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Birds of America Paperback – 1 May 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571260861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571260867
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Lorrie Moore made her debut in 1985 with Self-Help, which proved that she could write about sadness, sex and the single girl with as much tenderness--and with considerably more wit--than almost any of her contemporaries. She followed this story collection with another, Like Life, as well as two fine novels, Anagrams and Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? Yet Moore's rapid-fire alternation of mirth and deep melancholy is so perfectly suited to the short form that readers will greet Birds of America with an audible sigh of relief--and delight. In "Willing", for example, a second-rate Hollywood starlet retreats into a first-rate depression, taking shelter in a Chicago-area Days Inn. The author's eye for the small comic detail is intact: her juice-bar-loving heroine initially drowns her sorrows in "places called I Love Juicy or Orange-U-Sweet". Yet Moore seldom satisfies herself with mere pop-cultural mockery. She's too interested in the small and large devastations of life, which her actress is experiencing in spades. "Walter leaned her against his parked car," Moore relates. "His mouth was slightly lopsided, paisley-shaped, his lips anneloid and full, and he kissed her hard. There was something numb and on hold in her. There were small dark pits of annihilation she discovered in her heart, in the loosening fist of it, and she threw herself into them, falling." Elsewhere, the author serves up a similar mixture of one- liners and contemporary grief, lamenting the death of a housecat in "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens" and the death of a marriage in "Which Is More Than I Can Say About That". And her hilarious account of a nuclear family undergoing a meltdown in "Charades" will make you want to avoid parlour games for the rest of your natural life. --James Marcus -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

Review

"A nest of tales that captures the eternal, hummingbird flutter of the human heart. . . . A volume in which everything comes together: the author's mordant, Dorothy Parker wit, the Joycean epiphanies, the Flannery O'Connor-esque moments of clarity and grace." --"The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "
"These new stories sparkle; they are keenly and poignantly mindful of the idioms, banalities and canards of contemporary American society, and they hum with Moore's earmark droll and incisive banter, her astonishing ability to render the intricacy of character in a few sharply focused details." --"Houston Chronicle
"
"Cements [Moore's] reputation as one of our finest writers of fiction." --"Austin American-Statesman "
" "
"Lorrie Moore has made laughingstocks of all of us. And we're devotedly, blissfully grateful. . . . Moore . . . packs more rambunctious American humor and worldly-wide melancholy into a story than many lesser writers can into an entire novel." --"Newsday "
" "
"[Moore] uses language to create a kind of carbonated prose: sentences with pop and fizz, with an effervescence of imagination that continually surprises." --"The Dallas Morning News "
" "
"Bats, flamingos, crows, performing ducks and bird feeders crop up in every story, but the real subject is human nature and the myriad ways Moore's characters flock together or fly apart in the face of change, stasis or grief. . . . Gorgeous. . . . Rarely has a writer achieved such consistency, humor and compassion." --"Seattle Post-Intelligencer "
" "
"[Moore's] dialogue snaps with fun. . . . One could be trapped in an elevator with people like Moore's men, or especially her women, and feel the luckier for it." --"San Francisco Chronicle "
" "
"Remains one of the . . . best volumes of stories that any American has published in recent decades." --"Bookforum"
"I hesitate to lay the adjective wise on one of [Moore's] age. But watching a writer move into full maturity is always exciting. Flappy-winged take-off is fun; but the sight of an artist soaring lifts the heart." --Julian Barnes, "The New York Review of Books "
" "
"Written beautifully, flawlessly, carefully, with a trademark gift for the darkly comic and the perfectly observed. . . . Thrilling." --"Esquire "
" "
"Moore peers into America's loneliest perches, but her delicate touch turns absurdity into a warming vitality." --"The New Yorker "
" "
"I've long been an admirer of Lorrie Moore; her" Birds of America" is an exquisite collection of stories by a writer at the peak of her form." --Geoff Dyer, "The Independent"
" "
"Moore is blessed with such astonishing, unbridled inventiveness she leaves the rest of us hamstrung mortals blinking in the dust. . . . Moore writes like a force of nature." --"Seattle Times "
" "
"Memorable and absorbing." --"The Wall Street Journal "
"These stories . . . are revelations of insight, the perception of the daily traumas of modern existence raised to ironic levels that tell us who we really are." --"Richmond Times-Dispatch "
" "
"Moore is the quintessential short-story writer. There is not a word wasted--her every observation is burnished with humor and sadness." --"Marie Claire "
" "
"Terrific." --"Time Out New York "
"Exquisite. . . . Come across these lines in the presence of another human being, and just try to resist reading them aloud." --"San Diego Union-Tribune"
"Brilliant." --"Bookreporter"
" "
"A fine collection. . . . The reader will be forever susceptible to seeing absurdity everywhere." --"Chicago Tribune "
" "
"The sleight of hand that goes on within a Lorrie Moore story is one of supreme subtlety and wit. . . . By turns laugh-out-loud funny and poignantly sad." --"Detroit Free Press "
" "
"One of the best short story collections of the '90s." --"PopMatters"
" "
"Firece, heart-wrenching. . . . One of the most remarkable short works published in recent decades, it's unforgettable and great." --"Philadelphia Tribune"

A nest of tales that captures the eternal, hummingbird flutter of the human heart. . . . A volume in which everything comes together: the author's mordant, Dorothy Parker wit, the Joycean epiphanies, the Flannery O Connor-esque moments of clarity and grace. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
These new stories sparkle; they are keenly and poignantly mindful of the idioms, banalities and canards of contemporary American society, and they hum with Moore s earmark droll and incisive banter, her astonishing ability to render the intricacy of character in a few sharply focused details. Houston Chronicle

Cements [Moore s] reputation as one of our finest writers of fiction. Austin American-Statesman

Lorrie Moore has made laughingstocks of all of us. And we re devotedly, blissfully grateful. . . . Moore . . . packs more rambunctious American humor and worldly-wide melancholy into a story than many lesser writers can into an entire novel. Newsday

[Moore] uses language to create a kind of carbonated prose: sentences with pop and fizz, with an effervescence of imagination that continually surprises. The Dallas Morning News

Bats, flamingos, crows, performing ducks and bird feeders crop up in every story, but the real subject is human nature and the myriad ways Moore s characters flock together or fly apart in the face of change, stasis or grief. . . . Gorgeous. . . . Rarely has a writer achieved such consistency, humor and compassion. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

[Moore s] dialogue snaps with fun. . . . One could be trapped in an elevator with people like Moore s men, or especially her women, and feel the luckier for it. San Francisco Chronicle

Remains one of the . . . best volumes of stories that any American has published in recent decades. Bookforum
I hesitate to lay the adjective wise on one of [Moore s] age. But watching a writer move into full maturity is always exciting. Flappy-winged take-off is fun; but the sight of an artist soaring lifts the heart. Julian Barnes, The New York Review of Books

Written beautifully, flawlessly, carefully, with a trademark gift for the darkly comic and the perfectly observed. . . . Thrilling. Esquire

Moore peers into America s loneliest perches, but her delicate touch turns absurdity into a warming vitality. The New Yorker

I ve long been an admirer of Lorrie Moore; her Birds of America is an exquisite collection of stories by a writer at the peak of her form. Geoff Dyer, The Independent

Moore is blessed with such astonishing, unbridled inventiveness she leaves the rest of us hamstrung mortals blinking in the dust. . . . Moore writes like a force of nature. Seattle Times

Memorable and absorbing. The Wall Street Journal
These stories . . . are revelations of insight, the perception of the daily traumas of modern existence raised to ironic levels that tell us who we really are. Richmond Times-Dispatch

Moore is the quintessential short-story writer. There is not a word wasted her every observation is burnished with humor and sadness. Marie Claire

Terrific. Time Out New York
Exquisite. . . . Come across these lines in the presence of another human being, and just try to resist reading them aloud. San Diego Union-Tribune
Brilliant. Bookreporter

A fine collection. . . . The reader will be forever susceptible to seeing absurdity everywhere. Chicago Tribune

The sleight of hand that goes on within a Lorrie Moore story is one of supreme subtlety and wit. . . . By turns laugh-out-loud funny and poignantly sad. Detroit Free Press

One of the best short story collections of the 90s. PopMatters

Firece, heart-wrenching. . . . One of the most remarkable short works published in recent decades, it s unforgettable and great. Philadelphia Tribune" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Format: Paperback
In her third short story collection published in the late 90s, Moore's characters, many of them women, are noticeably older than those in her earlier works and traversing that fine line between fading hope of ever finding meaningful connection and hopeless determination to survive the rest of their lives regardless.

Hiding behind irreverent humour and as a kind of protective shield, these characters stumble eyes wide open into relationships that they've already seen the trajectory towards failure in their mind's eye, as ageing minor actress Sidra does with an auto-mechanic, in "Willing", and sidesteps her friend's caution that it's "a forced relationship. You're in a state of stress -you're in a syndrome". Her reaction is a flippant joke, "I want to sleep with someone. When I'm sleeping with someone, I'm less obsessed with the mail."

But the redemptive power of connection in subtle ways does slip through despite the general darker moods of these stories. In the titular story, the narrator is a dance teacher who starts off with these lofty lines about her craft, that "dance begins when a moment of hurt combines with a moment of boredom... it's the body reaching, bringing air to itself.... that it's the heart's triumph, the victory speech of the feet, the refinement of animal lunge and flight...", before acknowledging that she made all this stuff up. However, during her visit to her old friend Cal and his chronically ill son, Eugene, she sees for herself the kind of love Cal has when he talks about Eugene, that touches her deeply: "I cannot imagine anything in my life that contains such sorrow as this, anticipation of missing someone".
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By A Customer on 15 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lorrie Moore is a consummate writer. For anyone who has not yet discovered her, "Birds Of America" is the ideal place to start. These short stories reach the deepest levels of the heart and the mind, laying forth a series of scorching, miniature portraits of absolute individuals, not one stereotype, full of the unexpected, painted with the deftest of brush strokes like impressionist paintings. The heart of contemporary America is laid bare through these jewelled miniatures, and the sheer, joyful richness of her language.
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Birds of America is an amazing collection of short stories. Read them alone, in the sun. These bittersweet moments in Moore's characters' lives are by far the best thing I have read this year. I don't wish to sound cliched, but they will make you smile, laugh and cry. Totally astounding.
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Loved this book, wish someone would have cooked the meals and brought me cups of tea and then I could truly say "I could not put it down"
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"Birds of America" contains a number of stories which seem to cover a broad spectrum of the american life. Each story is very different from the others, but still, they are all insightful in the emotions that come with many aspects of life. It makes me wonder where Moore gets her inspiration. It would be painful to undergo all these emotions in person.
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