Customer Reviews

11
4.2 out of 5 stars
Byzantium: Stories
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was intrigued after reading Stroud's excellent story, "East Texas Lumber," in a recent edition of Harper's. His debut collection certainly doesn't disappoint. The stories vary widely in subject and setting, navigating disparate worlds and histories with masterful ease. Quality is the uniting factor here--it's almost impossible to choose a favorite among the ten remarkable stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm so glad I read this debut story collection! I read "Eraser" in ONE STORY and knew that Stroud was a writer I wanted to keep an eye on. Every story in here is intricately crafted from the well-researched historical pieces set in the Byzantine empire or colonial Mexico to the contemporary stories set in Texas. Stroud asks, "After all, where does history exist, except in our imagination? Does that make it any less true?" I loved this quote, and I think it definitely applies to fiction as well. These stories will definitely live on in my memory as the real thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The variety of settings on display in these stories is remarkable, across time and geography. Stories well told that stick with the reader, unique voices of characters that seem like real humans beings and not just words on the page, this collection of short stories is great. I'm really glad I picked it up on a whim because I thought the title sounded cool.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I liked the flowing verbiage. The author wound me slowly into his tales with fanciful descriptions of strange lands and unique individuals...individuals with unique habits and desires. I felt as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole racing after a master story teller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
What a wonderful debut book and collection of stories. Each one so expertly crafted and immensely readable. Stroud manages the perfect balancing act of wit, drama, and comedy in his cleverly woven tales. My personal favorite was "Amy", but it's hard to pick among these gems.
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on March 21, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Stroud's writing is witty and intriguing in this collection of short stories. The characters he's written are charismatic through their struggles, and relatable in their reactions. Great stories dance along the line of reality and fiction and this collection is no exception. I often found myself pitying a character or questioning my morals on why I was rooting for them when they didn't deserve it. Whether it’s a young boy seeking acceptance from his stepfather, or a man who moves to Germany to escape his failing marriage, I got lost inside the worlds Stroud created. One of my favorite quotes is from the story "Amy." Stroud writes, "I somehow entered her existence and found a place in it -- the comfiest chair in the living room of her soul." Beautifully clever stories that will have you hooked from page one.
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on September 19, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
These award-winning stories are each a small delight: flawless, evocative, and rich in character and setting. Stroud joins a long line of decorated literary writers who succeed in creating a sense of place not only through masterful use of tone and landscape, but through visceral depictions of labor. So many of the narrators herein define themselves by their work. It is in their work, too, that their (often bizarre, but emotionally authentic) conflicts begin and spin outward into sometimes gritty, sometimes funny, always compelling narratives. A highly recommended collection by a young writer to watch!
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on January 22, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Excellent collection! The myriad characters keep the reader flipping page after page to find new adventure from East Texas to the unknown regions of the psyche.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is supposed to be about Byzantium and after the first story the remainder is about Texas.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Was told the book was wonderful! Not as happy as expected. Just not my "cup of tea". Was told about a town I was familiar with, but all fiction and I just could not get into it.
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