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On the Yankee Station: Stories (Vintage International) [Kindle Edition]

William Boyd
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Wiliam Boyd, winner of the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham Awards, introduces unlikely heroes desperate to redeem their unsatisfying lives.

From California poolsides to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, here is a world populated by weary souls who turn to fantasy as their sole escape from life's inequities. Stranded in an African hotel during a coup, an oafish Englishman impresses a young stewardess with stories of an enchanted life completely at odds with his sordid existence in "The Coup." In the title story, an arrogant, sadistic American pilot in Vietnam underestimaets the power of revenge when he relentlessly persecutes a member of his maintenance crew. With droll humor and rare compassion, Boyd's enthralling stories remind us of his stature as one of contemporary fiction's finest storytellers.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mr. Boyd seems singularly blessed with both an innate love of storytelling and the talent to render those stories in swift, confident prose."?Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Wiliam Boyd, winner of the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham Awards, introduces unlikely heroes desperate to redeem their unsatisfying lives.

From California poolsides to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, here is a world populated by weary souls who turn to fantasy as their sole escape from life's inequities. Stranded in an African hotel during a coup, an oafish Englishman impresses a young stewardess with stories of an enchanted life completely at odds with his sordid existence in "The Coup." In the title story, an arrogant, sadistic American pilot in Vietnam underestimaets the power of revenge when he relentlessly persecutes a member of his maintenance crew. With droll humor and rare compassion, Boyd's enthralling stories remind us of his stature as one of contemporary fiction's finest storytellers.

Product Details

  • File Size: 314 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage International ed edition (January 26, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IK8Q1I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is hard to become of age! October 20, 2001
Format:Hardcover
A collection of stories about initiation. Killing Lizards is a marvellous story about a young boy shifting from killing lizards, as phallic symbols, to blackmailing his mother to get the love he wants from her, especially since the blackmailing tool shows the father does not control the mother any more.
I also loved Hardly Ever, as a frustrated initiation to sex for a teenager. His initiation is purely superficial, unable that he is to go through it, in spite of a real possibility he goes to sleep on (he goes to sleep, with a girl, when that girl is ready for more), but it is always compensated verbally by some bragging about with his school pals.
Gifts is even stranger. The young student is unable to get through his initiation and has to satisfy himself with some gifts. Everyone of his conquests presents him with personal or confidential elements. His poverty, caused by some postal strike, makes this experience even funnier, funny-strange, because the poorer he gets, the more private gifts he receives.
Boyd is a strange writer about frustrated, and even twisted, initiation for teenagers. Fascinating how they can live on this frustration that becomes their everyday food, or even fodder, the brain being more or less negated.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous book of short stories April 5, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book was given to me by my college English professor. Even though it is out of print, it is worth finding and reading. The stories are short and reflect upon what emotions and feelings one goes through while growing up and going through this thing called life. I enjoy reading this book while around the pool and relaxing since the stories are short and not demanding of hard concentration. The reading is at a moderate level and the plots often provoke an assesment of the readers' own life and his reactions to situations. A very good book!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a short story March 25, 2008
Format:Paperback
On The Yankee Station by William Boyd is a series of short stories, the longest of which provides the title for the set. This particular story is a superb piece of short fiction, much more than a short story, confronting, in less than twenty-five pages, several big issues and, at the same time, drawing its characters in considerable, complex detail.

Set on an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War, it describes the antagonistic relationship between two crew members. Pfitz is a pilot, conscious of and grateful for his perceived and actual status, a status he does not hesitate to assert to his advantage. But this tendency is sometimes exercised to excess. It is as if he needs to feel the elevation of his status in order to bolster his own self image. In short, he is a bully. This characteristic begins to dominate his thoughts and actions when events conspires to question his own competence, his right to that nourishing status.

Lydecker is a member of Pfitz's ground crew. Suffice it to say that Lydecker is not at the intellectual end of the fighting machine. Neither does he hail from privilege. Quite the contrary, in fact. Lydecker, had he not joined the navy, would probably have grown into a complete bum, at best one step up from a down-and-out. Even in the armed forces he can only aspire to the most menial of tasks, but he is at least thorough and tries to keep his nose clean. But for Lydecker events conspire to heap suspicion on his competence, a suspicion constantly fuelled by a torrent of abuse and accusation that flows from Pfitz, the pilot it remains his responsibility to service.

Pfitz likes his job. That much is clear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulously Crafted Prose August 9, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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If heaven lies in the details, then William Boyd writes heavenly prose, most notably the title story, "On the Yankee Station." Not only does he capture much of the detail associated with life on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War but he also clearly understands what it meant to be a poor white man from Alabama at that time. "Empathy" is the word that springs to mind.

A truly memorable story. The other stories are not as good, but they are certainly worth reading.
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More About the Author

William Boyd is the author of ten novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year.

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