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10 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
All the stories in this book are good ..... they vary a bit in quality though. But 'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe' is absolutely wonderful; I would go so far as to say it was the best story I read last year. It's quirky and surprising and full of atmosphere. It conjured up very clear pictures for me, right from the first page. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Published on 20 July 2012 by Whatif

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was something different!
Not really for me! In someways the writing was compelling but I struggled to finish the book. Maybe there is something wrong with me!
Published 14 months ago by M.Hellings,


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 20 July 2012
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This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
All the stories in this book are good ..... they vary a bit in quality though. But 'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe' is absolutely wonderful; I would go so far as to say it was the best story I read last year. It's quirky and surprising and full of atmosphere. It conjured up very clear pictures for me, right from the first page. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ballad of the Sad Cafe, 15 Jun 2010
By 
Julia M. Wherlock "the writer" (cambridge england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Had been meaning to read for many years, ever since picking up second hand copy of Reflections in a Golden Eye. A short story, as so much of McCullers work, beautifully crafted and charactered. A story of trust betrayed, and the sometimes appalling behavour of people in a small town, close knit community.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballad of the Sad Cafe, 8 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I was watching an interview on Oprah's show with Rob Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart when they were promoting Eclipse. As Oprah has a "book club" Robert brought along this title to add to her list and suggested that viewers read it. I decided to give it a bash and I was pleasantly surprised and quite delighted to say the least. I would totally recommend this book as I enjoyed it very much. A very easy story to read and very enjoyable. I am not going to give anything away about the story because you really need to read the book to find out about that! Sorry folks but if you really want to read it then go buy it! Amazon will give you a great price!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange Mix, 28 Jan 2014
The long title story is clever but didn't really work for me, perhaps because I didn't believe in the strange love triangle that is central to it. The rest of the book consists of more conventional short stories, less lyrical, but with understated emotions that I could engage with. 'Wunderkind' is beautifully written and is one of the best short stories I've read in ages, although the collection as a whole is uneven.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read., 9 Dec 2013
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A masterpiece or literature. I got this book as a gift and ended up not being able to let it go off my hands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ballad of the Sad Cafe et al by Carson McCullers - If you like short stories, read these., 16 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Great book. I read it decades ago and had remembered the story but not the name or the author. Carson McCullers is an excellent writer. Her characters are unique and vividly described. She conjures up an eerie atmosphere which kind of seeps into the memory, leaving indelible images of places, people, action. The ballad of the sad cafe could be set any time. One particular image, of the dwarf climbing up onto the back of the tall woman and being carried around all day. I have always wondered where I'd read that. Sometimes it is hard to see the structure of her short stories but they linger, long after a plot might have been forgotten.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The pulse of Beauty, 30 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Gorgeously written with as Keats said, 'no designs upon us.' I found the title story somewhat baffiling because
of the little piece that comes at the end. But each one of them, from the semi-autobiographical "Wunderkind", to
the poignant "The Sojourner", every story is a joy to read. On finishing a single story, one has to sit back, take
a deep breath and continue to enjoy the fragrance that is wafting around us.
McCullers' training in music always comes across, whether in her figures of speech or the rhythm of her language,
and the imagery in inimitable! They leave an indelible imprint.
These stories could well be minute meditations on life, with incredible interest in character and setting, and little
or no commitment to a didactic end. They all have a delicate sense of funereal humour. A reminder of what tiny
little beings we are in this infinite and invincible universe, and yet how incredibly fascinating!

"Mrs. McCullers and perhaps Mr. Faulkner are the only writers since the death of D. H. Lawrence with an original poetic sensibility. I prefer Mrs. McCullers to Mr. Faulkner because she writes more clearly; I prefer her to D. H. Lawrence because she has no message." – Graham Greene (WIkipedia)

Now buy it already! You'll be the richer for it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Folk fairytale for the South, 9 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
McCullers' voice in this haunting tale, like that of Ngugi wa Thiong'o in A Grain of Wheat, often takes on a folk balladish posture of an anonymous community member. She labours over the authenticity of this tone, fleshing it with a complete vocabulary of cultural experience available in the town, emphasising its remote status and insularity without superiority. Despite this refusal to retreat to the default god-author positition, she is able to create filmic moments, particularly with the final coda describing the music of the chain gang.

McCullers foreshadows compulsively; almost everything that occurs in the story is hinted at, and sinister inevitability dogs the halcyon days of the middle section. Surprisingly then, the denouement still astonishes; the folk myth tapestery is completed by a dramatic climax, a (literally) monstrous twist, and a lingering mystery.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was something different!, 15 May 2013
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Not really for me! In someways the writing was compelling but I struggled to finish the book. Maybe there is something wrong with me!
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars depressing read, 4 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Ballad of the Sad Café: Wunderkind; The Jockey; Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland; The Sojourner; A Domestic Dilemma; A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Bought for my studies. Unfortunately I had tried to read this book casually before and it was just too depressing. Only buy it of you have to study it then it at least has purpose. Delivery of 3-5 days: it arrived on the 5th/6th day.
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