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A Night at the Movies, or, You Must Remember This Paperback – December 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 3rd edition (December 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564781607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564781604
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The interlocking stories in this collection by the author of Gerald's Party follow the program of an old-style afternoon at the movies, with an adventure, a comedy, a musical and shorts. PW found that "although too many of his imaginings are sophomoric and vulgar, a good deal of this book is as thrilling as a striking dream."
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Coover here presents a series of short, connecting fictions associated with the cinema. Thus, we are given contrivances titled "Adventure," "Comedy," and "Romance," but they violate our expectations of these time-honored forms: "Shootout at Gentry's Junction" is a typical Western, but the good guys lose; in "Charlie in the House of Rue," a sort of funhouse, the tricks turn nasty, even murderous; and the romance in "You Must Remember This" sours into sordid adultery. These longer fictions are framed by shorter ones carrying out the cinematic conceit: there are previews, shorts, cartoons, even an intermission. Coover's style is viciously witty, so that one must finally ask "What's the point?" A brilliant but empty tour de force, though librarians should still consider this new work by the author of the well-received Gerard's Party ( LJ 2/1/86).Susan Avallone, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Robert Coover has published fourteen novels, three short story collections, and a collection of plays since The Origin of the Brunists received the The William Faulkner Foundation First Novel Award in 1966. At Brown University, where he has taught for over thirty years, he established the International Writers Project, a program that provides an annual fellowship and safe haven to endangered international writers who face harassment, imprisonment, and suppression of their work in their home countries. In 1990-91, he launched the world's first hypertext fiction workshop, was one of the founders in 1999 of the Electronic Literature Organization, and in 2002 created CaveWriting, the first writing workshop in immersive virtual reality.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
A Night at the Movies by Robert Coover takes a look at film of the twentieth century in a way that makes you feel like you're in the front row enjoying every scene. Coover's breakdown of the different film genres is great. He gives us all a little taste of everything in the first chapter and then gets more focused on particular genres in later chapters. One of the overall strengths in the book is the transition from one genre to the next. In the beginning of the book where Coover is moving rapidly through different genres he still manages to tie in an interesting story. An over all weakness of the text is the very short sections between the others. These stories are very short and kind of slow. After reading them I wondered why they are even in the book. Coovers text provides a smooth transition from one film genre to the next. He does a good job of accomplishing what he set out to do. Which is explore the different types of films of our time. Coover's A Night at the Movies is worth while reading for anyone who is interested in film and wants to examine a wide range of film genres.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES by Robert Coover is a bunch of short stories within a story, these stories are based on movie sterotypes. This story is based on sex and violence which increase within the story. This story shows the purpose of the increase in sex and violence within society from the 40's to the present. Coover strength in most cases is how he uses various movie sterotypes to display the ending that is not your typical ending. A western movie would overall include the "good guy" winning, however its not in this case. Overall A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES by Robert Coover is a good read that display the way in which modern society has changed its openness and view on sex and violence and how people typically think a certain movie will end. This book is designed for a more mature audiance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
A Night at the Movies is a well structured view of movie scenes fanagled together to represent a post-modernistic production. What is most interesting about Coover's book is how he incoporated all the "movie" scenes together to create a certain affect, and yet you have to remember you're just reading a book! One of Coover's overall strengths is the way in which he lays out a scene for you that is not quite verbatim (or an exact replica of) the an actual movie or sitcom, yet you can make rather accurate assumptions as to the movie or scene he may be portraying. One example of this is one of my favorite scenes with the mischievious children which reminds me of the famous Little Rascals. Although the book is very outstanding in the way it is written, A Night at the Movies can still be quite overwhelming. However, Coover is very effective in writing short stories and holding them together by movie scenes and titles, as well as the different segments within the book (previews, movie, intermission, etc.), along with addressing questions of identity rather than answering them - leaving that up to the reader. A Night at the Movies is a wonderful work for a more mature audience with a touch of movie suspense that is very effectively written, high above its class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
"A Night At The Movies by Robert Coover ia a collection of short narratives that provide a satirical glimpse of this centuries film genres and extends them beyond traditional arcs to cross genres and dissolve boundaries between them. The most interesting aspect of Coover's text is by combining so many film types such as Westerns, adventure, horror and romance, and extending their stereotypical plots, he is providing commentary on the new age of film and how their boundaries are muted and not typical of the films of old. One of the basic strengths of this text is that while reading the text one may feel lost in one part of the text but is suddenly found again when something familiar is presented. There is not a chance that at least one film type is not recognizable to a reader. Coover explores these various types very well, his additions to the plots and cross imposing of characters provide a interesting satirical insight on the current film industry reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit. This is an overall good book for it's own purposes which is to spotlight the distinction between current and older film genres as well as to satirically mix and mingle the boundaries between them. I would recommend this book for all film lovers.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
"A Night at the Movies" by Robert Coover is a book partitioned into chapters each representing different film genre with sex and violence being the most dominant. One of the overall strength in Coover's text is that it is as close to reality as it is to fiction. That is considering the ideas and not necessarily the stories. For example, he explicitly describes sexual encounters which represents the unconscious thought of human beings. Coover makes a lot of references to multiple specific movie titles which a number of readers may not have seen or even heard of; however, his main intention is the general genres. The structure of the plot of this text is hetrogeneous with no clear cut shifting points. He takes the reader flying, sailing, riding, walking.. in a short moment. This can leave the reader confused and feeling a sense of ambiguity. However, Coover does a good job in recapturing the reader's attention. Especially when he reminds the reader between now and then that he/she doesn't belong in the story. He/she is only watching or reading the events. The reader is an outsider looking in. Coover plays with the elements of fiction very well to make this book a great piece of postmodernism.
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