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Wittgenstein's Lolita Paperback – 1 Mar 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Wild Dog Press (1 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976520222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976520221
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 867,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

William Gay is the author of the novel The Long Home. His short stories have appeared in Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and New Stories from the South 1999 and 2000. He was awarded the 1999 William Peden Award and the 2000 James A. Michener Memorial Prize.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We wait a long time between books by William Gay. Wish it wasn't so, but it's worth it.
This is a short novel; but, not a wasted word. He has a wonderful turn of phrase. One-liners that will just stick in your mind.
Superb characters. Taut plot.
Bring on the next book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x898c5cb4) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89721714) out of 5 stars "It's Funny How Things Fall Apart" 23 Feb. 2008
By Foster Corbin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Things usually fall apart in the fiction of William Gay as the character Rebekah Faust tells Rideout in the first of the two stories printed here "Wittgenstein's Lolita." And they certainly do this time, in spades. These characters live close to the bone. Violence, horrible accidents, spousal abuse, drinking and reduced expectations abound. It is a world of Wal-Marts and country music. What Mr. Gay does masterfully is write about the most macabre of events-- for instance, the fate of Rebekah's twin sister will make you wince-- and recount such happenings in the most descriptive, evocative language imaginable, with the touch of a poet. Rebekah's abusive husband Albert is gone for weeks at a time working on a barge, going all the way to New Orleans, then "reappearing with his sudden gifts of violence like souvenirs he'd picked up in these exotic ports of call." In a "foreshortened December" day, Rebekah rises naked from the bed. "With the dim light behind her and her red hair unbraided all down her back she looked like a fairytale princess a few years past happily ever after who'd rethought her position and gone over to the dark side."

According to the book blurb "The Iceman" is an excerpt from a novel in progress. The character Yates hires on to help an iceman deliver a load of ice, only to be confronted with what Rick Bragg would describe as a train wreck. If possible, Gay's prose here is even more beautiful than in the first story.

In J. M. White's afterward he gives a brief biography of Mr. Gay and reminds us that the author fell in love with language when a seventh grade teacher gave him a copy of Thomas Wolfe's LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL and William Faulkner's THE SOUND AND THE FURY. Mr. Gay's voice is uniquely his own; he writes like no other writer and is a perfect example of why writing cannot be taught.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89721768) out of 5 stars 2 good short stories from the wonderful William Gay 30 May 2007
By Matthew Snope - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is 2 short stories from the great William Gay, published in his home state of Tennessee, plus an introduction talking a little about Gay. Both stories are excellent, although the first is rather choppy for some reason, be it intentional on Gay's part or not. This book flew under the radar, but I believe came out between the magnificent Provinces of Night and its almost-magnificent successor, Twilight. I highly recommend anything by Gay. Provinces of Night is my personal favorite; I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down is a great collection of short stories; Twilight is worthwhile yet flawed; the only book I struggled with a little was his first, The Long Home. He's an eerily good writer and Wittgenstein's Lolita is a good way to get a feel for his world. This sounds cliched, but he has a certain way with words and a keen eye on human affairs, and captures his tales in a unique and beautiful and dark and haunting assemblage of words.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89721ba0) out of 5 stars beautiful collector's volume of two of Gay's best 3 Nov. 2009
By Hal Herring - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
William Gay is one of the best American writers of any era. I know that is saying a mouthfull, but it is true.

Wittgenstein's Lolita is a collection of two- yes- just two- of Gay's most powerful and surprising short stories. The title story is set in modern times, and the characters are modern, articulate, and well-read people. This does not stop them from inhabiting a landscape that is as haunted as anything in Edgar Allen Poe, or being as murderous -- well, that would be a spoiler.

The prose is beautiful, reminiscent of a stripped down Cormac McCarthy, closer to the bone, full of power and the unexpected phrase, description, action, observation.

I'm proud to have the little book in my collection.

Hal Herring
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89721b88) out of 5 stars Another good read 7 April 2008
By J. Warstler - Published on
Format: Paperback
A couple of stories on par with his previous short stories. Interesting tales with down on their luck characters. Its always a pleasure to read his work; no regrets with the purchase.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a7a306c) out of 5 stars More Great Work from William Gay 8 Feb. 2008
By A. Tallent - Published on
Format: Paperback
Both short stories in this book have all the qualities that make Gay's work exceptional (prose, colorful characters, dark humor) and are great reads. The book also features a short piece at the end that provides a little background on this wonderful author.
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