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34 Reviews
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3 star:
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2 star:
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
What a wonderful, diverse collection of stories and snips. Really worth a read. The only issue I had was that the illustrative works and comics really could not be read on the kindle. The font was too small
Published 19 months ago by Longtime reader

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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven
I'm a big fan of this series, but this year's edition was a bit of a let down. Although the non-fiction articles were consistently good (with Jon Ronson's article on "Phoenix Jones" being the highlight), the other elements of the book were rather uneven.

While the 'Best American Front Section' which starts this series is normally entertaining, this year's was...
Published 20 months ago by Nick Dowling


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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven, October 31, 2012
This review is from: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of this series, but this year's edition was a bit of a let down. Although the non-fiction articles were consistently good (with Jon Ronson's article on "Phoenix Jones" being the highlight), the other elements of the book were rather uneven.

While the 'Best American Front Section' which starts this series is normally entertaining, this year's was boring as it was dominated by material related to the occupy movement; I enjoyed the weird excerpts from the minutes of the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street though. Some of the short stories were entertaining (particularly Judy Budnitz's 'Tin Man'), but most were over-written and failed to ring true ('The Street of the House of the Sun' by Michael Poore was particularly bad). The graphic short story on "Hortisculpture" was lengthy and dull, and I gave up on it half way though.

All up, while the high standard of the non-fiction articles and some of the short stories make this a worthwhile purchase, it hasn't maintained the excellent standard set by previous editions.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, November 24, 2012
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What a wonderful, diverse collection of stories and snips. Really worth a read. The only issue I had was that the illustrative works and comics really could not be read on the kindle. The font was too small
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, March 11, 2013
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Compared to past editions, this one is a mixed bag. The inclusions this year are just not that entertaining. I have to wonder if my interests have changed or did the editorial selecting group change? I don’t know. The past renditions were 4-5 star. This one gets 3.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If this is the best - USA is hurting!, March 17, 2013
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Poor selections, poorly written. If this is the best American non-required reading, the country is in more danger than I thought. On a trip to New Zealand, this could not hold my attention for any length of time; the works on Occupy Wall Street were absolutely awful. The price was cheap so nothing really lost except for my time which could have been used to read more engaging and enlightening material.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Diminishing Returns, February 10, 2013
By 
Ned Ludd (Sherwood Forest) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (Paperback)
I've read every edition of this series. At first, they showed the great promise for a clever idea - get well-crafted, witty writing that many people simply missed out on into their hands in one convenient volume. The last three years, however, I've had to force myself to read it. Last year's was bad; this year's was abysmal. Louise Erdrich!? Please. I agree with other reviewers that the Occupy front piece showed a serious lack of editorial control. Simply put, don't bother. I know I never will again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best time of the year., February 10, 2014
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This review is from: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (Paperback)
I buy this every year. I love it. I'm sad when I finish it. There's usually at least one story in each volume of this series that I think about from time to time all year long. There's no way anyone wouldn't find at least two stories in this that they love.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ALWAYS "THE BEST..." of everything, October 19, 2013
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"The Best American" collections are definitely my favorite go-to choices for reading. . . I have collections as far back as 1986, spanning every genre except autobiography. . .Well choosen editors highly skilled in story selection + superb wordsmiths = happy pleased excited readers
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best reading, July 19, 2013
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This review is from: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (Paperback)
My husband and I are addicted to this series of books. There is so much variation in each one - you'll get the best comic, best poetry, best short story, best journalism, and so many obscure and wonderful variations. You will pee yourself laughing, then cry, then be sucked into an incredible factual account.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of new literature!, April 4, 2013
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I like to read select, often new-on-the-scene, writers for their writing style; and I am never disappointed in The Best American. . .series. I always look forward to the new annual edition. It is worth the wait!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Meh.., March 29, 2013
By 
Dan "MOrunner" (Sparta, MO, United States) - See all my reviews
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Not that interesting. Like reading old news.The stories may have been more relevant when they were first written.I lost interest pretty quickly.
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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 by Dave Eggers (Paperback - October 2, 2012)
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