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The Collected Stories Paperback – July 8, 2008


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The Collected Stories + The Essays of Leonard Michaels + The Men's Club: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374531293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374531294
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though Michaels, who died in 2003 at the age of 70, is probably best known for his novel The Men's Club (1981), these 38 stories attest to his skill as a short story writer. Readers coming to Michaels's work for the first time will find the early, pointed stories from his noteworthy collections, Going Places and I Would Have Saved Them If I Could as well as some of his later works that have never been collected. Michaels's early stories are written with a frantic sexuality that displays his distinctive dark humor. In "Fingers and Toes," recurring characters Henry and Phillip weigh the value of their friendship against their encounters with the same woman through a set of urban hallucinations characteristic of the early stories. Raphael Nachman, the icon of Michaels's later fiction, is an aging mathematician at UCLA and a surprising foil to Michaels's usual kinetic energy. In the first Nachman story, the professor takes a guest lectureship in his ancestral Poland and tries to reconcile his analytical yet peaceful view of the world with his family's history. Fans of the author should be thrilled at having such a wide body of work between two covers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Larky, fifully brilliant, as profane as they are aphoristic, Leonard Michaels's stories stand alongside those of his best Jewish contemporaries--Grace Paley and Philip Roth. Like theirs, Michaels's vernacular achieves the level of song ... ["Murderers"] measures up to that other masterpiece about a young boy on a rooftop, Philip Roth's "Converstion of the Jews" ... Michaels's later work contains his greatest writing ... The seven astonishing Nachmann stories ... consider moral problems freshly. All the ornament seems burned off, purified; the narratives distilled and gorgeously plain, as only a great stylist's can become. Less crackling than the earlier work, they're smoother in the mouth, stark in form. Michaels was writing more Nachmann stories when he died. If finished and published together, they might have made a novel. As it is, they're seven irregular beauties, to be read again and again." --The New York Times Book Review
 
"[Michaels's] every page reveals the mark of an extraordinarily original and gifted talent."—William Styron

"Anyone concerned with the American short story should read and know these stories."—Charles Baxter, San Francisco Chronicle
 
"Though Michaels, who died in 2003 at the age of 70, is probably best known for his novel The Men's Club (1981), these 38 stories attest to his skill as a short story writer. Readers coming to Michaels's work for the first time will find the early, pointed stories from his noteworthy collections, Going Places and I Would Have Saved Them If I Could as well as some of his later works that have never been collected. Michaels's early stories are written with a frantic sexuality that displays his distinctive dark humor. In 'Fingers and Toes,' recurring characters Henry and Phillip weigh the value of their friendship against their encounters with the same woman through a set of urban hallucinations characteristic of the early stories. Raphael Nachman, the icon of Michaels's later fiction, is an aging mathematician at UCLA and a surprising foil to Michaels's usual kinetic energy. In the first Nachman story, the professor takes a guest lectureship in his ancestral Poland and tries to reconcile his analytical yet peaceful view of the world with his family's history. Fans of the author should be thrilled at having such a wide body of work between two covers."—Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John B. Cragar on January 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Writing this precise doesn't get learned. It comes straight from something higher. This is as poetic as you are likely read. Words will smash your face in. Desparation looms everywhere, and hope is just around a deserted corner.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By elektrophyte on June 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These stories present vision of many different times and places, all told with precision and biting humor. Many take place in New York in the '50s and '60s. You will witness a major social and cultural center at a crucial moment. You will feel you lived there for a brief time while you read the story.
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By Gary on August 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty violent stuff. Heard a story on NPR which I liked, and that led to this purchase. The stories are dark, and not subject matter I prefer. But the guy could write, fantastic control.
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By steve whiteley on November 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not every story is perfect, but most all are engaging and funny.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By USA Student on June 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All these stories are good but the Nachman stories are amazing--funny, sad, poignant, revelatory--everything I ever wanted from a work of fiction. Michaels was a great writer.
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