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Short Short Stories Paperback – Import, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: Pocket Penguins
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; First Edition edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141023082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141023083
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.2 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including "Zeitoun," a nonfiction account a Syrian-American immigrant and his extraordinary experience during Hurricane Katrina and "What Is the What," a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in southern Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, run by Mr. Deng and dedicated to building secondary schools in southern Sudan. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco that produces a quarterly journal, a monthly magazine ("The Believer"), and "Wholphin," a quarterly DVD of short films and documentaries. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Boston. In 2004, Eggers taught at the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and there, with Dr. Lola Vollen, he co-founded Voice of Witness, a series of books using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. A native of Chicago, Eggers graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SteveT on August 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great little book. I lucked out and got it for ten bucks on here not long ago, and that's about what it's worth. It's a great read, but probably nothing you can't live without if you're not as obsessed with Eggers as I am. If you are, then wait and get this when you can find it cheaper. It's not the same book as "How the Water Feels to the Fishes" like a previous review stated. It shares only two stories with that collection (though they have slightly different titles), one of which has a slightly different ending.

This collection is mostly humorous, and quite a bit of it is meta-fiction. If you like that sort of thing, or are a fan of Eggers at all, get this book when you can find it for a reasonable price.
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Format: Paperback
I've been away from Eggers for a while now--two thirds of a year, I'm sure, it was ago, when I had read How We Are Hungry and came away with mixed feelings, most disappointment centered around the 2-page stories I felt were a waste of space entirely. Now here's a 55-page book made up of only 2- or 3-page (and in one case it extends to 4-!) stories.

It works out well here. Eggers' writing is refreshing. I always go out of my way to describe him as "honest" to friends. That's the word that keeps getting repeated in my head over and over after I read each page and mutter "Wow, what honesty" et cetera et cetera. His characters and their incidental and really bizarre thoughts that are shared that we all have and don't mention to one another in order to dodge being wrongly labeled a stalker or a homosexual or whatever; the example that most often comes to my mind is from You Shall Know Our Velocity!, where the narrator (what was his name?) shares his childhood thoughts on the daily chore of pooping. You guys all remember, when you were kids, right? how you'd imagine bugs flying up your cold and quivering sphincter between those mountainous cheeks casting ominous shadows over bowled, stinking waves? It crossed all our minds at one time or another.

Another example, actually from this collection, is the first two-pager, located on pages 1 and 2, "You Know How to Spell Elijah," which has a young man, Eggers, the author, you and me and every reader too, chilling at an airport, eavesdropping on a family conversation: a girl asks her parents how to spell the first name of Elijah Woods for a crossword puzzle.
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