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Lust and Other Stories Paperback – August 8, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Contemporaries ed edition (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375709258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375709258
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After Minot's promising debut with Monkeys , the short stories in this slender collection are disappointingly one-dimensional. In their unrevelatory and quickly monotonous exploration of the limited perspectives of passive young women yearning hopelessly for love and commitment from recalcitrant men, it is always women who love too much and self-sufficient men who act like heels. In the title story, an easy teenaged girl struggling to be "cool" discovers dully that boys flourish on sleeping around, but for a girl, "with each boy it's as though a petal gets plucked." In other stories, great chasms of non-communication between supposed intimates are veiled by social chitchat as young women search anxiously for signs of their impending fall from favor. Time and again bruised women who have resolved to inure themselves to love succumb once more to its Circean beguilements. These hapless heroines observe their surroundings with a gimlet clarity distilled in Minot's pellucid prose, but their vision mirrors surfaces rather than revealing insight. Although cleanly crafted, immediate and endowed with lifelike dialogue, these stories are opaque shards of experience, unyielding, depressive and even trite.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Minot follows up her heralded first novel, Monkeys ( LJ 4/15/86), with a searing exploration of male-female relationships. Although the title of her most recent effort suggests a steamy sensuality, the tone is more one of sexual license. In "The Man Who Would Not Go Away," the protagonist laments that though "the first feeling of love is always serene and happy . . . I kept it to myself, knowing it was not what the man was after, knowing that it was in fact what he was running quickly from." Men remain emotionally distant and unwilling to commit throughout these 12 short stories, while women attempt to hold back. Alas, love insinuates itself and the man disappears. Minot's writing is sparse and poetic, painfully close to the surface. Her stories are insightful and worldly wise, cynical about love but unable to escape its lure.
- Kimberly G. Allen, National Housing Ctr. Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Clark B. Timmins on January 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I preface my review by noting that I am a guy. So if you totally disagree with my point of view, then you can conclude I just don't get it. Fair enough, because I just don't get it.

I'd heard so much buzz about this collection that I picked up a copy and gave it a couple reads. It's short enough to read several times. The collection includes three sections, each section has four stories. Each story averages seven smallish pages. So the stories are definitely minimal. I would consider roughly 10 of the 12 to be sketches or vignettes rather than short short-stories. There is no plot, no sense of place, no characterization, and no character development in most of the pieces.

Eleven of the stories focus primarily or exclusively on female characters, one of the stories has a significant but unexceptional and largely uninteresting male character. The typical character is female, twenty-seven, works as a writer, has been through one or more bad relationships, and is in another bad relationship and feeling bad about it. However many of the characters are just "the woman" with no other substantial details given.

The central premise of most of the stories is that men (unemotional, detached, and always looking for the next sex partner) benefit greatly from numerous sexual relationships; women (emotional, inescapably drawn to obviously emotionally distant men, and always trying to build a permanent relationship) suffer from the same relationships. If that meshes with your world view then you'll probably like this collection.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Lauren P. O'Neill on October 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I usually purchase collections of short stories, its with the intention that the book will be a series of easy reading to spread out over a long period of time. However, the first time I opened Lust, I was hooked. The first story was so real, I felt like I was telling it myself of listening to a good friend. It articulates the young 20's culture of today perfectly--why we use sex, drugs, alcohol, friends, family in the way that only this generation does. I've loaned this book to every one of my friends, and strongly encourage every young woman to read it and enjoy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By LucyHarmon on July 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
After reading this (and this feeling followed suit after reading each of her books) I wanted to simultaneously call the author every female-related curse word I could muster and crawl into her lap and just bawl. What I actually did was throw the book at the wall.
This is a collection of short stories / snippets that as one reviewer (professional, I believe) put it, "small moments that yield larger truths". Each piece will stir something within you, whether you've been there or not. Its so blatantly human and yet its difficult to believe that someone else can feel something only you thought yourself capable of. Emotion runs high. Understatement of the year.
She's so poetic yet so devastatingly honest you can't help but love it. I mean, who wants to be depressed? Yes. Its THAT good.
If you purchase this book and fall head over heels in love with it, read all of her other books. You will not be disappointed. What will disappoint you is that she cannot seem to crank out these little gems fast enough.
Also, as a bit of trivia and perhaps interesting tidbit, she wrote the screenplay for the film Stealing Beauty. I loved the film because you may have a wonderful imagination but its amazing to see a film that so captures all the emotion with which she writes.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By delovelyest on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
i first read the title story in this collection during high school. it was included in some kind of short fiction anthology used for an english class, but this particular selection was not assigned by our teacher. regardless, and intrigued by the title, i delved in one night. i have never made a better literary decision. the author's phrasing is sparse and careful, and it stays with you. i could not shake my mental images of the story after walking away from the book, and certain elements resonated even though i had not yet gained enough life experience to fully understand them. such is the power of susan minot's pen.
i purchased the entire collection at city lights bookstore in san francisco some months later, and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the selections. "lust" is definitely the cornerstone, written in a more illustrative and almost instructive manner than the other pieces, but there is grace and gravity to each tale. "sparks" and "blow" are continual favorites, not only of mine, but of all my friends who have read the book. many times, i have reread a story and gained an entirely different perspective on its meaning. there is enough space left in the writing to allow the reader to superimpose him/herself in the situation (often featuring much less action than dialogue), and of course that reader's perspective will change over time. the beauty of "lust & other stories" is that it travels well. the stories stay with you. it is a unique piece, perhaps impossible to top, and the author seems to understand this, having returned to writing novels since the release of this collection.
i also find the cover art on my copy to be very unique and interesting.
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More About the Author

Susan Minot is an award-winning novelist and short story writer whose books include Monkeys, Folly, Lust & Other Stories, and Evening, which was adapted into the feature film of the same name starring Meryl Streep. Minot was born in Boston and raised in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, attended Brown University, and received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. She currently lives with her daughter in both New York City and an island off the coast of Maine.

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