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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tender stories
A superb collection of stories. Each story has an intriguing narrative and leaves the reader wanting more. But these are perfectly succinct, apt and beautiful stories. If you enjoy reading well-crafted contemporary writing that has edge and sensitivity this book could be very enjoyable for you too. One of my favourite 'discoveries' of the year so far.
Published on 27 July 2008 by Kate

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3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly different!
Miranda July writes about odd people in an odd way. Her stories are engagingly comic-tragic. There is much dark humour and I was initially greatly entertained and at times moved by the quirks, neuroses and peculiarities of her people. About two thirds of the way through though, I did start to feel that although the characters changed, some male, some female, it was always...
Published 11 months ago by sondaze


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tender stories, 27 July 2008
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This review is from: No One Belongs Here More Than You (Paperback)
A superb collection of stories. Each story has an intriguing narrative and leaves the reader wanting more. But these are perfectly succinct, apt and beautiful stories. If you enjoy reading well-crafted contemporary writing that has edge and sensitivity this book could be very enjoyable for you too. One of my favourite 'discoveries' of the year so far.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Shorts, 5 Jan 2010
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Ms. A. Mclauchlan "MCAnna" (Stoke, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No One Belongs Here More Than You (Paperback)
This book is a collection of short stories told from various angles and a variety of colourful and sad characters. Some stories are deeply philosophical and moving, others erotic and stark. Whilst the subject of each story is vastly different the same fluid, engaging and uncomplicated style runs throughout.
One particular story, 'This Person', is so poweful,(and the shortest I think), it stayed with me for days after first reading it.
The only criticism I can find stems from the author's strength; July's style is so elegant it is occasionally difficult to believe some of her more hardened characters would narate their stories with such delicacy. (Perhaps in itself this is meant to question our judgements of the characters?).
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be lost in quality fiction who does not have the time to read several 100 pages to get there... and even those who do have the time!
Instantly engaging, this book is enjoyable and sad in the right measures and I am excited to see what will come from the mind of Miranda July next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expelling the dust, 9 Jun 2012
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I read this collection for my book club, focusing on the story 'The Man on the Stairs' so my thoughts on this are followed by a broader reflection on the collection:

The Man on the Stairs is an extended snapshot in a woman's life, in which a familiar (July gives it a tired, worn out feeling, like the T-shirt the woman is wearing, doubtless ugly and shapeless, unloved, a stultifying comfort-zone) sequence of introspection culminates in an encounter that takes on a mythical (as a focus for culturally cultivated fears and a seed of exasperated, unheroic (profoundly female) courage) and symbolic (of the emotional subjugation of women). It ends with what I felt was a victory, but one so bitter and compromised that I sobbed reading it, when the woman 'expel[s] the dust of everything' this subjugation has caused her to destroy in herself, and orders the phantom, the great unintentional criminal 'out of my house'. She can only muster a whisper, but we have to start somewhere.

I cannot agree with reviewers who found July's stories 'laugh out loud funny'; I am horrified by the thought of someone laughing at the plights of her painfully unhappy protagonists. July's language stutters and chokes as each internal monologue unfolds its ugly revelations, almost as if recoiling in disgust.

Loneliness, insecurity and ineptitude are the prominent features of adulthood here, and encounters that allow the narrators to offer care or fellowship to a child emphasise a contrast with their interactions with 'normal' people who treat them with varying degrees of disdain and disinterest. I don't think July invites laughter, rather that she is tenderly drawing out poison from a wound so deep it contaminates all of our interactions.

Attempts to seek refuge and refreshment in the joyous diversions (in the sense of randomness and original thinking, an escape from the stale frameworks of normalised communication) of innocence are limited and compromised, and the grains of hope they contain are sometimes dashed, but there is the shadow of a feeling, maybe even a furious whisper, that things don't have to be this way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A LOVELY SNAPSHOT, 3 Mar 2014
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This read is not like anything that I have experienced - it articulates a thought scape that I don't find often explored.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bit uncertain, 19 Nov 2013
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M. Mayne (Baltimore, MD) - See all my reviews
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I'm not really sure what to rate this book. I originally found out about the book from a reddit link to the author's website "I am going to create this entire website by writing on a whiteboard" - I was amused at the quirky originality of the entire promotional presentation that I thought I'd give the stories a try.

What I found was a book that certainly had -some- of what I'd expect, reading the book's high praises in the reviews and on the cover. The storytelling is engaging, even compelling. The narrator's emotional state is clearly conveyed in each of the stories, creating a strong link between the storyteller and the reader. It is raw, emotional, and passionate. Many of the stories call up poignant images of things that you certainly wouldn't expect to find featured in a story. It is difficult to put into words; the private rituals of people behind closed doors, the emotional mind games we play each unto ourselves, even to go so far as to say the primal, primitive urges that surely everyone has but nobody admits. The characters in this book narrate through these dark secrets in the same sentence as discussing what's for lunch - nothing is taboo or treated with the sort of compartmentalization that you'd expect. Although the protagonist is different in every story, they all have this common feeling, of worthlessness, of despair, some of them overcome it and some of them don't. None of the stories are about the same thing but they are spun from a common thread.

I would say, yes, pick this up, if for no other reason because the writing skill is second to none. I found some of the content to be perhaps, too overt, or "too much information", not so much that I felt disturbed but enough that I felt it was inappropriate or perhaps unnecessary to achieve the story's purpose. Then again, the mixed emotions I have after having read the book - twice through now - that stick with me even long after, means perhaps the author has achieved her purpose after all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird but Smart, 17 Oct 2013
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Clever and odd. Stories that leave you thinking well after you've turned the last page. Very strange but the characters are believable and dynamic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of THE great short story collections, 14 Oct 2013
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It takes a certain skill to render isolation both hilarious and tragic. It takes geniune talent to convey this combination within a single short story. And it takes genius - nothing added, nothing taken away genius - to pull this off in the space of a single paragraph, again and again and again. These stories will haunt you and make you laugh. And the real joy of them is this: by expressing isolation with such refreshing and startling clarity you will never feel so isolated again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite short story collection, 8 Oct 2013
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I'd love to tell you Miranda July was the first person I ever mailed a fan letter to, but in all honesty, there are times when I'm not entirely sure she's actually human.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly different!, 28 Sep 2013
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Miranda July writes about odd people in an odd way. Her stories are engagingly comic-tragic. There is much dark humour and I was initially greatly entertained and at times moved by the quirks, neuroses and peculiarities of her people. About two thirds of the way through though, I did start to feel that although the characters changed, some male, some female, it was always the voice of Miranda July that dominated.

The voice of a writer is necessary in poetry, but when it comes to fictional prose, in order for a story to be truly believable, the author needs to create characters, not BE characters. Here however, the stories are all in the voice of the author (only the names, gender and setting are changed). As such, although I recognised the humanity in her characterisations, I'm unable to believe that any of them could be based on anyone or anything beyond her own personal take on the world; so they lose that feeling of authenticity that is evoked by the truly great characters of fiction.

It's a good book and worth reading (until you too feel it is getting 'samey'), but I don't feel inclined to buy into her world beyond this point.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 4 Jun 2013
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Sorry, this did nothing for me at all. These are weird unbelievable characters who failed to engage my sympathy. Couldn't get into it at all.
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No One Belongs Here More Than You
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July (Paperback - 6 Mar 2008)
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