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Comment: Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 2013
Binding: hardcover
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Condition: Good
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Amor and Psycho: Stories Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 6, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0307594747 ISBN-10: 0307594742

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307594742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307594747
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

PEN/Bingham Award winner and National Endowment of the Arts fellow Cooke (Daughters of the Revolution, 2011) presents an edgy collection of powerful, engaging, offbeat stories filled with characters who are appealing without being likable. The stories span a range of time and geography, some specified, some enticingly vague, some totally suspect. Sexual relations are plentiful, but, more often than not, they are passionless and banal. Marriages are seldom stable, and illness, mental and physical, is a haunting presence. “Francis Bacon” chronicles a seemingly wild but actually quite dull lifestyle. In “The Snake,” Dr. Drema remakes herself with a freedom that defies real life. Breast cancer recurs in several stories, with the character Georgie popping in and out. “Isle of Wigs” depicts the struggle to maintain control as the world rapidly spins away. “Amor and Psycho” is a complex, three-part tour de force. And the final story, “Among the Mezima-Wa,” is so outrageous one imagines Cooke’s glee in writing it. This is the product of a mature and considerable talent and should be enjoyed, but not taken lightly. --Danise Hoover

Review

Praise for Amor and Psycho

“Taut and gorgeous . . . Cooke approaches the subjects of sex and death, desire and illness, and the borderland between sanity and madness, civilization and the wild with a directness that is both disarming and enthralling . . . Her willingness to follow her characters to places of mystery, wonder, pain and confusion makes the experience of reading these intense, remarkable stories a deeply empathic one.”
            —San Francisco Chronicle
 
 “Wondrous . . . Within each shadowy narrative, author Carolyn Cooke creates a wholly original voice, perspective, and set of circumstances, making for an altogether rich and remarkable read . . . As all of Cooke’s characters endure the grueling work of letting go, they are occasionally granted redemption, but for the reader, the journey always proves rewarding.”
            —Aritzia
 
“Preoccupied by the mutating relationship between surface and depths, what appears to be and what’s hidden . . . Leavened with mordant humor . . . Cooke’s vigorous language is its own reward.”
            —The Boston Globe
 
“Cooke’s trademark incisiveness is right there on the page, undeniable . . . Cooke creates characters as if from the inside out. They live urgently and intimately . . . because the author infuses them with such telling detail . . . Cooke challenges readers and rewards us in surprising and lovely ways.”
            —Portland Press Herald
 
“Sex and death go hand-in-hand in Cooke’s new book. Many of the eleven stories explore the inflamed needs of fading bodies. But Cooke’s wit and heart enliven such somber material. Her clear, careful prose communicates understanding without resorting to cynicism or sentimentality.”
            —Miami Herald 

“Carolyn Cooke’s writing is addictive. Her prose is so compulsive and flavorful, you can almost feel it in your bloodstream . . . Cooke’s stories do not just confront realities: they grab them, pinch them, knead them, and then hand them over to the reader—who devours each story and is left with cravings for more.”
            —Bustle.com
 
 “Erotic, whimsical, profound . . . Cooke writes with passion, empathy, and considerable humor as her characters face life-changing issues of divorce, illness, self-destruction, and impending death.”
            —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Cooke’s new collection is one of the very best of 2013 . . . Cooke’s stories twist and turn, playing games with language . . . They leave you with something: shards of phrases; a lifetime of attitudes conveyed in a word or an aside; or odd, perfect details that stick in your mind.”
            —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“An edgy collection of powerful, engaging, offbeat stories . . . The product of a mature and considerable talent.”
            —Booklist
 
“Cooke takes readers to various cultures and times to examine the anxiety, hopes, struggles, and, above all, the ever-present human quest for love and acceptance . . . A definite page-turner, leaving the discerning reader with memorable character upon which to reflect . . . Cooke keeps readers aware of the travails and triumphs of their humanity.”
            —Library Journal 

More About the Author

Carolyn Cooke's novel, Daughters of the Revolution (Knopf), was named among the Top Ten Books of 2011 by the San Francisco Chronicle and among The New Yorker Magazine's "Reviewers' Favorite" books of the year. Her collection of short stories, The Bostons (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner), was named one of the best books of the year by The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, and was a winner of the PEN/Bingham Award for fiction and a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway. Her short stories have appeared in AGNI, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and in two volumes each of Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Nation, Contemporary Literary Criticism and in New California Writing 2011. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, she teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband, the poet and essayist Randall Babtkis. See more at http://www.carolyncooke.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte C. Gordon on August 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible collection of stories: funny, smart, poignant, shocking, and irreverent. I loved the quirky details and the characters. I enjoyed all of the stories -- the range and originality of this collection is extraordinary. Cooke's writing is brilliant. She does not sound like any other writer I know. Her voice is distinctive, her insights all her own. Somehow, her stories manage to be funny and sad at the same time. I use Cooke's stories in my Creative Writing classes and my students tell me that not only do they love her work, but they learn about voice and atmosphere -- Cooke's specialties. I predict that this will be a prize-winning book. Cooke is a genius!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Abby on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cooke's writing is honest, specific and illuminating - not to mention wickedly funny. I gladly followed her down every dark alley and around every foreboding corner. The through line connecting the varied characters and themes in this collection is Cooke's blend of heartbreak, humor and scalpel-sharp language. It's a signature wholly her own, and with it she conjures a wholly human range of emotion.
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Format: Hardcover
There are eleven short stories in the collection by Carolyn Cooke titled for one of them, Amor and Psycho. I spread my reading of this collection out, selecting one story about every two weeks. I enjoyed Cooke’s wit and the way she can twist a phrase to pack as much passion as possible into a few of just the right words. Life and death are side by side in these stories, and passion and physical decline coexist. Readers who like literary fiction and the short story genre are those most likely to enjoy this collection.

Rating: Three-star (It’s ok)
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