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Irreconcilable Differences Mass Market Paperback – April 3, 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061097330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061097331
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,465,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although this anthology contains 20 original short stories, most of which are very good, it's worth the asking price just for Joyce Carol Oates's entry, "Tusk." There, a teenage boy, whose home life is tormented, brings a knife to school; as the day passes, his anger builds toward a terrible climax. Other especially noteworthy tales come from Laurie King, Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller, Edna Buchanan, Jeffery Deaver, Jan Burke, Amanda Cross and Gillian Roberts. King's story of a paleta man, an ice cream vendor who walks the streets of a barrio neighborhood and knows the secrets of its inhabitants, is masterly. Burke, meanwhile, evokes the spirit of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels in her vibrant tale of murderous goings-on at a 19th-century stately home. Editors and readers who are tired of the current proliferation of memoirs may applaud "The Perfect Revenge" that occurs in Cross's story. Pronzini, an expert at concise but suspenseful stories, tells the riveting tale of a husband and wife who keep escalating their quarrels during a series of hot summer nights. On the lighter side, former trauma nurse Eileen Dreyer has some farcical "Fun with Forensics." Despite the title, no story here is a conventional tale of divorce or domestic argument. Instead, here are satisfyingly twisted plots based on the differences that can spark violence between spouses, neighbors, partners and even old friends. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A can't miss collection." -- -- Booklist

"Satisfyingly twisted plots based on the differences that can spark violence between spouses, neighbors, partners, and even old friends." -- -- Publishers Weekly

"The best stories here set you watching and wondering as their time-bomb killers tick down to zero. Now that's irreconcilable." -- -- Kirkus Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This short story collection centers on the impact of separations and divorce on the participants including extended family members. However, the twenty tales share a dark look at IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES as the audience is treated to situations that do not end as peacefully as our current legal system expects.
Lia Matera has put together a remarkable anthology that has several excellent stories, some very good tales, and no poor entry. The cross-genre contributors are a modern day who's who with such noted authors like Oates, Cross, Deaver, Lutz, Buchanan, and Muller, etc. None of the writers are lightweights as they all hold their own with the heavyweights. Anyone who enjoyed the Battle of the Roses will fully relish each tale that paints a very dismal look at broken relationships.
Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Deanna Northrup on January 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher's Weekly touted this collection of twenty mystery stories as "worth the asking price just for Joyce Carol Oates's entry: "Tusk."" How could an Oates fan resist? Well, I'm glad I didn't resist, for a score of reasons. "Tusk" was just the right, tasty appetitizer for this delicious banquet of can't-put-down-because-the-writng-is-so-good stories.
Did I know I would like mystery stories? No. I pretty much gave up mysteries when I put away Victoria Holt style gothic novels in favor of literary fiction, after being introduced to Joyce Carol Oates in my first college lit course. With the volume of literary fiction published every year, I have never had time to look back. (The prolific Oates alone could almost own my reading time). Now I lament what I have been missing.
Yes, Oates delivers her in-your-face interiority with the same phenomenal understanding of character that she always delivers, so no surprise there. The real reward came with the discovery of Jeffery Deaver and Edna Buchanan, (writers I have here-to-fore passed over with my nose in the air as genre writers), and the other no-less-impressive seventeen writers of whom I may or may not have heard.
The stories, though many involve murder, are as endearing as puppies, as charming as toddlers on a good day, and as satisfying as a hot fudge sundae. When not actually cheering on the killers, I was, at least, understanding them. Naturally, some of the protagonists seek less than deadly revenge. In "Fresh Paint" by Julie Smith, an artist paints a portrait on her passed-out ex-husband's butt, to prove who the real artist in the family is. In Judith Kelman's "Just Deserts," we begin to see, early on, that the characters, along with their plan for revenge, are deeply flawed.
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