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The Complete Stories [Kindle Edition]

Flannery O'Connor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $8.01 (45%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

Winner of the National Book Award

The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O'Connor's monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do not appear in the only two story collections O'Connor put together in her short lifetime--Everything That Rises Must Converge and A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

O'Connor published her first story, "The Geranium," in 1946, while she was working on her master's degree at the University of Iowa. Arranged chronologically, this collection shows that her last story, "Judgement Day"--sent to her publisher shortly before her death—is a brilliantly rewritten and transfigured version of "The Geranium." Taken together, these stories reveal a lively, penetrating talent that has given us some of the most powerful and disturbing fiction of the twentieth century. Also included is an introduction by O'Connor's longtime editor and friend, Robert Giroux.

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Editorial Reviews


"What we lost when she died is bitter. What we have is astonishing: the stories burn brighter than ever, and strike deeper." --Walter Clemons, Newsweek

About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest’s 60-year history. Her essays were published in Mystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O’Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists’ colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 788 KB
  • Print Length: 579 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374127522
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reissue edition (January 1, 1971)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,410 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
117 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devil's In The Details May 21, 2008
"Grace changes us, and change is painful."

O'Connor, a delicate Southern Catholic who lived a third of her life ravaged by lupus, was certainly acquainted with pain. Her stories reveal this much. Many readers and reviewers may wonder if she doesn't take a bit of artistic license with her definition of "grace," though. Considering her religious ideologies (which aren't hard to figure out, even after reading just one of these deliciously dark little tales), her unsubtle brutality isn't so unexpected. Look God directly in the face, the Bible says, and it completely and utterly destroys you.

It's safe to say that even if her characters don't always get an unobstructed view of their Creator, they all at least catch a glimpse. O'Connor is not shy about her beliefs, and in fact, her unswerving social sensibilities are part of what make her writing so delectable. Read closely, because every single detail is important and potent. And just like the Bible she adheres to so fervently, the endings to her stories are forecasted unapologetically by every word that comes before them.

This in no way ruins the power of those conclusions. Read a hundred interviews with a hundred writers, and I guarantee you that many of them will mention, as inspiration, "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Sit down for twenty minutes with the hilarious and heart-breaking "River," and ask yourself if your foreknowledge didn't rob the final lines of their shuddering ferocity. Visit "A Displaced Person," meet "Enoch and the Gorilla," stay for awhile with "Greenleaf," and take a good long look at "A View of the Woods.
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135 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Best Short Story Writer April 2, 2005
I studied Flannery O'Connor in college and wrote a thesis on her works. Her stories were mesmerizing and riveting, and I have re-read them many times since. She was firmly rooted in the Southern grotesque, but she was able to transcend the stark terrain of the South and present remarkable studies of human foibles and the self searching for meaning and redemption.

O'Connor had the uncanny gift to describe people, surroundings and life with astonishingly spare prose. Her genius was that she could reveal the mystery and manners in us all. Of particular note are "Revelation" and "A Good Man is Hard to Find." You must read this collection, and I promise that her stories will speak to you for years to come.
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93 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons to be learned here--O'Connor was no fool March 25, 2002
I read this collection during college, in my senior literature seminar. I find O'Connor's stories to be the best, most brutally honest, thought-provoking and attitude-altering work out there. One piece deserving of mention are the classic "A Good Man is Hard to Find", the last line of which reasonates long after the reader closes the book. O'Connor craftily delivers messages about racism, elitism and other problems of the deep South in her stories, and beautifully maintains the Southern Gothic texture in each one. I can't recommend this book any more enthusiastically!
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71 of 81 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The first half of the 20th century. Ask yourself about the short stories. Everybody wrote them. Ask yourself abut the best: Eudora Welty, Fredric Brown, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carson McCullers, Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway. And there is one name that is simply the best, against any competitors, against any subject matter, against any sex: Flannery O'Connor. I only hope that she knows that 35 years after her death her "The Complete Stories" is still is a best selling compilation and one of the most recommended books I have ever seen. They try to tie her to the south. They try to label her a woman's writer. They haven't read her. Flannery O'Connor is the best 20th century short story writer. Period. AND, she also wins the prize for best final lines in her stories. Didn't know there was a prize for best final lines? I have invented it.
"Then she recognized the feeling again, a little roll. It was if it were not her stomach. It was if it were out nowhere in nothing, out nowhere, resting and waiting, with plenty of time."
"The sherrif's brain worked instantly like a calculating machine. As he scrutinized the scene, further insights were flashed to him. He was accustomed to enter upon scenes that were not as bad as he had hoped to find them, but this one met his expectations."
"Mr. Paradise's head appeared from time to time on the surface of the water. Finally, far downstream, the old man rose like some ancient water monster and stood empty-handed, staring with his dull eyes as far down the river as he could see."
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Collection! May 19, 2002
I was lucky enough during one semester in college to be forced to read several works by Flannery O'Connor. After hearing her stories, I fell in love with her, so I read this collection. This is probably the most amazing collection of short stories I have ever read. O'Connor presents Southern people at their best and worst. Adding a hint of religion, O'Connor conveys the idea of salvation and how life affects those who do and do not have this. My favorite stories include: "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," a shocking story about a criminal and an unusual family; "Revelation," a humorous work about people who view themselves as superior to others; "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," another hilarious and shocking piece describing how a woman decides to seduce a Christian man; and "Good Country People," a story describing how people fulfill their wants and desires at others cost. These stories are easy to read and fairly short! Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
She is one of the most thoughtful writers of all time.
Published 1 day ago by Susan
1.0 out of 5 stars I do not like the racial attitude at all
Wow. Thsi compilation is offensive. I do not like the racial attitude at all. whether it was written then or now, it has no place.
Published 7 days ago by Terri G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very powerful writer with very complex characters
Published 12 days ago by Paul Jimenez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Although good material, I can tell I am not a Flannery O'Connor fan
Published 14 days ago by Carl
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one if those things you kind of need to read
Like I said before, you kind of need to read this. She's up there with Chekov and Maupassant. I see no downside to buying this.
Published 1 month ago by Daniel Fisher
2.0 out of 5 stars I found a consistent similarity throughout the stories. It ...
I found a consistent similarity throughout the stories. It became redundant reading. I also found many of the stories shallow in meaningful depth.
Published 1 month ago by Glenn Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well worth the price. O'Connor is in a league of her own when it comes to short fiction.
Published 1 month ago by Joshua Mozie
2.0 out of 5 stars A Good Mind is Easy to Lose
Flannery was a writer of great purity - a purity that imbued her stories with elements of pure revulsion. Like Conrad, she peered overlong into the heart of darkness. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Flying Scot
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Get Enough of Flannery O'Connor
Great Writer With an Eye for Details.
Published 1 month ago by Cecilia K Kaelin
3.0 out of 5 stars Great writer but too depressing
I read exactly two stories out of this book, the first Geranium and secondly A Good Man is Hard to Find. Read more
Published 1 month ago by hcmitche
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More About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1925, the only child of Catholic parents. In 1945 she enrolled at the Georgia State College for Women. After earning her degree she continued her studies on the University of Iowa's writing program, and her first published story, 'The Geranium', was written while she was still a student. Her writing is best-known for its explorations of religious themes and southern racial issues, and for combining the comic with the tragic. After university, she moved to New York where she continued to write. In 1952 she learned that she was dying of lupus, a disease which had afflicted her father. For the rest of her life, she and her mother lived on the family dairy farm, Andalusia, outside Millidgeville, Georgia. For pleasure she raised peacocks, pheasants, swans, geese, chickens and Muscovy ducks. She was a good amateur painter. She died in the summer of 1964.

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