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10 Reviews
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter like Chocolate, 11 Nov 2010
By 
Amazon Customer "Boo62" (Ilkeston Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
To be honest I had never heard of Flannery O'Connor before seeing it advertised in the back of a copy of Jack Finney's `The body snatchers'.
O'Connor's stories are mostly pretty short but she somehow managed to pour more feeling and description into them than many writers manage in a whole novel.
Set in the deep south of an America now long gone. Her protagonists are poor, both white & black,(be aware that her reference to black Americans may have been seen as sympathetic and forward thinking for her day and although still sympathetic in viewpoint she used language that is distinctly racist in the modern world),. Often scrabbling to survive they all share common points. They are lonely, often confused, ground down by life or by the many selfish & harmful predators who they meet or share their lives with and hope is something long since extinguished in their lives.
There are exceptions to those rules here and there but they are few and far between.
O'Connor's ability to place her reader on a sweltering sidewalk in a fading main street in nowheresville or in the kitchen of a broken down shack is startling and is what at first keeps you reading. The detail somehow seems almost too much to take in yet takes up so little of the narrative that it's impossible not to be drawn in. Then the characters grow too so that although you move from story to story quickly the characters stay with you and their plight & that brief moment of their lives you've been shown lingers in the memory long after you've put the book down.
Not every story appeals to everyone but so many do that the overall feeling of `being there' and the emotion you feel remains deep and affecting.
This collection is testament to a talent that has, certainly in this country, been overlooked and really ought to be as feted amongst the classics.
An excellent collection of stories that hold a magnifying glass over the human condition and leaves an indelible impression upon the reader.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the most essential short fiction of the 20th century, 3 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
Flannery O'Connor was a genius. Her prose is beautifully restrained, powerful, frightening and, disturbingly, often hilarious. I haven't encountered a writer of short fiction yet who hasn't doffed their cap to O'Connor. This collection takes the reader from slightly scrappy early writings to the faultless work of her final years. The stories here are so essential that I am giving this book five stars despite its revolting 1980s conceptual jacket, which depicts a baldie with a triangular penis standing in what can only be described as a Drama Space.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flannery O'Conner 'The Complete Stories', 9 Oct 2007
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A. Forrest (Conwy, North Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
Every sentence so very rich. What a loss to the literary world when O'Conner died at a relatively young age. A thousand thanks to Robert Giroux for his enlightening introduction which enhances the book and helps the reader know a little more about Flannery O'Conner.

Anne forrest
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5.0 out of 5 stars Something Different., 28 Nov 2013
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I thought it an excellent piece of writing and the best sort of American literature. If anyone is looking for a book that is that bit different, controversial and thought-provoking then this may be it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 3 Oct 2010
This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
Originally, I bought the book because I wanted to read "A good man is hard to find". I started reading from the beginning of the book, and every novel surpriced me in its own way. Sometimes the story itself makes me wonder, and sometimes it's the style of the writing that gets me.
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14 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by The Independent newspaper today., 5 Jan 2007
By 
J. C. Henderson "jchenderson4" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
Just thought you'd like to know, this book just got a glowing write-up by Dean Koontz in "The Independent" newspaper today, describing it as a "book in a lifetime" and his inspiration. Good enough to make me want to read it.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crack open a co'cola, sit down and enjoy, 14 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I would definitely pass on this recommendation to anyone who enjoys short stories. O'Connor's stories focus on America's Deep South and often featuring farm owners or farm hands, as they struggle to scratch out a living and cope with the changes that were about to hit the South with the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Society, and how simple questions of morality can touch people's lives.

Despite being often based around a narrow type of people, these 32 stories are anything but repetitive - personal highlights include Parker's Back (about a man with a tattoo obsession and a highly devout wife), Why Do The Heathen Rage? (about a moralistic single parent attempting to help a tearaway), Enoch and the Gorilla (about a country-boy who attempts to befriend a circus gorilla) and Greenleaf (about tracking an escaped bull on a farm).

Although her writing style may at times appear slightly dated, these are still vibrant stories, written with great energy. She consistently shows faith in her own characters, with many of them undergoing epiphanies at the conclusion of the stories. Her writing is often beautifully restrained, and the dialogue is especially worth treasuring, frequently writing with authentic southern phrases and turn of speech. Definitely worth checking out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
Great!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for school study, 16 Nov 2013
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it arrived on time and in excellent condition. it's for my son so i never read it but he said it's a good book.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Life., 28 Feb 2012
By 
J. Hawkey "jonhawke" (U K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Complete Stories (Paperback)
An excellent book about everyday people of the Southern States of the U S, to enjoy it you need get the voice sounds right.

The author Flannery O'Connor must have wrote about things she observed in her day today life.

John
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Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor (Paperback - 21 Jan 1991)
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