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Selected Stories [Kindle Edition]

Andre Dubus
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dubus’s selected works—now available as an ebook

Twenty-three of the best stories by one of America’s finest practitioners of short fiction
John Updike once said of his friend and fellow writer Andre Dubus: “[He] is a shrewd student of people who come to accept pain as a fair price for pleasure, and to view right and wrong as a matter of degree.” Dubus’s characters are depicted in all their imperfection, but with the author’s requisite tenderness and compassion. After all, they are human just as we are human, and their fates not so unlike our own.
The short stories and novellas compiled here represent the best work of one of our most accomplished and acutely sensitive authors, and make up an anthology unmatched in its collective portrayal of the human condition.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Andre Dubus including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dubus, known as one of our most accomplished storytellers, has in his own life recently experienced some of the terrible things that customarily happen in his fiction (last year a car accident cost him a leg). In this fine collection of 23 stories, an iron-pumping hothead terrorizes and rapes his ex-wife; ("The Pretty Girl"); a sadistic Marine sergeant destroys a green recruit; ("Cadence"); a drunken youth kicks his girlfriend to death and leaves her body in the snow. ("Townies"). "New Hampshire is also a redneck state," observes one character. Yet the disorderly lives of these small-town or suburban denizens are rendered in a calm, richly textured, minutely detailed style. Dubus gets under the skin of a 19-year-old baseball pitcher whose wife ditches him for her dentist, a waitress emotionally scarred by her husband's death in Korea, an obese woman who rationalizes her secret gorging on sweets, a divorcing disc jockey coming to terms with his misogyny. Many of these tales are set in his favorite fictional territory northwest of Boston, yet an equal number span the map from Virginia to Texas to California. With unflinching candor Dubus explores the uneasy accommodations of marriage and adultery, the self-deceptions of middle age and the terrors of childhood.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

What John Cheever did for upper-middle-class suburbs the equally talented Dubus does for the blue-collar manufacturing towns of Massachusetts. The most compelling of these finely crafted stories depicts the inhabitants of fading communities struggling to maintain stability as factories close and customary ways disappear. They don't often succeed. "Townies" juxtaposes the ideal of a posh women's college with harsh local realities. A young couple in "Anna" robs a drugstore to achieve a pathetic parody of material success. Characters commit violence for love or revenge without hope of redemption. Often graphic, never unbelievable, the tales are dense with the dark side of the American dream. Recommended. See below for review of a work by Dubus's son. Ed. Starr E. Smith, Georgetown Univ. Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1115 KB
  • Print Length: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049U539K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real pleasure to read October 13, 2000
Dubus sets his tales along the Massachussets/New Hampshire border and seems to have turned it into his own Yoknapatawpha County. But what is really distinctive is the spiritual territory that he has carved out with these stories of decent men trying to be true to Catholic beliefs in the face of difficult circumstances. The men at the center of the stories are entrepreneurs, as opposed to professionals or workmen. They are brawny brawling types, fond of beer and cigarettes and women, love their wives (even ex-wives) and children deeply and they are immersed in the rituals of Catholicism. Here is the father of A Father's Story:
I go to bed early and sleep well and wake at four forty-five, for an hour of silence. I never want to get out of bed then, and every morning I know I can sleep for another four hours, and still not fail at any of my duties. But I get up, so have come to believe my life can be seen in miniature in that struggle in the dark of morning. While making the bed and boiling water for coffee, I talk to God: I offer Him my day, every act of my body and spirit, my thoughts and moods, as a prayer of thanksgiving, and for Gloria and my children and my friends and two women I made love with after Gloria left. This morning offertory is a habit from my boyhood in a Catholic school; or then it was a habit, but as I kept it and grew older it became a ritual. Then I say the Lord's Prayer, trying not to recite it, and one morning it occurred to me that a prayer, whether recited or said with concentration, is always an act of faith.
Most of the characters in the stories are similar--while recognizing their own limitations, they are making the effort to be good Christians, or, at the least, good people.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How I discovered Andre Dubus March 6, 2002
I was 17 and a senior in high school when I came across an article in the paper about a series of benefit readings that were being held to raise money to pay for the medical bills for Andre Dubus. I called a number and got a schedule, and then agonized over which Saturday reading I would attend - should I go to hear Kurt Vonnegut and E.L. Doctorow or John Irving and Stephen King? I ended up choosing the latter (mainly because I had a crush on John Irving!)
In the weeks leading up to the reading, I thought it might be a good idea to find out more about this Andre Dubus, so I went to the bookstore and bought Adultery and Other Choices. I was astonished. I immediately borrowed every Andre Dubus book that was available at the library and devoured every word. I'm a New Englander and was raised in the Catholic church, and I related to Mr. Dubus' stories.
At the reading that Saturday, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Dubus. He was in a hospital bed, and was obviously still suffering from the accident, but he was smiling and seemed to be a little surprised at the size of the crowd. He was gracious when I thanked him for his stories. It makes me sad that there will be no new Andre Dubus stories, but I am so grateful for the ones he gave us while he was here, all too briefly.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant Among Writers October 9, 2000
Forget the minimalist wastelands created by Ray Carver. The real genius working in the past quarter-century (and getting much, much less acclaim) was Andre Dubus.
Shunning the hard-edged weariness of his contemporaries, Dubus filled his stories with life and faith and passion. This collection is a fine introduction to his writings and contains one of my all-time favorites with "Voices From the Moon." All the stories are accessible and as emotionally compelling as anything you'll read. There aren't words enough to praise.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best short stories I have ever read May 19, 1999
By A Customer
At this point in my life, I have one major regret. I never sent Andre Dubus the letter I started to write many times, telling him how important his work was to me. This book is a very good collection of his amazing work. He tells very simple, beautiful stories that have a profound ability to resonate because you think, "I've been there" and yet the characters are very well-defined and often not the usual short story characters. I recommend Adultery, Voice from the Moon, The Fat Girl, Graduation, The Pretty Girl. Buy this book, you will not regret it....
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A core sampler of the late author's work. February 28, 1999
By A Customer
Andre Dubus died in late February, 1999. Through NPR, I was introduced to his work the day after his death, and I was intrigued by the way his words worked. I picked this book to learn more of his writing. This is a collection of 23 short stories, set in Boston, California and other places.
Dubus writes of people who are flawed, though not fatally. They struggle mightily with their hurts and fears, some of which is self-inflicted. In the end, despite some darkness in the stories, the characters find some form of release, or grace. The flaws remain, though the characters find a sort of redemption. Interestingly, even the redemption is flawed. No one lives happily ever after, but then, they don't need to.
"The Winter Father," a 20 page story, is about a recently divorced father, his children, and his new lover. There are no surprises in the story, but Dubus' writing draws one into the scenes. It's easy to imagine how it happens, and why. The father is flawed, yes, but we emphathize with his struggle to figure out his life. In him, spiritual contemplation and earthy smells roll together. There are glimpses of insight, but no magic bullet to make it all better.
"Graduation" is a ten page story of a woman who lives with her hidden past. There's tension in who she was and who she needs to be. A dysfunctional past sexual history is a cloud, always hanging overhead. The details are superb, setting scenes with fleeting images and cues. Dubus hints, pokes, and nudges and the unspoken becomes obvious. The lead character is hardly a paragon of virtue; nonetheless, we can relate to her aspirations and her dark past.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars stories
Bought book and read it ---he is a good writer--- but is a bit self absorbed. He said he liked a writer I think is ingenuous, named "Pancake". First name Breece. No joke. Read more
Published 48 minutes ago by Bookworm1
5.0 out of 5 stars always a great story
Never disapointed in this one of my fav writers. He has a way of looking at r=the world that I share with him
Published 5 months ago by R S L
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Gold Standards
If I were doing an anthology of American Literature I would probably have a Faulkner story and maybe a couple of stories each from Hemingway,Steinbeck,and
Flannery O'Connor. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ed Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubus is a master writer
This collection of Andre Dubus stories is wonderful. The price was a real bargain. This is a writer whose work should not be forgotten, but because he wrote only one forgettable... Read more
Published 9 months ago by David E. Vancil
3.0 out of 5 stars Selected Stories
It is nicely written, but not very much amusing for my taste.
The stories are part of a whole story, so it leaves me to wonder how it started and how it ended.
Published 10 months ago by Azar A Rabii
2.0 out of 5 stars ugh
The writing style of this author detracts from the stories. Too strange, as if it is an attempt to be different.
Published 10 months ago by John S. Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, some bad, some just boring
This is a simple review. I like some of this authors work but this collection has a great many depressing and twisted stories. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Warren W. Wiley
3.0 out of 5 stars Was ok
didn't finish the book, got bored, wanted a more complete story. I'll probably go back to it at some point, tho.
Published 11 months ago by Janet Edgar
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done
I enjoyed these well written stories, some of which were lengthy. Good character development. Interesting insights into human frailties and strengths.
Published 11 months ago by Clare49
5.0 out of 5 stars A Giant's Footprints
Andre Dubus deserves, still, great praise as the uniquely alert writer he became. His prose crackled like a bullwhip but was also somehow -- miraculously, perhaps -- kind and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Guy Neal Williams
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More About the Author

Andre Dubus (1936-1999) is considered one of the greatest American short story writers of the twentieth century. His collections of short fiction, which include Adultery & Other Choices (1977), The Times Are Never So Bad (1983), and The Last Worthless Evening (1986), are notable for their spare prose and illuminative, albeit subtle, insights into the human heart. He is often compared to Anton Chekhov and revered as a "writer's writer."

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