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Falling While Sitting Down: Stories

Falling While Sitting Down: Stories [Kindle Edition]

Joshua Fields Millburn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

What does it mean to be human? How does a person find meaning in his or her life when everything’s falling apart? Falling While Sitting Down is a short story collection about dealing with loneliness and discontent while balancing hope and despair. Ultimately, this book’s stories deal with finding meaning in a seemingly meaningless world.

The first four stories in this collection, written by Joshua Fields Millburn, discuss the struggles we face as we attempt to discover the meaning of our lives.

“It’s All So Quiet in Brooklyn,” this collection’s longest piece, follows a young but aging musician as he approaches thirty and finds himself coping with loneliness and depression in the aftermath of several life-changing events. He feels utterly alone, so he leaves Ohio to search for meaning in the most unlikely place: Bed-Stuy Brooklyn.

“A Radically Attenuated History of Generation X” is, as the title suggests, an incredibly short story that attempts to summarize a particular ethos for an entire generation through the eyes of two characters on a dinner date.

The title story, “Falling While Sitting Down,” follows an unnamed boy through eighteen years of growing up in an extraordinarily dysfunctional family, showing the emotional muscles it takes to survive such circumstances.

The collection’s final story, “Loneliest Man,” considers the loneliness and real-life costs of poor relationship decisions from the point of view of a particularly troubled man.

As a bonus, three talented young writers—Colin Wright, Chase Night, and Mark D. Robertson—contributed to this collection, expanding the narrative beyond the scope of Joshua Fields Millburn’s four stories.

The seven stories in this collection vary drastically, but they all share one thing in common: each story is about what it’s like to be a human being during incredibly complex times.

About the Author

JOSHUA FIELDS MILLBURN left his corporate career at age 30 to become a full-time author and writing instructor. His essays at have garnered an audience of more than 100,000 monthly readers. Millburn is the bestselling author of two fiction and two nonfiction books and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NPR Radio, CBS, NBC, FOX, and Zen Habits. He was born in 1981 and currently lives in Dayton, Ohio. Read more at his website,

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1416 KB
  • Print Length: 124 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Asymmetrical Press; 8th edition (26 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z629NA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,843 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joshua Fields Millburn left his corporate career at age 30 to become a full-time author and writing instructor. His essays at have garnered an audience of more than 100,000 monthly readers. Millburn is the bestselling author of two fiction and two nonfiction books and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, NBC, FOX, and Zen Habits. He was born in 1981 and currently lives in Dayton, Ohio. Find more info at his site:

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
Joshua Fields Millburn's collection of short stories is an excellent foray into the world of fiction. I read each of his stories at least twice over the course of a few days to really appreciate the depth of each one.

My favorite story is The Loneliest Man in the World because it does an excellent job of capturing the emotions and struggles that the main character experiences in a difficult situation. A situation that he himself created. The brevity of each story enables a succinct writing style that is both easy to fall into and fully detailed.

The 3 additional stories written by Colin Wright, Chase Night, and Mark D. Robertson were a joy to read as well. I highly recommend this book!
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Format:Kindle Edition
Falling While Sitting Down is a collection of four short stories by Joshua Millburn, four short stories which, in their own unique way, are so different yet oh-so similar in their characters struggles living through life.

My personal favourite - and the longest of the four stories, It's All So Quiet In Brooklyn, follows the path of Jody Grafton as he flies out of Ohio, depressed and confused by life as he fast approaches 30, and sets up home in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, NY. Despite not spending long with Jody I could feel his character through and through. Millburn has a wonderful way with words, his flow is flawless.

It's not difficult to quickly fall into the arms of Millburn's writing (or rather, the keystrokes). Despite these stories short length you are given the time to paint an incredibly vivid picture of the characters, the set up, and the surroundings while you make your way through the equally enjoyable dialogue.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the novel!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The four stories that the author writes are written through a perspective that brings the reader into a realistic and honest world of its protagonist, Jody. What I enjoyed from these stories is that the author draws you into Jody's world through his detailed, imaginative and well researched descriptions and use of language.
Don't expect a run of the mill story that will flow easily and conveniently because just like the story of Jody's life, it doesn't run smoothly and this is the author's effectiveness of creating fiction that echoes the reality of life itself.

The story that appealed to me the most was the one which the author names this collection of short stories after: Falling While Sitting Down. I enjoyed this story the most because without spoiling it for readers, it is the one story that fits where it does nicely. Enlightening the reader to how the stories all fit together like missing parts of a jigsaw. I thought the characters in all of the stories were well written, extremely authentic adding depth plus texture to not only this story but the stories previously written and the last one which followed. The author has a flair for using imagery, and emotion in all of his stories which contribute as a thread to link them.

Don't expect warm and fuzzy, for in my opinion, this is not what these stories offer. Do expect however, an opportunity to experience writing that could challenge and provide opportunity for contemplative reflection. Stories like these are gifts from the author to make our own interpretations and draw from the stories what we want to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I was reading it, then I stopped. 27 Mar 2012
By Jocularwin43 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't review much, really. I had read some of the essays at The Minimalist and enjoyed them. I am a writer and I like to support other writers, and thought it was really cool how Joshua was taking his life in control and just writing. I don't know what I was expecting really, but I had high hopes.

As a reader I just didn't know where to look in his stories. His narrative eye was always noticing something, which is great if it's a detail picked well, but it just seemed so random and never seemed to push the story forward. Then when there were just a few characters it seemed to go towards the melodramatic.

I think, maybe, this is one of those times where the idea gets in the way of the story. The title story was a prime example, more of an anthropology lesson than a story. Granted none of Joshua's seemed so idea-heavy as The Beam was. Overall, I feel like the author knows how to get all his strands together, but he doesn't know how to weave yet.

I gave it two stars, because one star just looked too sad. I know he worked hard, but in my eyes there is so much work that needs to be done here to make it something truly engaging.

To prove I'm not a curmudgeon, however, I will mention some short story collections I have enjoyed in book form that are also available on Kindle, Kevin Wilson's Tunneling to the Center of the Earth is one of my favorites as far as newer, younger writers. Judy Budnitz is also a good read in that same vein. I can only speak for Flying Leap(only available in book form), not Big American Baby. John Cheever is older and, to be perfectly honest, dead, but also excellent, and his Pulitzer prize winning collection Stories has many gems. "The Scarlet Moving Van" is my favorite.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Falling While Sitting Down 24 Jan 2012
By Patrick - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not a book reviewer, so you'll forgive me if I fail to artfully capture the essence of this collection.

It's good.
Really good.
I read it through in one sitting.
First story reminds me of David Foster Wallace's work.
I'd say the book fits the description.
These are lonely, broken characters, and they are all looking for something to make them whole.
If you're expecting thinly veiled allegory on the virtues of minimalism (I was) you will be disappointed (if you enjoy thinly veiled allegories) or pleasantly surprised (if you prefer real writing).*

Will be looking forward to JFM's upcoming novel.

*I am a lover of literature first, and minimalism second. The minimalism is there, but it's wrapped up in nice, subtle symbolism. No Aslan to be found. (The Perra del Norte doesn't count. She's awesome.)
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome stories about real people living real lives. 26 Oct 2011
By Rick Lauder - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Falling While Sitting Down (love that title!) is a collection of four short stories by Joshua Millburn that follow a theme of life and those who pursue living it. They (both the characters and the stories) are different yet they seem to intersect somehow, in a hard-to-describe way. Maybe it's because they're all about the human condition and what it means to be alive, with all the good and all the bad. These stories really spoke to me, as they paint a gritty and sometimes painful portrait of life and how effed up it can be.

My favorite piece was the first and also the longest story, It's All So Quiet In Brooklyn. I'm a city boy through and through, and Joshua's description of the city and the urban landscape of Brooklyn really drew me in. I loved how despair and hope were mixed in equal amounts, resulting in a very interesting cocktail indeed.

The next three stories (A Radically Attenuated History of Generation X, Falling While Sitting Down, The Loneliest Man in the World) were a delight to read. They flow together but end up taking different departure routes, leaving you with mixed feelings when you finish them, which is a very good thing, because it forces you to think about what you just read.

There are also three bonus stories by three up-and-coming writers, each story a small gem of brilliant writing. These stories work quite well with the four previous stories by Joshua. Kudos to these young writers, and I can't wait to read more fiction from them.

My one complaint (if it can be called that) is that the last short story included in the three bonus stories (Up North), which is a beautiful piece of writing, was marred by several missing key words and constant gender inconsistencies. I was forced to go back and re-read several lines and then make sense of the sentences, and that took away from my enjoyment of the story. It almost seems like it was not proof-read before publishing. But this was not enough to dock a star, hence my 5-star rating.

All in all this was a very enjoyable and fast read, and I congratulate the author on his first fiction Kindle book! I also love that this book is lendable. Some authors still won't allow their ebooks to be lent out, so thank you, Joshua.

At 99 cents, this is a steal. Get this book now!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing of incredible depth 30 Jun 2012
By Dharbour60 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Joshua's work has a depth, width and breadth often missing in today's fiction writing. I'm not even that big a fan of fiction and I find myself drawn into his stories. They have a way of engaging the reader at a deep emotional level. I found myself relating to much of his writing, highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reading Experience In The Digital Age 25 Mar 2012
By Ilana Rabinowitz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a person who works in digital marketing, the history of how I came to read this book is interesting. I was on the train, looking through my Kindle library for something new to read and I saw "Falling While Sitting Down." It is fiction, which I spare precious little time for. I've seen it my library for months but had no memory of how I acquired it. Then I noticed the author, someone whose name comes up often on my G+ stream and just that day he had shared a link about how fiction is good for your brain. Synchronicity is the right word here. It happened because of a clear set of circumstances that was destined to end up with me reading the book. Looking back I probably read about it when the author guest posted on Zen Habits. The most interesting thing to me is that this is about as far from traditional book marketing as you can get.

Even though I am not of the generation of the authors, the stories resonated and stayed with me in because the issues are universal. That's a sign of good writing. The book draws you in from the first sentence "If you're reading this then it's too late to turn back." The writing is so picturesque. I could feel myself in a third floor walk-up smelling the smells, seeing the scene and feeling a bit achy on awakening alongside the main character in one of the stories.

Now that I've discovered this author from his lesser known position as a fiction writer, I'll go back and read his blog and I'm sure that will take me to more delightful discoveries.
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