Customer Reviews

2 Reviews
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely one of the best short story writers ever, 2 Nov 2008
purpleheart (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore (Hardcover)
'Although Kit and Rafe had met in the peace movement, marching, organizing, making no-nukes signs, now they wanted to kill each other.'

The opening lines of the opening story remind us of some of Lorrie Moore's attributes; the ability to set a scene concisely and with wit and to explore how people and relationships change. She is right up there with the very best of short story writers such as Carver, Munro or Updike. Her dialogue is superb and spare. She writes about people and situations we instantly recognise with the impact of an observational stand up comic - but with compassion and humanity also. Superb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collected Stories, 21 Mar 2009
Leyla Sanai "leyla" (glasgow) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore (Hardcover)
Published in 2008, this collection extends to more than 650 pages, incorporating as it does the stories from three previous books of short stories - Self Help (1985), Like Life (1990), and Birds of America (1998), as well as several tales from the novel Anagrams (1986) and some more recent short stories from The New Yorker. Moore is well known in the US - as well as her stories appearing regularly in The New Yorker, she teaches at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and she has won a clutch of awards including the O.Henry Award and, from nearer our shores, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. The back of the collection is strewn with accolades from writers as diverse as Roddy Doyle and Hilary Mantel.
Her stories explore life in all its manifestations - love, hate, illness, divorce, post divorce dating, relationships with children and parents, and so on. There is a thick stream of wry humour running through all the stories, so that even those laden with pathos contain wisecracking characters refusing to give in to self pity.
Moore states in her introduction that the earlier stories - contained towards the end of the collection - seem distant from her now, her newer work being more 'true' to her. But there are gems to be found among both the old and the new.
The most powerful story for me was the harrowing People Like That Are The Only People Here. Any parent, aunt or uncle will shudder as they read this story of a couple who find a blood clot in their baby's nappy and find themselves sucked through the world of paediatric oncology. Yet even when dealing with as emotive and disturbing a subject as a baby with cancer, Moore manages to be grimly, blackly entertaining as well as utterly convincing. The radiologist who 'smiles a broad, ominous smile' and lets slip a hideously insensitive medical term: 'You don't know exactly what it is until it's in the bucket'. The weeping father imploring the mother to take notes so she can write about the experience to earn money for any further medical treatment the baby should require. The guilt the mother feels at having occasionally used babysitters. The baby attempting to play with four-year-old fellow oncology patient Ned's 'little deflated rubber ball', only to be scolded by Ned's mother: as the baby cries, the mother intervenes, only to find out Ned's 'little deflated rubber ball' is actually a bag collecting fluid from Ned's liver.
In the less knuckle-biting stories, there are remarkably insightful flashes as regards less traumatic life events: what it feels like to be a mistress of a married man, the more in-love individual of a couple, the less in-love, what it's like dating in middle age, binds to parents, growing out of love, dealing with death... Most of the stories gripped me completely. The only one that didn't was an attempt at a post-apocalyptic world in Like Life, and even there, the parts of the story dealing with the relationship as opposed to the Orwellian world were still convincing.
Moore's writing is not faultless. Sometimes her style can seem overwrought, too complicated and verbose. I listed many strained similes: 'The door... shut behind them like a fact', 'dusk was settling over the highway like a mood', 'alarm buzzed through her mildly, like a tea', 'A smile... nestled in his mouth like an egg', 'preoccupied and absent as a landlord'.
Despite these occasional signs of trying too hard, there is much to admire here. Moore's grasp of emotions and relationships as well as her quirky humour make her stories a joy to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore
The Collected Stories of Lorrie Moore by Lorrie Moore (Hardcover - 15 May 2008)
Used & New from: 5.56
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews