If you like short stories, this is a good on to read. It probably isn't one you want to keep on your shelf and read again 3 years later, but all of Haslett's characters are truly believable. In the book of 9 stories, there was only one I couldn't really get into to.
I am embarrassed to say that this is the first time I read short stories. I guess I just thought I wouldn't like not be able to grow with or into a character as I normally do with books. But this author does an incredible job of bringing you in quickly and allowing the story to end where it should. I will say it is not for the faint of heart and to be prepared for graphic sexual content- not hot and steamy type stuff- I will leave it at that. PM me if you need to know more before getting this book.
These are really excellent short stories. Not uplifting but very well written and they stay with you after you read them. The author is working on a novel now and I'm looking forward to its being published.
short stories, but very good indeed.
collection of short stories. some very good, some awful. some just plain odd. general theme is social disconnect, suicide, death, human pain. not too cheerful... i know- not a glowing review- but truthful!
A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist; one of Time Magazine's 'Five Best Books of the Year in fiction. Short stories that explores lives that appear to be shuttered by loss and discovers entire worlds hidden inside them.
Very good short stories. I especially liked the one titled Divination.
Nine short stories--all about troubled people (probably wouldn't be as interesting with "normal" people). The author seems to have a special interest in homosexuality as several of the stories have characters who are gay. The other stories revolve around people with mental illness. None of these stories have satisfying endings. If you're looking for a book that is uplifting, skip this one.
National Book Award and Pullitzer Prize finalist.
From Publishers Weekly
In this affecting debut collection, Yale Law School student Haslett explores the complex phenomena of depression and mental illness, drawing a powerful connection between those who suffer and those who attempt to alleviate that suffering. In "The Good Doctor," Frank, a young M.D., goes out of his way to discover the origin of his patient's illness, only to learn of both her untreatable pain and his own fears and regrets: "The fact was he still felt like a sponge, absorbing the pain of the people he listened to." In "The Beginnings of Grief," suffering becomes a way of healing when a teenager coming to terms with both his homosexuality and his parents' sudden deaths seeks connection wherever he can find it, even in the pain inflicted by a classmate's violence. Often, Haslett convincingly interweaves the perspectives and lives of seemingly disparate individuals. In "The Volunteer," a teenager's awkward incomprehension in the face of his first sexual encounter bizarrely coincides with the breakdown of a schizophrenic woman he visits after school. Not all of the stories are charged with this kind of emotional complexity, however, and some tend toward the sentimental, as does "The Storyteller," in which the clinically depressed Paul, who feels himself to be nothing but a burden to his wife, Ellen, rediscovers his vitality in a chance encounter with an elderly woman and her dying son. Though the thematic similarity of many of the stories dulls their startling initial impact, this is a strikingly assured first effort.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.