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Characters often crop up in more than one story, giving the setting novelistic depth, drawing us into each life. In "Queen for a Day," we meet the young children of the Painter clan of New Hampshire as their dad is abandoning their mom, who then loses her job. "They run to her and wrap her in their arms... the three of them wind around each other like snakes moving in and out of one another's coils." In "Firewood," Painter's grown children rebuff his offer of fuel for their hearth, repaying his indifference, and Banks gives us a bad-guy's-eye view of their shared loneliness. In "The Fisherman," a $50,000 lottery is won by an old ice fisherman who stashes it in a cigar box, eliciting character-revealing reactions from the trailer-park denizens. "Dis Bwoy, Him Gwan" further reveals why the local pothead Bruce Severance so urgently needs the fisherman's money. The stories resonate and illuminate each other, the dialogue is pitch-perfect, and the collection has the cohesiveness of a 500-page novel. Banks's prose has the stark grace of classical tragedy. He's a poet after all. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Was interesting in reading Russell Banks books after I read Jamaica, very negative outlook, disappointed he is such a depressive writer, expected better.Published 20 months ago by suestein
I started reading The Angel On The Roof: The Stories Of Russell Banks, his de facto Collected Stories- thirty-one of them, twenty-two old tales and nine new ones, right after I had... Read morePublished on September 28, 2008 by Cosmoetica
I had not heard of Russell Banks until i heard the man himself read his story THE MOOR on NPR. That hooked me, there's something for everyone here.Published on January 1, 2006 by Chad Scheid
I'm not much of a reader, but after someone read me one of the short stories in this book, I had to get it. It's great. Read morePublished on March 15, 2003 by Sam Wilkinson
This guy is great. His writing is so spare, so tender and so beautiful it's almost too good! This does mean the book lasts longer than most as you have to keep setting it down to... Read morePublished on May 12, 2002
Russell Banks' short stories (as well as his novels) have a vivacity created at least in part by his willingness and ability to shift his mindset in a way that can only be... Read morePublished on November 22, 2000
The people and situations in Russell Banks's short stories, here collected from those written throughout his 37 years of writing, generally have two things in common: stark... Read morePublished on August 19, 2000 by J Scott Morrison
Banks has written some great novels, Continental Drift and Affliction being two of the best, but the short story seems to be his true love, or so the author says in his rather... Read morePublished on June 19, 2000