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The Granta Book of the American Short Story: v. 2 Paperback – 1 Jul 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847080405
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847080400
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 15 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'There is no better introduction to the modern American short story on the market. Nor is there, I would argue, any better introduction to modern America. In story after story one is within touching distance of the real America, with its manifold dysfunctions, destructive disappointments and quotidian glamour ... What each offers is a compelling, convincing voice and a world freshly articulated. This is a collection to revel in and savour slowly, one story at a time' Alan Taylor, (28.10.07)"Sunday Herald " 'A marvellous collection ... a collection to be read, reckoned with and possibly loved' Tom Adair, "Scotsman "(03.11.07)'One of the chief pleasures of this extensive volume lies in rediscovering the old. I defy anyone not to reel with delight at John Cheever's heartbreaking but hilarious 'Reunion' ... Ranging back and forth across decades, expansive in its scope and ambition, this is a book far more capable of demonstrating the short story's variety and strangeness ... Ford's is the long view, seriously considered, full of nuance and detail and heritage' Alex Clark, "Observer"(11.11.07) 'The latest in a distinguished sequence of similar anthologies published in the past 15 years, beginning with "Granta"'s original "Book of the American Short Story" ... More original, and more invigorating, is Ford's focus on the younger authors. the new "Granta" book features seven writers under the age of 40, all of their stories worth reading, some of them unforgettable' Tobias Hill, "The Times"(10.11.07) 'Formidable ... the "New Granta Book" is quite a triumph' Tim Martin, "Independent on Sunday"(11.11.07) 'The stories that Ford picks are all about consequence. They're about moments, and places, outside the normal run of things - turning points in lives that occur, often rather casually, and sometimes unnoticed for years, when routines are broken ... Many of the volumes from which Ford assembled this collection are, shockingly, out of print. They are well worth seeking out'

About the Author

Richard Ford's story collections include Rock Springs, Women Without Men, and A Multitude of Sins. His novel Independence Day was the first novel to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His latest novel, The Lay of the Land, was published in 2006.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
This superb collection of short stories includes some of the best writers of their generation, as well as older favourites like Eudora Welty, John Cheever, Flannery O'Connor and Richard Yates. This volume includes a wonderful story by Joyce Carol Oates telling of a man who arrives on the doorstep of a family with a request to look round the house as he used to live there. His activities quickly become embarrassing and then desperate. Also featured is the touching and funny story of a mother whose children are trying to cope with her descent into an awkward belief that her grown son is still eleven and that her husband, now dead, was a bigamist. This is 'The Rabbit Hole as Likely Explanation' by Ann Beattie and is a beautifully wrought anthem to aged eccentricity.

Among the best of this very good collection is 'Killings', a brutal, brief and unforgiving story of a man's revenge on the killer of his son by Andre Dubus. Other notable stories come from Robert Stone, Stuart Dybeck, Joy Williams, Tom Franklin and the marvellous 'A Pugilist At Rest' by Thom Jones, which charts the friendship of two marines in Vietnam. Julie Orringer's 'Stars of Motown Shining Bright' was an especial favourite for me, showing the calm way a girl helps her best friend get out of the certain misery of a relationship based on nothing but sex. Sometimes the young can be wiser than their years.

This mammoth production of a total of 44 short stories is put together with representative care - as Richard Ford says in his admirable introduction "Short stories by nature are daring little instruments and always represent commensurate daring in their makers." It's true - some of these stories commit marvellously daring feats - 'Killings' for instance, which makes us feel what we shouldn't ever have to feel.

Also in this collection are excellent stories by Annie Proulx, Grace Paley, Tobias Wolff, TC Boyle, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore and Junot Diaz.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Flibertigibbit on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
About half of the stories selected are fairly dull. Many of course are astonishingly good, for example Killings by Andre Dubus, Reunion by John Cheever and the Farm by Joy Williams. Tobias Wolff is my favourite writer but Richard Ford has selected a story that while good, is nothing approaching his best; a recurring irritation in this selection. The most outrageous and unexplained omission (not a mention of it in the introduction) is the non-inclusion of a single story by Hemingway. (I don't believe there is any rights issue here by the way). It is like omitting Shakespeare from an anthology of drama through the ages, Dylan Thomas from the great Welsh poets, or Joyce from the 20th Century novel! Whether you like them or not, those three are a massive influence. Beware also of Ford's pompous, silly, long winded, and overly referential introduction.
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By Clive Mills on 14 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
Great. No problem at all
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By M. E. Brewster on 22 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Arrived as described
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