and intoxication and whimsy make me remember why I love the short story form. You could be raised in a giant test tube and read this book to know what a lot of what being around earth as a human feels like.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Leah

    it seems like i've been reading this book forever, which makes sense because it spans so many topics and is like, a million pages long. but i'm not devouring. more like savoring. i read one or two stories/chapters/essays/poems per night - just enough to get me thinking but then lull me to the other world. it seems like i've been reading this book forever, which makes sense because it spans so many topics and is like, a million pages long. but i'm not devouring. more like savoring. i read one or two stories/chapters/essays/poems per night - just enough to get me thinking but then lull me to the other world.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This is great stuff, especially for someone with insomnia. But you might want to avoid the Heartbreak genre of stories if you are already having trouble sleeping. This is a great compendium featuring all the contemporary greats. Included are David Foster Wallace on love, Denis Johnson on intoxication,Larry Brown on God, and Jeffery Eugenides on death.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Its a collection, and shouldn't expect it all to be terrific - but the Phillip Roth piece was great, and the very first story really moved me. I just find it hard to push myself through a collection like this - it was library book so I was on a deadline. WOuld have preferred to spend more time thinking and re-reading that just trying to get through it. Its a collection, and shouldn't expect it all to be terrific - but the Phillip Roth piece was great, and the very first story really moved me. I just find it hard to push myself through a collection like this - it was library book so I was on a deadline. WOuld have preferred to spend more time thinking and re-reading that just trying to get through it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Holly Interlandi

    I haven't even gotten through all the stories and this is already a five-star collection. Despite a few weak entries (the Raymand Carver story is curiously cold), the majority of the selections are downright BIZARRE in a fabulously witty way. I haven't even gotten through all the stories and this is already a five-star collection. Despite a few weak entries (the Raymand Carver story is curiously cold), the majority of the selections are downright BIZARRE in a fabulously witty way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    I've used this collection as the central textbook for many of the creative writing / fiction classes I've taught. So many good examples of clear and focused storytelling, right alongside some of the strangest and most compelling oddball stories one could ask for. Essential and challenging. I've used this collection as the central textbook for many of the creative writing / fiction classes I've taught. So many good examples of clear and focused storytelling, right alongside some of the strangest and most compelling oddball stories one could ask for. Essential and challenging.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953 by The Paris Review (2003)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wednesday

    Lot of wonderful avant-garde shit here. I like the mix of genres, the topic is varied - just a jumble of wonderful. It can be tedious though so many ideas popping at you. I had to read the whole thing through, pick and I choose I say. A good book to own, probably pick up a copy again sometime.

  16. 5 out of 5

    b bb bbbb bbbbbbbb

    How could you go wrong with a title like that?A large collection of short fiction and poetry selected from 50 years of the Paris eview magazine. Lots of great writers, plenty of good fiction. Found several new writers I'd like to read more of. How could you go wrong with a title like that?A large collection of short fiction and poetry selected from 50 years of the Paris eview magazine. Lots of great writers, plenty of good fiction. Found several new writers I'd like to read more of.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maria C

    Loved it, great collection of even greater authors. This book made me fall in love with fiction again. I don't have a lot of spare time, so its really convenient cause you can actually take a few minutes before bedtime a read several stories. Loved it, great collection of even greater authors. This book made me fall in love with fiction again. I don't have a lot of spare time, so its really convenient cause you can actually take a few minutes before bedtime a read several stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Very slowly getting through this book - entertaining, but definitely more like the b-sides to popular authors.

  19. 4 out of 5

    De'Shawn

    Stright up CLASSIC!!!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This one's pretty interesting. This one's pretty interesting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily H.

    These are short stories categorized by theme. The short stories are really good. The poems don't grab me as much. These are short stories categorized by theme. The short stories are really good. The poems don't grab me as much.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    I'm not going to lie, I didn't read most of the poetry, or the Paul Auster story. I'm not going to lie, I didn't read most of the poetry, or the Paul Auster story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    m raye

    "You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations."- Spaceships Have Landed by Alice Munro "You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations."- Spaceships Have Landed by Alice Munro

  24. 5 out of 5

    Val

    I got too busy/distracted to continue this anthology. I'll come back to it later. I got too busy/distracted to continue this anthology. I'll come back to it later.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Margaret Atwood take on writing on sex was amazing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Gallan

    Had a great time reading this. Many different stories and some of the best authors in the world

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Romero

    So many great authors! I'm reading "Careful" by Raymond Carver. I loved "The Swimmer" and can already see myself loving this one, too. So many great authors! I'm reading "Careful" by Raymond Carver. I loved "The Swimmer" and can already see myself loving this one, too.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Heartbreakingly wonderful. It is the book I return to again and again to remind me of the Art of writing. The stories move me, take my breath away and remind me that I am not alone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    Notes scribbled in my book journal from December 2004 - "FABULOUS"! Notes scribbled in my book journal from December 2004 - "FABULOUS"!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liane dilla

    Very interesting, loved all the varies subjects. Delightful :)

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