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Chroma (Barthelme, Frederick) Paperback – May 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: Barthelme, Frederick
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (May 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802134610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802134615
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,554,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Most of these 15 short stories tell of middle-class people living ordinary lives. They suffer from such minor ailments as insomnia or contact lens problems. Their eccentricities are minuscule, their affairs half-hearted. They live in similar homes with tiny yards or stay in motels. Spare time is for watching TV or driving to the mall. In one of the most animated and appealing stories, "Driver," a TV show about automobiles so affects the protagonist that he first weeps, then trades in the family car for a customized Lincoln and drivesto the mall. Barthelme (Moon Deluxe writes about people who barely skim the surfaces of their emotions. Individually the stories are well written and interesting. As a collection, there is a numbing sameness in the characters' flat emotional responses, making it seem that they could be moved into each other's stories as easily as their portable barbecues could be moved into their neighbors' yards.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Beneath the coy surface minimalism of Barthelme's stories lies a carefully observed world, the realm of the upwardly mobile but spiritually disadvantaged. "Meaning must be found in the self," complains a vaguely dissatisfied wife, "only I looked there already." But suburban discontents are pretty easily assuaged. In the title story the answer is "organized infidelity"; in "Driver," the middle-class narrator buys a gaudy lowrider car. It's only when Barthelme moves beyond these comfortable crises (as in the striking "Architecture," about an incestuous affair) that we sense he's making the very most of his considerable skills. For any collection where short stories are read. Barthelme's most recent work is Tracer ( LJ 8/85). Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Frederick Barthelme was a founding member, with Mayo Thompson, of the ongoing art/psychedelic rock band Red Krayola, and a painter and conceptual artist in Houston and New York in the late 1960s. His work in that area appears in many of the seminal publications of the movement including Lucy Lippard's The Dematerialization of the Art Object, Donald Karshan's exhibition catalog Conceptual Art and Conceptual Aspects, several of Seth Siegelaub's projects, and other books and monographs on the movement. In the mid-seventies he studied fiction with John Barth at The Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, from which he received his Master of Arts degree. From 1977-2010 he taught fiction writing and directed the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. He won numerous awards including individual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and diverse grants and awards as editor of Mississippi Review, the literary magazine he edited in print 1977-2010, and for the independent electronic magazine Mississippi Review Online which he founded and edited 1995-2010. He is author of sixteen books of fiction and nonfiction including Moon Deluxe, Second Marriage, Tracer, Two Against One, Natural Selection, The Brothers, Painted Desert, Bob the Gambler, Elroy Nights, and Waveland. He provided texts for Susan Lipper's 1999 book of photographs, Trip, and is an occasional contributor to The New Yorker. He has published fiction and nonfiction in GQ, Fiction, Kansas Quarterly, Epoch, Ploughshares, Playboy, Esquire, TriQuarterly, North American Review, The New York Times, Frank, The Southern Review, the Boston Globe Magazine, and elsewhere. His work has been translated into nine languages. His memoir, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss, was co-authored with his brother Steven, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The same honor was awarded his retrospective collection of stories, The Law of Averages, published by Counterpoint in November 2000. His novel Elroy Nights, published in October 2003 by Counterpoint, was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was one of five finalists for the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2009 he published Waveland, a novel set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast a year after Katrina. In 2010 he won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and is presently editor and publisher of the online literary publication Blip Magazine and is at work on new writing projects including a new novel for Little, Brown.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Moon Deluxe" has the sexier title, but Frederick Barthelme's second collection cuts just as deeply and then some. The characters are people who are trying their best to do the decent thing, but can't quite shake the urge to do the wild and crazy thing. Romance collides with love, safety breeds ennui, material comforts and cultivated irony fend off, but can't cure, yearning and restlessness. Heartbreak is the frequent result. Tight and subtle as the stories are, Barthelme's prose style is often dazzling and virtuosic in a way which should make any reader think twice about calling them "minimalist." Some of the shorter numbers ("Trick Scenery," "Cut Glass") have the lyricism and condensed energy of poetry. But don't let me spoil it for you. Go out and read it yourself.
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