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A Field Guide to the North American Family Paperback – March 29, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Garth Risk Hallberg is the author of the novella A Field Guide to the North American Family and was selected by Richard Bausch as one of 2008′s “Best New American Voices.” His short stories have been published, most recently, in Glimmer Train, Canteen, and The Pinch. Essays have appeared in Slate, More Intelligent Life, and the Best of the Web anthology. A 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction, Garth teaches at Fordham University. He’s finishing up his first novel and a story collection.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher; First Edition edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935613243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935613244
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garth Risk Hallberg was born in Louisiana and grew up in North Carolina. His writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The New York Times, Best New American Voices 2008, and The Millions; a novella, A Field Guide to the North American Family, was published in 2007. He lives in New York with his wife and children.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The first thing I noticed as I made my way through Mr. Hallberg's finely crafted novella was how long I was lingering on each page, part of me wanting the present moment to never end, but knowing that many delights awaited me on the next page. And the one after that.

Each page presented another angle on the Hungate-Harrison story, a bit of the puzzle explored both with words and a thematically-linked photo. From one page-chapter to the next, the point of view would shift, the tone would adjust. You'll find yourself quietly taking it all in, marvelling at the language and the sheer inventiveness of the whole damn thing.
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Format: Hardcover
"63 entries, each comprising a chapter of text and a visual artist's response to the entry's title."

I was hooked on that alone. Then I sat down and read it. I'm about 3/4 done and have to say that this is unlike anything I've read before. In the video game industry there is a term call "replay value." After you're done with it would you play it again or is the fun gone after once through?

This book has much "reread value." Cool concept executed well.

Use the link for more info.
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1 Comment 6 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Honest and direct, Halberg's 'A Field Guide to the North American Family' taunts you from the shelf as another ironic humor book. The novella presents itself as an actual field guide, but instead of chronicling the biology of families as a species, it chronicles the emotions and events that take us from childhood to adulthood. The loose narrative can be read from cover to cover in alphabetical order, or at complete random, either way you'll be picking up the pieces of these shattered lives. All of the self-doubt felt on a daily basis, and through a lifetime, are on the table, with foot notes on how you got there. Guide words like "Phase" are cross-referenced with "Boredom", "Freedom" and "Sibling Rivalry", the stories attached to each entry offer another piece of the puzzle, another explanation as to why things happened the way they did. Essential for anyone who likes to feel bad about themselves, reminisce about times you felt empty, or wonder about where things went wrong.
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