Buy Used
$4.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by My Books Online
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for *FREE* Super Saver Shipping! Excellent customer service, qualifies for Amazon A to Z satisfaction. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Esther Stories Paperback – November 2, 2001


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
Paperback, November 2, 2001
$24.46 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Edition Unstated edition (November 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618128735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618128730
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Innovative, original and fresh as a breath of perfumed summer air, these 34 stories capture pure emotion so vividly they tremble with contained life. Orner, who was published in The Best American Short Stories 2001 and has received a Pushcart Prize, creates characters so real that readers sense they could not only recognize them on the street, but also see into their troubled hearts. The tales collected here cover a lot of geographical ground - one group is set in Fall River, Mass., others in Chicago, while some veer away as far as Nova Scotia and Mississippi - but Orner teaches us that people everywhere share the same sorrows and joys. "Cousin Tuck's" is a heartbreaking tale of two misfits, Tito and Nadine, who find each other again. "[S]ome nights he'd take her home. Most guys gave him no grief - hell, a warm body's a warm body. In Boston in February, there's guys who sleep with frozen squirrel corpses." In "Atlantic City," a nurse comes home at lunch to find her husband dead and can remember him only on the beach in Atlantic City years before, in an almost unbearably bittersweet reverie. In the even shorter "Shoe Story," which is reminiscent of the late Richard Brautigan, a man recalls a overheard long ago, which ended with a woman throwing a pair of shoes out of the window into the street just by his restaurant table. "[T]hose shoes were angels dispatched to rescue ourselves from our own grease-soaked and burbling-over hearts." This extraordinarily fine collection should establish Orner as a new star of American short fiction. Author tour. (Nov. 2).
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This affecting debut collection presents 34 stories, many no more than a page or two long, that span America. Though the physical territory covered is broad, the emotional probing of the characters is the high point here. The book is divided into four parts: the first two concern the lives of unrelated strangers; the last two present two assimilated Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest. In the title story, the narrator tries to form a picture of his dead Aunt Esther with fragments of anecdotes: "I study an old high school picture of Esther and find it difficult to believe that the portly, angry, hollow-eyed woman who lived in my grandparents' basement throughout the 1980s is this person who looks so much like Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: seductive, sweaty, a little nasty, a little pouty." Recommended for most libraries. Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 11 customer reviews
The economy and precision of these stories are rare and compelling.
David Marquette
Nikolay Gogol and Isaac Babel meet William Trevor and Andre Dubus in Peter Orner's superb debut collection of short fiction.
Jaime Reyes
This book is something you will not be able to put down until you've read every story at least once.
Liesl Shultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
After reading a story by Orner in the 2001 anthology of the Best American Short Stories, I instantly fell in love with his unique voice and sought out this collection, his first, I believe. I am a big fan of short fiction, and I have to say that Orner's work blew me away. The breadth and depth he brings to these gems is simply amazing. It's refreshing to see a young writer who doesn't resort to shock or gimmicks to keep the readers interest, but rather relies on character, wit, and language to keep us enthralled.
Orner has a profound sense of place. The characters in these stories often seem to be prisoners of not only their own desires, but of geography.
I am recommending this book to everyone I know and my book club next month is scheduled to read it (I will gladly re-read it!). If you're like me and you like to take credit for recognizing major new talents, you need to buy and read this book. Quite simply, it is excellent.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been reading Peter Orner's work in literary journals for years and am so happy to finally have it all collected in one volume. His stories are so quietly beautiful and devastating. The characters are alive, the prose is dead-on, the love of language apparent in every sentence. Orner's stories portray a very real world, flawed and heartbreaking, but joyous nonethless. These stories make me feel like people really are good underneath it all. I think Peter Orner is maybe my favorite contemporary short story writer. It might be a tough call between him and Stuart Dybek, but that comparison alone is the highest praise.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Liesl Shultz on December 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a testament to the great writing Peter Orner is capable of. In only a few pages, he allows his audience to find unique and incredibly strong connections with his characters, who are themselves unique. There are more than just short stories in this book; whole lives have been captured in minute scenes and laid out on the table for us. I imagine lifetimes are packed away between the covers of this book. Orner's voice grabs at his readers and pulls them into the lives of people that are more real than imagined. This book is something you will not be able to put down until you've read every story at least once. I highly recommend this strong first book and hope many more follow.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David Marquette on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
These 34 short American stories by Peter Orner will astonish you with their tender worldliness, quiet passion, understated wisdom, and luminous poetry. Were it not for the author's photograph and the biographical note, you might think you had at last discovered stories created during a 25- or 35-year career by a gifted writer you should have been reading for years, rather than the debut collection by an extravagantly gifted writer you will still be reading and rereading and urging on unsuspecting friends 30 or 40 years from now. The economy and precision of these stories are rare and compelling. They are dense with details (names, places, dates, smells, tastes), scattered with things, especially with love's debris, with books and photographs. The narrator of the title story looks at a photograph of his Aunt Esther, and sees someone who wants to be seen and not just looked at, "someone [he] would have loved had [he] been there." Orner does not just look at his characters, he sees them, sees their souls, lovingly re-imagines their stories and shares his revelations, his characters' simple, aching stories with us in language we can understand and remember. These are stories about love and remembrance in America, stories about remembering to love and remembering to remember. These are stories that will be taught in schools, next to stories by Poe and Hawthorne and Malamud and Roth to illustrate the art of short American stories. These are stories that will be shared by families who care about loving and remembering and about knowing each other's stories.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Davidson on January 8, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Agreeing with all of the previous reviewers as to the high quality of this collection of stories, I'll just add that rarely have I read a contemporary work so beautifully worded that it is truly a literary gem. Peter Orner has written an amazing book, and it is a must read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on December 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Esther Stories was a pleasantly unexpected find. Although I think this is an imminently impressive collection of short stories by a highly talented writer, I found myself much less "into" the stories in the second half of the book, than I'd been by the more eclectic tales that comprised the opening part. My favorite story here was "At The Motel Rainbow," which reminded me in a favorable way of vintage Joyce Carol Oates, circa "By The North Gate." However, I really wish Esther Stories had been two separate books, one an anthology of the stories that were set from Canada to the Midwest, the other being the Esther pieces proper. The stories in each section would easily have stood on their own, and truthfully the departure from them to theme was abrupt and confusing. But let me close this review by saying there wasn't a single bad story in this book and some rank as true masterpieces of the short fiction art form. A well-deserved best of luck to Peter Orner, from whom I have no doubt we'll be hearing more in the future!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?