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Esquire's Big Book of Fiction

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Since its first issue in 1933, Esquire has been a showcase for up-and-coming literary superstars. This anthology features stories by well-known writers dating from the early 1930s through the late 1990s, making it a definitive collection of the best short fiction produced since the 1930s. Included among the treasures in this collection are The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernes Since its first issue in 1933, Esquire has been a showcase for up-and-coming literary superstars. This anthology features stories by well-known writers dating from the early 1930s through the late 1990s, making it a definitive collection of the best short fiction produced since the 1930s. Included among the treasures in this collection are The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway; The Growing Stone by Albert Camus; Ronnie on the Mound by Jack Kerouac; Parkers Back by Flannery OConnor; Leaving the Yellow House by Saul Bellow; The Day After Superman Died by Ken Kesey; Fleur by Louise Erdrich; The Education of Lucius Priest by William Faulkner; A Man in the Way by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Heart Songs by Annie Proulx; Oswald in the Lone Star State by Don DeLillo; Juliet by Elizabeth McCracken; and The Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise by J. D. Salinger.


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Since its first issue in 1933, Esquire has been a showcase for up-and-coming literary superstars. This anthology features stories by well-known writers dating from the early 1930s through the late 1990s, making it a definitive collection of the best short fiction produced since the 1930s. Included among the treasures in this collection are The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernes Since its first issue in 1933, Esquire has been a showcase for up-and-coming literary superstars. This anthology features stories by well-known writers dating from the early 1930s through the late 1990s, making it a definitive collection of the best short fiction produced since the 1930s. Included among the treasures in this collection are The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway; The Growing Stone by Albert Camus; Ronnie on the Mound by Jack Kerouac; Parkers Back by Flannery OConnor; Leaving the Yellow House by Saul Bellow; The Day After Superman Died by Ken Kesey; Fleur by Louise Erdrich; The Education of Lucius Priest by William Faulkner; A Man in the Way by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Heart Songs by Annie Proulx; Oswald in the Lone Star State by Don DeLillo; Juliet by Elizabeth McCracken; and The Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise by J. D. Salinger.

30 review for Esquire's Big Book of Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    L.S. Popovich

    This 775-page short story collection is uncommonly good. It has a well-rounded and well-crafted spread of exuberant and surprising stories. I really hate collections that reprint the same twenty stories we've all read before. How many reprints of "Hills Like White Elephants" do we need? It does have its flaws, in my opinion - 3 stories by David Foster Wallace seems like a bit indulgent - but I can think of no other American collection I liked as much as this one. These are nearly all American sh This 775-page short story collection is uncommonly good. It has a well-rounded and well-crafted spread of exuberant and surprising stories. I really hate collections that reprint the same twenty stories we've all read before. How many reprints of "Hills Like White Elephants" do we need? It does have its flaws, in my opinion - 3 stories by David Foster Wallace seems like a bit indulgent - but I can think of no other American collection I liked as much as this one. These are nearly all American short stories of course, since they come from a famous American publication. But there is the strange inclusion of Jorge Luis Borges. I took this as a sign that Esquire was just showing off the huge range of classic authors they managed to work into their publication. I would think that this and Esquire's other mammoth compendiums are really marketing tools to continue selling their journal, but that's just speculation. There's a really stellar story by Antonya Nelson - whom I'd never heard of before - which reminded me of Deliverance. It also brings together masterpieces from Robert Stone, Norman Mailer, Stanley Elkin, Barry Hannah, Joy Williams, Richard Ford, Don Delillo, Philip Roth, Truman Capote, and others in a fairly portable package. It is certainly addictive to encounter so many heart-stopping tales in a row. I would have liked to spend more time with this collection but I couldn't put it down. I pick it up from time to time to sample my favorites. Just about every one of them is a winner. I would recommend this as a gift and for your personal library. Forget those unwieldy Norton Anthologies, this is all you need to get started for some of America's best stories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brett Wallach

    One word pervades almost all of these stories. Pretentious. A few nice exceptions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Roz Milner

    While it's only a collection of stuff published in Esquire, this is surprisingly deep. It's kind of surprising to read all these stories, many of them by some giants of American 20th Century lit, and realize they all were published in a magazine best known now for "the sexiest woman alive." There's some really good ones here, too. Hemingway's "The snows of Kilimanjaro", Norman Mailers "The Language of Men" and Richard Ford's "Rock Springs" stand out especially, but there's other good ones by Joh While it's only a collection of stuff published in Esquire, this is surprisingly deep. It's kind of surprising to read all these stories, many of them by some giants of American 20th Century lit, and realize they all were published in a magazine best known now for "the sexiest woman alive." There's some really good ones here, too. Hemingway's "The snows of Kilimanjaro", Norman Mailers "The Language of Men" and Richard Ford's "Rock Springs" stand out especially, but there's other good ones by John Updike, William Faulkner, David Foster Wallace, Joanna Scott, plus lengthy excerpts from novels by Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy. But there's a couple stinkers, too. F. Scott Fitzgerald's story is pretty pedestrian and I didn't especially care for Don DeLillo's story, either. The order of the stories seems a bit haphazard, too - it's not sorted by date and while editor Adrienne Miller saved a couple of the better stories for last, a book of this size and girth probably isn't going to benefit from that arrangement; this book is one you'll likely leave off to the side and pluck from here and there. On the whole, this is a good collection and a fitting reminder that Esquire has (or at least had, anyway) some real literary merit. If you're looking for a strong collection of short fiction, it's hard to go wrong with this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rand

    I bought this book for a dollar from a thrift shop and after reading it sold it for three. That value aside, there's also some really great stories in here by authors you have either not gotten around to or maybe never even heard of. Most of the stories in here are really good. In fact, I kind of wish I had hung on to my copy as I failed to make a list of which authors were worth investigating further. Oh well.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    So depressing. No character ever triumphs. More than one dies. I thought I would find some new writers to follow up with to try, but I just couldn't get past all of the depressing stories to follow anything up.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Scott

    I don't need short stories to be of the Chicken Soup for the Soul variety, but I'd really prefer to not want to stick my head in the oven after finishing a vignette. This tome seems to be mostly of the oven variety.

  7. 4 out of 5

    michelle

    some really, really great stuff in here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jay Wood

    A really great collection of short fiction.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patsy Gordon

    I had to return this book to the library :( But there were some great short stories in here!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jose Skinner

    Like most other compilations, the stories are hit or miss. But you're sure to find a few stories you'll enjoy. I got the impression of a lot of non-Western-centered stories.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

  12. 4 out of 5

    grant loomis

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin M.P. Johnson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bellavida

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  16. 5 out of 5

    L.E. Kimball

  17. 4 out of 5

    Timothy O'Leary

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rafael Martinez

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  20. 5 out of 5

    L

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  22. 5 out of 5

    sarah

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly A. Atkins

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ema

  25. 4 out of 5

    Max

  26. 4 out of 5

    Juan Varela

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joel Travis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeeveswuzhere

  30. 5 out of 5

    ro

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