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Essential Stories (Modern Library) Paperback – 27 Jan 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bravo Ltd (27 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812972945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812972948
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Introduction by JEREMY TREGLOWN
"In his daily walks through London," notes Jeremy Treglown in his Introduction to this collection, "Pritchett watched and listened to people as a naturalist observes wild creatures and birds. He knew that oddity is the norm, not the exception." This finely attuned sense, coupled with an understanding that nothing in life is mundane, is what makes these stories so immensely enjoyable. Drawing on a vast treasure chest of writings, Treglown has selected sixteen of Pritchett's gems, including "A Serious Question," which makes its debut in book form here. Featuring some of the best work from a long career, this new compilation of Pritchett's brilliantly compact stories illuminates his legendary skills.

About the Author

Jeremy Treglown (Introduction) is also the author of Roald Dahl: A Biography and Romancing: The Life and Work of Henry Green, which won the Dictionary of Literary Biography Award. Now a professor of English at the University of Warwick, he was editor of The Times Literary Supplement from 1982 to 1990. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in London.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A British - if somewhat older - Raymond Carver, and a real joy to read. Rich imaginative stories which I found myself remembering with pleasure at unexpected moments of the day, long after I had finished the book. Short brilliant pieces - the dizzy night of an inebriated woman in Piccadilly Circus - sit next to wonderful comedy ("The Saint" looks at a boy's sad discovery about the truth of his cult religion) and clever character cameos (pity the overlooked brother in "The Fall"). Strange that his work is not more widely available in the UK - you'll have to buy this as an American import. I shall look forward to reading more of him - if I can find more!
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I had heard of V.S. Pritchett but had never read his work before until I chose him as the subject for a university assignment. (I have to confess, I might have got him confused in my mind with V.S. Naipul.)

This book is a collection of wonderful short stories. Here, Pritchett takes the commonplace and turns it into something extraordinary. In lesser hands, many of these stories would be rendered as full length novels, such is the breadth and depth of the worlds he constructs.

Really worth reading.
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Excellent writing, I wish I could come somewhere near it! These are vignettes from peoples lives.. They are not stories with a typical beginning middle, denouement but clever observations of lives. You will not like all the main characters, simply because that is how life is
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Format: Paperback
This review is for "Essential Stories" by V.S.Pritchett; it's the "The Modern Library Classics" book that has a short bibliographical note and an Introduction by Jeremy Treglown.

There are sixteen short stories which take up 223 pages. The author was born in 1900 and started getting work published in the 1920's. Apparently he was a well-known critic as well as a writer of short stories.

Alongside reading this book, I have also been reading Hemingway's "Complete Short Stories of .. " and Katherine Mansfield's "The Collected Stories of .. " (all of which are short stories). The short stories by Pritchett are, for me, far superior to Hemingway's or Mansfield's. To be fair to Hemingway and Mansfield, Pritchett's stories are "selected", so he may well have written less interesting stories; I enjoyed this selection, anyway. I never felt like the author was just filling up the page with words; there's a real story, with a purpose, and some of the endings have got a real punch to them - "The Fall" and "When my girl comes home" were my favourites.

With other 1920's and 1930's writers I often need a dictionary to work out vocabulary, but this author keeps the words relatively simple - he just gets on with an entertaining story.
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Great book
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