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Self-Help Paperback – March 13, 2007


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Self-Help + Birds of America: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) + Like Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307277291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307277299
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A wry, crackly voice. . . . Fine, funny, and very moving pictures of contemporary life [from] a writer of enormous talent." —The New York Times"Brisk, ironic . . . scalpel-sharp. . . . A funny, cohesive, and moving collection of stories." —The New York Times Book Review"Astonishing. . . . Moore is so good at trapping each moment in perfect, precise detail, so masterful at cynicism and wryness that her moments of poignancy and sweetness catch us completely off guard." —San Francisco Chronicle“Sharp, flicking, on-target . . . the work of a sorcerer’s apprentice. Moore casts a cruel, mischievous spell.” —Vanity Fair“Trenchant, funny tales. . . . Moore is much more than another chronicler of the chronically out-of-sync relations between American men and women. She writes with urgency and pace.” —People

About the Author

Lorrie More is the author of the story collections Birds of America and Self-Help, and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

More About the Author

Lorrie Moore is the author of the story collections Like Life, Self-Help, and Birds of America, and the novels Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Anagrams. She is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Customer Reviews

Dull and slogging and need I say, I didn't like it at all.
Melissa Lyckberg
One of the best pieces in "Self-Help" is probably the first Lorrie Moore piece I ever read.
Catherine S. Vodrey
Her stories are rich with descriptive, poetic metaphors, and are incredibly compelling!
Liz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on March 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
Lorrie Moore has long been a favorite writer of mine. Her short fiction, which has appeared regularly in THE NEW YORKER and elsewhere, is unbeatable. Her humor is sharp, her descriptive powers awesome, and her stories (almost) always feel as though they actually go somewhere.
One of the best pieces in "Self-Help" is probably the first Lorrie Moore piece I ever read. "Self-Help" was published the year I graduated from college, and I think a college friend gave me a copy of "How to Become a Writer." Note the "become" instead of "be." Moore acknowledges the process involved in writing and lets her readers know that writers are not sprung fully-formed from the head of Zeus or anyone else. Listen to this beautifully assured, resonant, yet hilarious passage from "How to Become a Writer":
"First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star/astronaut. A movie star/missionary. A movie star/kindergarten teacher. President of the World. Fail miserably. It is best if you fail at an early age--say, fourteen. Early, critical disillusionment is necessary so that at fifteen you can write long haiku sequences about thwarted desire. It is a pond, a cherry blossom, a wind brushing against sparrow wing leaving for mountain. Count the syllables. Show it to your mom. She is tough and practical. She has a son in Vietnam and a husband who may be having an affair. She believes in wearing brown because it hides spots. She'll look briefly at your writing, then back up at you with a face blank as a doughnut. She'll say: 'How about emptying the dishwasher?' Look away. Shove the forks in the fork drawer. Acccidentally break one of the freebie gas station glasses. This is the required pain and suffering. This is only for starters.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Wes Saylors Jr. on January 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I want to be loved like Lorrie Moore loves a man. Her characters say some hilarious things, but if you pay really close attention to how they feel (the way Ms Moore writes about how they feel), you'll find some of the most passionate writing going. When a Moore character falls in love, they're not fooling around (though they may be, in fact, fooling around in an extramarrital way). They mean it. And it is this passion, combined with an almost hyperintelligent wit, that makes Self-Help the terrific reading experience it is. I'm a Moore junkie ... and this book is where it all started.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kim (riothag@juno.com) on March 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
For me, Lorrie Moore's short stories have always been the literary equivalant of Kristin Hersh's songs. Both of these profoundly gifted women create chilling, personal revelations that give me goosebumps. Both explore the strange and sad parts of life that keep us awake at night, staring at the ceiling and thinking "why?" And both make me want to stop writing because I will never even approach their genius. Lorrie's peculiar style of telling a story backwards is especially endearing in this debut collection of faux "advice" stories, in which she mocks the genre of self-help. Absolutely not to be missed.
p.s. Please *ignore* the review below from TGA@BIGPOND.COM.KH, as it is actually referring to Lorrie's most recent book, Birds of America (the "sick baby" story is "People Like That are the Only People Here.")
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By brian.radigan@yale.edu on September 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
How's that for a self-help book. Moore's prose is brilliant; her style, unrefined and beautiful. I like this collection because it has the edge too much editing can kill. Read this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is totally a put on your favorite pajamas, sit in your favorite chair with ice cream and read cover to cover then rush to have coffee with an old friend kind of book. I love love it. I read it every year. I discovered it around the same time I started writing and this book brings me back to that time when I felt I had so much to say but oh! how to say it. I read "Ahmal and the Night Visitors: A Guide to the Tenor of Love" in a collection of young writers and was so touched by the lush feeling of the world she was in and the thoughts she was having. I think of that story often. I certainly recommend this book to women- it saves the cost of long-distance gosspiy, weepy, funny phone calls to old friends, and has the same warm effect.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stella on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Basically.....read anything by Lorrie Moore, you won't be disappointed (unless of course The Nanny Diaries was one of your favorite books).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
Looking for something strong, vulnerable, funny, different, and as existentially confused as you have the pretension of imagining yourself, you find this. Here. This odd little flimsy awkwardly-colored book. It doesn't even have the snobbery of girth or weight. And, paging through the pulpy pages, you slowly start nodding. Yes. Yeah. You. Go. Girl. If we all could find a voice of pathos and verve echoing the ingenuity and authenticity of Moore's, this might not be such a miserable mess of a culture. I can't overemphasize how precious this book is. Men might admire it, but women will lift it over their heads and holler. You. Go. Girl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christine Allen-yazzie on March 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
This and other Lorrie Moore books were favorites of almost all of the women in my MFA (creative writing) program, as well as of many of the men. We all started with Anagrams (one of my all-time favorites), then moved on to this, then Birds of America. I noticed that people who enjoy cheesey romance novels don't like this book because it portrays love in a way that's painfully familiar, lifelike. Moore is hilarious and tragic and so brutally honest she'll give you road rash at the same time that she makes your creative self blush and feel elated.
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