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Success Stories Paperback – April 26, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In these 12 stories, the author of Conti nental Drift sounds a cautionary note for the 80s, writing about people who get what they want but find themselves dissatisfied to varying degrees. For in stance, the title character of "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story" wins the body, and perhaps even the love, of a man far more attractive than she, but not his respect. In "Firewood," the last of six stories that take Earl Painter from childhood in New Hampshire to young manhood in Florida before the 60s boom, Earl's father finally gains the freedom from love that he confuses with independence. Interspersed with this sequence are some fables and un classifiable tales that display Banks's formal range and social concerns but not much else. Both librarians and Banks's fans will want to purchase this collection, but neither should recom mend it as a place to begin reading him. Hugh M. Crane, Brockton P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Each story is uncommonly good...surprising, lively writing and believably human characters....Banks has a terrific eye, mordant yet affectionate, for the bric-a-brac and the pathos of the American dream.""--Washington Post Book World"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (April 26, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060927194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060927196
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,687,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Russell Banks is the author of sixteen works of fiction, many of which depict seismic events in US history, such as the fictionalized journey of John Brown in Cloudsplitter. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes, and two of his novels-The Sweet Hereafter and Affliction-have been made into award-winning films. His forthcoming novel, The Reserve, will be published in early 2008. President of the International Parliament of Writers and former New York State Author, Banks lives in upstate New York.

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Russell Banks doesn't write about people per se; he write about what they do and leaves you to determine why they do it. Reading his prose is sort of like touring the human psyche by the light of a sputtering sparkler. Banks will never cheat or dupe you, and that's what makes his subjects and their lives so wonderfully human.
The Sarah Cole story is worth the price of the book, and The Fish is an amazingly incisive parable about righteousness and the tragedy of good intentions.
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Format: Paperback
A book about contradiction and moral mistakes, Success Stories did something for me that literature sometimes can: it helped me understand myself and my relationships with the people I love a little more usefully.
Several of the stories follow the fortunes of Earl Painter and his broken family with a distinctness and sympathetic humanity that forgives these sad characters who do the best they can with what they have and who they are, but does not blind itself or romanticize the truths of their lives. The other stories read like morality fables, reminding us that our own good and evil, our own conscious and unconscious intentions can be subverted and pushed down paths we don't have the foresight to predict when they leave us and go into the world.
A deeply moving and satisfying book.
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Format: Paperback
A book about contradiction and moral mistakes, Success Stories did something for me that literature sometimes can: it helped me understand myself and my relationships with the people I love a little more usefully.
Several of the stories follow the fortunes of Earl Painter and his broken family with a distinctness and sympathetic humanity that forgives these sad characters who do the best they can with what they have and who they are, but does not blind itself or romanticize the truths of their lives. The other stories read like morality fables, reminding us that our own good and evil, our own conscious and unconscious intentions can be subverted and pushed down paths we don't have the foresight to predict when they leave us and go into the world.
A deeply moving and satisfying book.
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