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Little Reef and Other Stories [Hardcover]

Michael Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 21.50
Price: 17.18 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2014
Little Reef and Other Stories announces the arrival of an original voice in literature. From Key West to Maine, Michael Carroll's debut collection of stories depicts the lives of characters who are no longer provincial but are not yet cosmopolitan. These women and their gay male friends are "B-listers" of a new, ironic, media-soaked culture. They live in a rich but increasingly divided America, a weirdly paradoxical country increasingly accepting of gay marriage but still marked by prejudice, religious strictures, and swaths of poverty and hopelessness. Carroll shows us people stunned by the shock of the now, who have forgotten their pasts and can't envision a future.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press (30 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299297403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299297404
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 842,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Mr. Carroll's world is a little vicious, slippery in its sexuality, discontinuous, fracturing--strangely reminiscent of the hootier, hard-candy end of the Tennessee Williams spectrum. It is flat-out "odd", fun, and seeming true."--Padgett Powell, author of "You & Me"

About the Author

Michael Carroll is a writer whose work has appeared in Boulevard, Ontario Review, Southwest Review, The Yale Review, Open City, and Animal Shelter.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good God. I have just read the first short ... 5 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good God. I have just read the first short story in Michael Carroll's new short-story collection "Little Reef". It's set in Jacksonville in Florida. It is so good I am almost panicking. It's having as strong an impact on me as I first recall when I read Somerset Maugham's short stories and Grahame Greene's the Power and the Glory at high school at some stage before 1978.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Beyond the Glimpse 18 May 2014
By R. Hughes - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The stories in Michael Carroll's collection, "Little Reef," emerge like shapely recollections of disorderly lives. Revelations, understanding, recognition: All come at you at a slant, the afterthoughts of inadvertent emotional growth. The characters here, so touching, vain, modest, funny and wistful -- people you might have remembered had you taken the time to register the soul underneath the chance remark, the life beyond the glimpse -- stay with you as their tales unfold in unexpected ways. His is an original style -- laconic and incisive, with excellent dialogue -- and in a way, he reminds me of some of the great Texas singer-songwriters like James McMurtry or Lyle Lovett, who evoke a breathing world in a verbal brushstroke. But he is himself, and I'm grateful for that. A real talent, a genuine find, a remarkable read and a pleasure to encounter. More, please.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make this the next short story collection you read. 16 May 2014
By Patrick Ryan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This collection of short stories by Michael Carroll is a brilliant breath of fresh air for the short story form. Carroll's characters--each one of them, both major and minor--feel like genuine cogs in the world. Whether they open their mouths for just a line or two, or get the spotlight for an entire story, they're so flesh-and-blood and troubled and quietly frustrated and polite and simultaneously hopeful and defeated that your heart aches, reading about them.

Carroll is also one of the most fascinating "plotters" I've ever read. His stories don't have traditional arcs; they have the kind of echocardiogram line jumps familiar to anyone who's managed to survive an average day and hopes to make sense of it later.

LITTLE REEF is a gorgeous and exciting book. It's so real that it thrills and even hurts a little--in that way that makes you want to go back to it, and talk about it, and be glad you have it in your life. I recommend it whole-heartedly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seductive and Powerful 6 July 2014
By S. Chris Shirley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was completely seduced by Michael Carroll’s Little Reef and Other Stories. Yes, this book is beautifully written, but it is the perfectly flawed and incredibly likeable characters that drew me in—characters who know who they should be but can’t help being who they are.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Debut 26 Aug 2014
By Patrick Merla - Published on
Michael Carroll has a distinctive voice, and a sensibility unlike any other writer’s I can readily think of. The economy of his storytelling in Part One, “After Dallas,” at first put me in mind of Raymond Carver’s work, but without Carver’s flatness. I take the stories in Part Two, “After Memphis,” to be a brilliant portrait of a marriage. Carroll’s stories have an indirect wisdom almost sly in its effect. In fact, if I had to use one word to describe what I take to be his method, it would be indirect. There’s nothing showy or show-offy about the writing, or self-consciously literary or pretty, yet somehow he manages to quietly dazzle. (This is especially true with “Avenging Angel.”) He has sympathy for human foibles (Scott’s parents are a hoot), and uses the mundane to address the big subjects—Life, Love, Death—with never a hint of pretension. Little Reef is completely absorbing, satisfying, and, finally, moving, sometimes in unexpected ways. This book is pure gold, the real thing.
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book 29 July 2014
By Ruby Red - Published on
I loved this book. Michael Carroll undermines the traditional short story in the most delightful way. The characters in Little Reef are young, old, attached, unattached, confused, confident, and never predictable. There is an element of the autobiographical which Carroll has been up front about in the media and which adds a fascinating "autofictional" element to his work that speaks to the work of his husband, Edmund White. Every time I finished a story I had to confront my own traditional expectations and felt in love with the characters. A great read for all who want to challenge the expectations of the genre!
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