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Your Favorite Book of Short Stories

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by getbent, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Meister

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    The Queen of Puerto Rico, by Joe Frank

    "Joe Frank has been called "the apostle of radio noir." In this first collection of stories, he takes us on an obsessive, violent, and sexual odyssey in which individual lives become emblematic of a larger spiritual crisis. He also captures on paper the same eerie speculation and humor he delivers in his late-night monologues on National Public Radio." "We meet characters who have jobs, not careers, who lead lives of half-steps, of rootlessness without cause. Frank's narratives result in a kaleidoscopic sense of time, wherein entire lives pass with a few brief moments of inchoate realization. Moments of comic lunacy blend with scenes of great poignancy and terror." "In the novella "Night," the protagonist wanders through a series of odd jobs, through prison, to Vietnam, to become the right-hand man of a television evangelist, and without any more purpose approaches his own death. In "Fat Man," a college student travels across the country stealing brownies from roadside Howard Johnsons and then spends the next year returning them. "Date" encapsulates a woman's entire life in her boyfriend's suggestions for her personal ad. "The Decline of the Spengler" is a wildly inventive radio play in which the narrative of a funeral is melded with the dreams of a playwright slowly slipping into madness." "In their desperation, the characters in Joe Frank's world, such as the "Fat Man," can only dream of meaningfulness: "You know, when I think about myself and the life I've led, I feel self-loathing, shame, and disgust. I'm a waste and a failure. But when I imagine myself as a character in a novel ... well, I think I'm pretty interesting, kind of off-beat, intriguing, entertaining."" "For years, Joe Frank's broadcasts have invited millions of listeners to the strange world of his mesmerizing stories. In this, his first book, Frank effortlessly segues to the printed page and imparts a new resonance to his narrative inventions."--BOOK JACKET.
     
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  2. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    i suppose my favorite would be one of the collections of Ray Bradbury i read in high school. for whatever reason, the high school library was full of Bradbury. they got me through.

    before that, i had a paperback collection titled "new worlds of fantasy" that i read quite a bit. and before that, Poe and Lovecraft.
     
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  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I love all of the writings of Haruki Murakami...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm sure it's been mentioned, but a lot of people don't think about Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes' adventures as short stories. But, in fact, 56 of them are just that. And, they're very, very good! I find myself returning to them over and over again. Considering I know how they end, that's pretty high praise for a mystery writer!
     
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  5. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yes! or Skeleton Crew...or...
     
  6. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Forgot this one... Palahniuk-adjacent, I think he wrote a foreword maybe or mentioned the author somewhere. Not unlike early-Chuck's style, pretty gritty, dark humor.

    https://www.npr.org/2008/04/12/89543390/knockemstiff-writer-pulls-no-punches

     
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  7. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This one leaps to mind.

    He has others . All worth reading .

    Really a master of the short story but he also has a large volume of novels, poetry, food writing, etc.



    EDC7D33E-AB9E-4CC6-91D1-B0F3326AB976.jpeg
     
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  8. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    Accordion Crimes is presented as a novel but it was really a series of linked short stories, Annie Proulx.

    but then there's Flannery O Conner and Alice Munroe.
     
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  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    An interesting book of one paragraph stories (mostly ) is Mirrors by Eduardo Galleano
     
  10. kuvash

    kuvash Friend of Leo's

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    Rudyard Kipling 2 vol. set Stories and Poems
     
  11. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    Isaac Bashevis Singer. A master storyteller.
     
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  12. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Tales From the White Heart by A. C. Clarke.
     
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  13. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    Carver, Kafka, Singer, O'Connor, Chekhov and Walser have come up so far. Short stories are what I do for a living, more or less, and so I have a lot of opinions, and a lot of favorites.

    When I get stuck or need to recalibrate my brain, I turn to the collected stories of Joy Williams, Alice Munro and William Trevor. Sometimes reading an unfamiliar or forgotten story by one of these geniuses will get things started again.

    Team World gives us Babel, Bruno Schulz, Nabokov, Borges. Team America gives us Welty, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, Mary Robison, Cheever, too many. What's my favorite? Read Escapes by Joy Williams, Jesus Son by Denis Johnson and Islands by Alistair MacLeod and tell me which is best. Can't be done, at least not by me.
     
  14. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    A whole lot listed so far that are great ones; but my most favorite is Demon Box by Ken Kesey.

    This thread jogged my memory of a funny little collection I read years ago and forgot all about, by the author of Shoeless Joe, W.P. Kinsella - The Moccasin Telegraph.
     
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  15. WalthamMoosical

    WalthamMoosical Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Another vote here for Salinger.

    Also, for the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes collections.

    And nobody said it had to be fiction, so I also want to name two "climbing literature" anthologies, The Games Climbers Play (ed. K. Wilson) and Mirrors in the Cliffs (ed. J. Perrin).
     
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  16. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Can you spot Frank Stanford in this photo:
    upload_2020-12-2_18-47-2.jpeg

    Anyone else?

    I’m fascinated by his life and the effect his life and death had on others.
     
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  17. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I hear what you’re saying but the question is, do you have a favorite, not who’s the best.
     
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  18. donrichfan

    donrichfan Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Will you please be quiet, please.
     
  19. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Don't know/can't spot Stanford, but what is that that Ginsberg's holding? Tele in a gig bag?
     
  20. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Like Getbent, I’m really impressed by the short fiction of Anne Proulx, especially the collection of Wyoming stories.

    As a youngster, I liked the Philip Roth Collection that included Goodbye Columbus (especially the story called The Salvation of the Jews); short fiction in The New Yorker by Updike, Edna O’Brien, William Trevor, Isaac Bashevis Singer; and Ring Lardner’s collection, Haircut and Other Stories.

    Haircut is masterful because it is told in the voice of a prattling barber, who rattles on, picking up bits of the story from his customers, without realizing that he has assembled complete circumstantial evidence of a murder. At the end, oblivious to his failure to connect the dots, he brushes off his chair and says, “Next?”

    I went through spells of reading a lot of British stories, by Henry Green, Flann O’Brian, Evelyn Waugh, Kingsley Amis, and John Wain. A real favorite is Wain’s Death of the Hind Legs, about a couple of aging actors who have for years shared a horse costume in a rundown theatre.

    For a winter’s evening with a night cap, a few stories by Wodehouse or Herriot are hard to beat.
     
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