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Some Fun: Stories and a Novella First Edition Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0743218733
ISBN-10: 0743218736
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Editorial Reviews

From Bookmarks Magazine

Nelson's fifth collection of fiction finds a little light around the corner. Though she's not a writer who offers tidy solutions, instead preferring the weight and texture of complex emotions, she has at least opened the window to air these stories out with hope. Reviewers praise her way with metaphor, her rich characterizations, and, most prominently, her avoidance of cliché on the well-worn turf of American families. The only persistent criticism (which didn't affect the overall ratings) was the cover design. It features a graphical treatment of the author's many awards (Guggenheim Fellowship, O. Henry Prize, PEN/Nelson Algren Award), which many writers felt cheapened the book, no matter how deserving Nelson is of the praise.<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Review

"[Nelson's] carefully chosen words and thoughtfully constructed characters truly enrich these stories. Highly recommended." -- Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743218736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743218733
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,375,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Some Fun" is the newest collection of short stories by Antonya Nelson and as in the past these stories and a novella ("Some Fun") deal with families in turmoil, families adrift: most drowning in a quagmire of their own lack of communication, substance abuse, mis-placed loyalties, unheard cries for help and of course...Love.

"Dick" concerns boyhood friendship or more to the point a warped version of boyhood friendship in which Dick is not at all happy that his friend Cole has moved to Colorado without saying goodbye: "(Dick and Cole) were children who deferred by instinct, not peacemakers but peacekeepers, knobby-kneed guys who had to be prompted to eat and encouraged to defend themselves against the other boys..." Then Dick disappears.

"Flesh Tone" is a "Ghost and Mrs. Muir"clone about a boy (Evan) whose mother (Merry) acts as his counselor long after she is dead: "Evan did not care if Merry was his secret; Merry had taught him the beauty of a secret life, the one unmeasured by others, and if unmeasured then unjudged, unknown in the most fundamental way, something held close as a heartbeat, a phantom voice near the ear, the most intimate of places."

"Only a Thing" can be summed up by its first line: "You could compare a certain kind of love affair to a car wreck. You don't expect it, but when it does happen, it seems inevitable--even overdue."

But it is in the novella, "Some Fun" that Nelson can stretch her formidable, and in this example very Raymond Chandler-like, writing licks: "Summer has come to the desert and wrapped the daylight around the dark like a hot fist holding a cold bullet.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rarely is there a full 5 star read anymore but this is one. Having read two other collections by Ms. Nelson I was amazed at the level of craftsmanship once again in this collection. She makes Alice Munro look like an over-blown media darling but now that the venerable
Ms. Munro has retired maybe Ms. Nelson will finally get her due and day in the sun.
The best feature of this collection is how real the people are and how true the dialog rings in terms of families in love and trouble.
How many people can write the story of a teenage runaway and have it skirt the edges of parental nightmare only to bring us to the resolution through the eyes of the potential Humbert Humbert this girl escapes. Throughout the collection the character development is a subtle wonder and that is the big magic of the book.
In another story a wife having an affair has her house broken into and vandalized; her daughter knows a member of the girl gang that did it: coincidence or poetic justice. But Nelson lets you decide based on the evidence within the story. Again, this is well worth reading despite the irony in the title which some may take too literally and not with the grains of salt we all inevitably need to survive.
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Format: Hardcover
Another collection of short stories and another rave review. Just reading the list of writers who read Nelson (including Michael Chabon, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace to name a few) would be enough to convince me to do the same if I wasn't already a fan of hers from her articles in the New Yorker. She's won a ridiculous number of awards and is obviously a highly acclaimed author. If that's not enough to make you read this book, do so because she writes about real people, with real problems and real flaws, and she makes you encompass yourself in their own lives. And that is a tremendous accomplishment.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Boy what great stories-- emotionally moving, especially the one about the boy whose Mom died. I had ordered some other short story books on kindle and mistakenly thought I was reading a more famous author. Who IS this Antonya Nelson??? She's wonderful and I was sorry not nearly as invested, when I got to the other writers. Somewhere I learned that this is what a sort story is supposed to do-- leave you with one strong emotion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These stories deal with the quiet human dramas that we all connect to. They are wise, witty and whimsical tales that speak so closely to human truths that one is left feeling that one has met with a modern-day oracle. It is the kind of writing that strikes a tuning fork and resonates long after the book has been closed. Nelson digs around the connective tissue that binds us, and shows us a picture that reveals all our flaws and our beauty and the essence of what it is to be human. This book belongs on everyone's shelf.
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