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One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies Hardcover – September 20, 2007


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$19.17 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies + How We Are Hungry + A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's; First Edition edition (September 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193241682X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932416824
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
69%
4 star
0%
3 star
15%
2 star
15%
1 star
0%
See all 13 customer reviews
I award the box five stars for Unferth's book alone.
ATeacherFromFlorida
Brings up All types of feelings, and if you continue reading, sometimes, quickly switches them to another.
Anna
Deb Unferth, Dave Eggers and Sarah Manguso are just extremely entertaining.
Kendra Deganhardt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ellen L. on October 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This box of stories is such a treat! The stories in each of the three books might come from the same tradition and share some sensibilities (the precision of language, lovingly crafted sentences), but each has its own voice, style, and character. And that's part of the pleasure: each book is a discovery! Dave Eggers's collection, for example, is full of miniature portraits, the characters (some named, others nameless) caught in strange predicaments (a boy named Charles, who never has his picture taken; a woman named Puma, who has so many friends she must find a way to escape them). In Sarah Manguso's book, a narrator alternates between peculiar experiences of the adult life and the memories of childhood, each childhood vignette a perfect life lesson (an incident with a cruel science teacher, an encounter with a class bully), though the outcome of each is wonderfully unexpected. Deb Olin Unferth's stories are mysterious and surreal (objects disappear in foreign countries, a woman is transformed into a machine and has an affair), often hilarious ("Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: A bit of a brat, so they say. But his wife loved him."), but also recognizable and heartbreaking.

And of course, like all McSweeney's books, this set is exquisitely made. A real treasure!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Wycoff on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Unferth's Minor Robberies is a rare treat: at times metafictional, at times formally experimental, at times just plain wacky, these short-short stories delight without becoming glib. Standout stories include "Sickos" which features a "very vaguely, very religious" sex worker, "Give Them the Bag" a funny and strangely heart-breaking tale of sisters traveling together, and "Single Percent" a mathematical analysis of romantic commitment. Bring this lovely book with you everywhere so you can catch a story whenever you have a few minutes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader on November 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The three books in this set complement each other well. Although I enjoyed all three, Deb Olin Unferth's Minor Robberies stands out in this group. It is delightfully humorous, adventurous, and with a touch of mystery at times. Unferth's stories cover various topics from relationships, to families, to South American travel, to the lives of great composers and architects. Each story has its own life and ends up in a different place, sometimes an unexpected one. Her stories are accessible, I felt compelled several times to call my friends and read to them out loud. Unferth has a talent for changing an entire story around in one line, and sometimes changing it back with the next. All of the books in this set are carefully written, stylistically interesting and worth reading. I highly recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Walters on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
These stories are small, sharp, lovely, and giving. Read Deb Olin Unferth's "To Be Honest". Then read it again. And again. Each time it expands, contracts, twists into a tiny ball, then grows giant. This is an amazing trio of books in the prettiest of mcsweeney's packages. the perfect present (who isn't psyched for dave eggers in their stocking) if there are still any left. i bought 3.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ATeacherFromFlorida on July 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy the increasingly popular and demanding form of the short-short and flash and wish there were more collections like these. Deb Olin Unferth's "Minor Robberies" is, far and away, the strongest book of the bunch, and it's this collection I'm focusing on and awarding 5 stars. The other two have their merits, but having read Manguso and Egger's other work, I don't think the flash is their forte.

Deb Olin Unferth's pieces are strange, cubist, experimental, funny, frightening. Some of them aren't stories at all, but assemblages of mercurial thought. Others evince the clear influence of Diane Williams and Lydia Davis, among others, but that's not a bad thing. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, are the more narrative-oriented stories, such as The Container, Soap, Managing, and---my favorite---Juan the Cell Phone Salesman.

I award the box five stars for Unferth's book alone. It'll be a collection I return to every now and then in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vega Boralis on August 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Manguso's volume is a wonderful trip into another person's growing mind. By far, this is the best third of the boxed set. It is an enjoyable series of interesting details, characters, thoughts, and anecdotes, and I would definitely recommend it. This would get four stars on its own.
[...]

Egger's volume isn't bad, considering I don't even really like the shallow genre of flash fiction, anyway. The best part of his writing in this box set is his introduction, something that's not even contained in his volume of work. I don't really understand the fascination with Dave Eggers, but this work isn't bad. This would get two stars on its own.
[...]

Unferth's volume, quite frankly, is horrendous. I hope I never read anything worse. I was seriously depressed while reading this, and, since I didn't want to pick it up to suffer any further, the depression lasted far longer than it needed to. It is, thankfully, a very short volume of rubbish. Honestly, the whole boxed set would have a greater value if this book weren't in it. This would get zero stars on its own and brings the entire average down sharply.
[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenna on January 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book set. This is just lovely. I hope to give it to a close friend or a daughter someday.
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One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies
This item: One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies
Price: $25.00 $19.17
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