Buy New
$11.67
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.00
  • Save: $1.33 (10%)
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.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Relative Stranger: Stories (Norton Paperback) Paperback – September 17, 2001


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.67
$3.60 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

A Relative Stranger: Stories (Norton Paperback) + Believers: A Novella and Stories
Price for both: $26.07

Buy the selected items together
  • Believers: A Novella and Stories $14.40

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Series: Norton Paperback
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322200
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Most of the protagonists in these 13 wonderfully varied, often funny stories set by Baxter ( Harmony of the World ) in Michigan are complex men reaching for answers that elude them. On the other hand their women, anchored in a simple and peaceful pragmatism, more wisely accept their mates' odd hungers and lunatic streaks. Stephen in "Lake Stephen" feels dissatisfied with Jan, his lover--she always seems to know in advance what he will do and say. When he importunes her to throw caution to the wind for once, she complies, but less than innocently: "Unless she broke the rules now," Jan realizes, "he would not follow the rules later." In "Westland" Warren turns in a teenage runaway and, as a result, is drawn with his family into the lives of strangers, much as Cooper in "Shelter" terrifies his wife and child with his quixotic gesture of inviting derelicts into their home. In Baxter's best and final story, "Saul and Patsy Are Pregnant," the characters from preceding stories come together, and their collective longing is resolved. Saul learns what the women have always known: happiness, if such a thing can exist, is love.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Everything old becomes new again in this collection of 13 short stories. Set in Michigan, Baxter's stories explore the various manifestations of love in human relationships: love that is lost, found, unrequited, and rediscovered; love in youth, middle, and old age. Whether we are reading about a social worker's chance encounter with a troubled teenager at the zoo, a happily married man's obsession with the secrets of the universe, a baker's attempt to assuage his guilt about the homeless, or a young Swede's disorienting introduction to Detroit, there is an element of familiarity in the tales. The author has written subtly but masterfully about the nuances of personal interaction in this insightful collection. Although his stories revolve around ordinary people and circumstances, the perspective is fresh and interesting. Through his character development, Baxter manages to give form to the doubts and fears we all share. --Kimberly G. Allen, National Assn. of Home Builders Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 8 customer reviews
Baxter's point, unfortunately, is pretty much the same in every tale.
Mark Eremite
It's one of the best stories I've read this decade, and a number of others in this collection rival it as well.
Eric Ziegenhagen
There are a variety of structural elements and the stories are interesting.
S. Foster Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many of these brilliant, thoughtful stories are about people at unexpected moments of boiling over. Something is wrong in these characters' lives--a minister anchored in security who desperately needs his own sermon on fear; an adult ed. teacher questioning what he believes and teaches--their emotional well-being, as a whole, may not be in peril, but something is. And Baxter has the grace and patience to take us about as far as one could go into small yet poignant circumstances of recognizable characters. Baxter's prose is lilting yet potent: "He was ball-and-chained to his emotions. On some days the obsession weighed him down so heavily that he could not get out of bed to go to work without groaning and reaching for his hair, as if to drag himself up bodily for the working day." This passage from "Saul and Patsy are Pregnant" illustrates Baxter's gift for confusing the comic and tragic--should these be opposites, one thinks--after reading this stunning collection.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Ziegenhagen on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
My favorite story in this solid collection is "The Disappeared" -- a Swedish engineer comes to Detroit on business and tries to make sense of the world he finds himself in. It's one of the best stories I've read this decade, and a number of others in this collection rival it as well. (I liked this collection more than "Believers" and "Harmony of the World" -- but his essay collection Burning Down the House is great, too.) Baxter's not a flashy writer, but he's never simple -- more Edward Hopper than Norman Rockwell. Sample one story and you'll probably find the collection worth buying. These stories should last.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Why aren't more people reading Baxter? These wonderful stories are so moving they hold weight against writers like Cheever and Englander. Each is exquisitely wrought and powerful. A true master of craft...and (finally) suspense!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Eremite VINE VOICE on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think it was Raymond Carver who was touted as being one of the writers responsible for "reviving" the lost art of the short story. Carver was an astonishing writer, an author capable of throwing his two cents in but making them look like one. He joins, for my money, writers like O'Connor and Ford (among others), authors with a taste for grit, putting out the kind of deceptively simple stuff that sometimes doesn't really punch you until after you've shelved the book and are thinking about something completely unreleated. "Dirty realism," I believe the critics called it, minimalism's orphaned brother. (Bukowski would perfect it before scrubbing it dry.) Where does Baxter fit in here, though?

He's a hopeful. This collection contains stories often so whithered of meaning, that they rely on nothing more than the reader to give them any kind of serious impact. I'm not going to go into the solipsism and deconstruction that might make these little literary bon mots interesting or clever; sure enough, there's a potency in Baxter's prose, a certain definable direction. Instead of letting the landmarks of his landscape point us onward, though, Baxter usually pounds some pretty large, reflective signposts into place.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?