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Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever: Stories Paperback – February 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"Finding myself". Barely two pages long it is hinted at on the cover of the paperback edition with a blurb from Padgett Powell. Perhaps the blurb is a debt paid to some connection of Powell's in the publishing industry?
Do we really need more stories about people smoking pot,directionless teens during boring summer vacations and dysfunction in the male dynamic of suburban Jewish families? If so they need to have more impact and insight to be worth the cover price.
Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever definitely upheld the buffet notion for me. Justin Taylor is a young writer with tremendous, tremendous promise. There are some absolutely fantastic stories in this collection, which features mostly twenty-somethings as main characters. As you might imagine, some of the stories touch on disillusionment, dysfunction and a general lack of motivation, but many of these stories are beautifully written. Some of my favorites include Tennessee, a story of family dysfunction and the need for belonging; The New Life, in which a teenager turns to the supernatural to try and keep his crush from slipping away; What Was Once All Yours, which combines religion and typical high school behavior with fantastic results; and In My Heart I Am Already Gone, in which a fairly rudderless guy is offered money from his uncle to kill their sick cat. I like that Taylor isn't afraid to draw his characters as complex, flawed individuals. Not all of Taylor's stories work; I am not a fan of really experimental fiction and a few of the stories follow that vein, but many stories are very brief, so it isn't too much of a challenge to muddle through.
If you enjoy short stories, I'd definitely recommend this collection. And I look forward to seeing what Justin Taylor accomplishes as his career progresses!
Stylistically, Taylor is excellent. The words just seem to flow off the page. This book reminded me a bit of Chuck Palahniuk's writing. The people within are inherently flawed, I don't really care much for the characters, but I still want to know what happens because the words weave a spell.
My favorite story within Everything Here is The Best Thing Ever was Jewels Flashing in the Night of Time which basically involves this guy playing Tetris during the apocalypse. Tetris plus world-ending gets a giant thumbs up from me.
Aside from that, not much for me to say, as this was such a slim book without an overarching plot, or main characters. Just short stories, and if that's what you like, then I say, pick this book up.
"It was so thorough, almost as if he were trying to say that if he could no longer work in an office then by God he would keep such a spotless and ordered home that the family would come to see how his lost job had been a good fortune in disguise." - pg. 47
Story of my life. I currently work one day per week as I'm waiting to hear back about being approved to sub, and my current job doesn't have the budget to give me more hours. Therefore, I clean and read all day. Seriously.
"She is a magic trick and I am either the magician or the crowd" - pg. 155
Sparse, beautiful, me likey.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Justin Taylor's debut collection of stories seems to be guided by some universal list of all things hipster and disaffected. Read morePublished on October 27, 2010 by Bri
I am not a quitter, therefore, finished this book though somewhere around Chapter 4 became highly uninterested in the material. Read morePublished on October 25, 2010 by Frances...
This collection of shorts from an incredibly talented twenty-seven year old shows so much promise that it almost carries you over the spots where you can't help but notice yourself... Read morePublished on September 17, 2010 by Jeff Talbott
Justin Taylor's collection of short stories is a vivid debut for the young New York based writer and editor. Read morePublished on April 29, 2010 by Kevin Killian
This collection of stories is not uplifting. It is not a "feel good" book. But it is very, very well-written. Read morePublished on March 25, 2010 by Michelle Erin
of impeccable writing and charmingly earnest characters. These stories are incredibly well-crafted and easy to love -- in fact, impossible not to love. Read morePublished on March 22, 2010 by Danielle Tcholakian
An uneven collection which nonetheless demonstrates good deal of latent talent. Actually, one can discern a good ear for detail, irony and dark humor that will serve this author... Read morePublished on March 18, 2010 by Cary B. Barad