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SILICON VALLEY DIET AND OTHER STORIES Paperback – April 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1888996234 ISBN-10: 1888996234 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888996234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888996234
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,540,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Funny, clever, tightly written...balances neurotic self-awareness with a genuine sense of empathy and humor." -- Joey Magazine, Fall 2000

"Funny, intelligently written and original...full of delicious nuggets...cool stories [that] capture snapshots of our culture" -- Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, May 28, 2000

"Grayson is shaking funny ingredients together like dice." -- Los Angeles Times

"Grayson's ninth collection of short stories achieves many goals, and he is clearly a master of the genre." -- Henry Grinberg, American Book Review, March-April 2001

"Humor as dry as the desert and an assortment of nerdy-but-likable Seinfeldian characters...will keep you turning the pages." -- Echo Magazine, August 17, 2000

"The writer's secret self makes his world entertaining and bizarre. The dialogue is consistently, even ingeniously funny." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Uses computer jargon to access the concerns of today's youth." -- Chicago Tribune, July 2, 2000

"Where avant-garde fiction goes when it turns into stand-up comedy." -- Rolling Stone

Compulsively talky and engagingly disjunctive...snapshots of gay men battling it out in an online world. Lighter and funnier... -- Publishers Weekly, May 15, 2000

Grayson's characters here run the gamut of gay male life...Readers will enjoy his latest contribution to our literature. -- Jesse Monteagudo's Book Nook, Gay Today

About the Author

Richard Grayson is the author of nine books of fiction. A lawyer, computer education consultant, nutritionist, and college professor, he has published articles in The New York Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Miami Herald, and People. He wrote this book with an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Florida Arts Council.

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Customer Reviews

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The dozen or so stories in this book add up to more than just their sum.
Artie Chavez
One technique, that seemed to have named the book, involved a diet plan that the narrator was concocting,and amazingly enough, worked quite well.
Kristen Oye
I like the way the author has a sense of humor about his (or his characters) relationships.
Nancy LeMere

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fletcher Yee on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although some of the stories are kind of experimental and use techniques I think they don't really need, I think this is a wonderful collection of stories about gay relationships and cultural identity. Grayson's couples are usually interracial or intercultural -- black/white, white/Asian, Asian/Hispanic, Jewish/Indian, punk/cowboy -- and their conflicts are played for witty comedy and clever dialogue. There's also a very poignant strain in memories of experiences of loss, including those friends who've died of AIDS. The author seems to be trying to use gay relationships as a way of dealing with our current obsessions: the Internet, wealth, ethnic identity, and pop culture -- not to mention dieting (a lot about food in this book, including ethnic stuff). The best story is "Boys Club," a hilarious look at the gay punk subculture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Zuccarelli on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
The conversations between the characters here range from hilarious to absurd. Lovers, ex-lovers and friends all seem extremely sharp, knowing and a bit too smart for their own goods. A lot of the characters here seem isolated from the gay mainstream and while the critique of gay life is low-key, it's also pointed. Some of the reveries about friends and acquaintances who've died of AIDS verge on the sentimental. What I like most is how Grayson ties together all kinds of things you ordinarily wouldn't expect, just as his unlikely lovers manage to stay together, at least temporarily. I'm surprised the tone of the book remained consistent throughout the stories, and I wonder how many of them are autobiographical (I bet a lot!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Artie Chavez on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
The dozen or so stories in this book add up to more than just their sum. It's a look at American society, not just gay culture, but also the technological changes and how they effect people. The author seems to understand how computers have both made some aspects of life easier -- i.e., gay teens can meet others online, the web can help you find people (lovers) you lost touch with == and some things just more wierd and confushing. Plus the characters comment in a witty way and there aren't any stereotypes of people, only individual characters who seem real.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Gay readers will enjoy the tender, jokey and affectionately messed-up relationships in these stories. Not much plot here, more slices of life dealing with stuff like gay cowboys in Wyoming post-Matthew Sheppard, dot-com geniuses searching for romance as well as big money, gay immigrants struggling to deal with the freedom America gives them, and a terrific series of stories about an interracial couple who keep breaking up in hilarious (and ridiculous) arguments about TV shows, politics, and Catholic dogma (a fight about what the Immaculate Conception is leads them to a wrestling match and a bondage scene). Here's the narrator of the title story in a typical commentary on hunting for love: "I'd long ago given up going to slaughterhouses and trying to approach aspiring Abercrombie & Fitch catalog models emitting radiation from isotopes of unobtanium. After enough 'access denied' messages, you don't want to do anything but log off." Berserk but true.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book won't appeal to people who like stories that have beginnings, middles and ends, more or less in that order. At first the author's narrative techniques are hard to get used to, but it's worth it in the end because he always seems to tie up the details of seemingly unrelated threads in the story. Some of the stories are more like prose poems, using sections with the titles of Web browser screen commands, different kinds of legal actions, recipes for cooking Spanish potatoes or titles of terrible 1970s songs like "Billy don't Be A Hero" & "The Night Chicago Died." The book is oddly effective when it goes into memories of the characters and their experiences. The best story is "Mysteries of Ranch Management," which isn't as good as Annie Proulx's tales of gay Wyoming cowboys but which has more humor and a lot of facts about something called leafy splurge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "boi_wunder26" on June 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
The author's weird sense of humor and roundabout way of tellinga story, with lots of asides and non sequiturs, reminded me of DaveEggers or David Forster Wallace. The characters here have no boring coming-out problems (except maybe the cowboy in Wyoming, but who can blame him) or typical gay situations. You get the feeling they care more about witty conversation than sex, but the humor doesn't seem very gay. It's kind of a bizarre take on gay relationships, often online ones, and the book drags in spots. But then you get these incredible riffs that really sparkle, particularly in the title story. "The Silicon Valley Diet" knocked me out when I first read it ... and it holds up great on the second reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francis An on January 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
OK, so Grayson isn't David Foster Wallace, David Sedaris or Dave Eggers, but he's a minor league version of all three of those incredible writers, and his rambling, funny, self-conscious stories about gay relationships -- particularly between guys of different races & ethnicities -- are worth your time. Grayson seems to enjoy describing the endless ways people can be nice to each other. What conflict there is in the book is usually internal and external conflicts are resolved with humor and kindness. If you're looking for plot or traditional fiction, you'll hate this book. But if you like digressions, riffs on contemporary culture and the Internet, and puns, you'll enjoy "The Silicon Valley Diet."
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