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In The Garden Of The North American Martyrs: Stories Paperback – May 11, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tobias Wolff lives in Northern California and teaches at Stanford University. Author of the recent novel Old School, he has received the Rea Award for excellence in the short story, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. His collection of short stories, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, is also available from Ecco.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reissue edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880014970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880014977
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
13%
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See all 24 customer reviews
Powerful writing that is subtle and yet somehow unforgettable.
R. J. Marsella
This was a wonderful collection of stories and is highly recommended for any reader of fiction.
Nathaniel
Each story, while interesting, always ended without an ending.
Plano Texan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By lady detective on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
One of my creative writing professor's recommended this book to me, and I adored it! I read This Boy's Life a few years ago, and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away. But, In the Garden of North American Martyrs has given me a new and fierce admiration for Tobias Wolff. Each story is well-crafted without being overtly so. Like Raymond Carver, the style is slightly sparse and gives you the feeling that these people could be your next door neighbors. The characters have that regular joe quality, but they are never ever boring, it only makes the things happening to them more potent. From the man who wrecks his car, to the professor who has a one night stand, each tale is piercingly believable without ever being dull. If you're looking for the kind of short stories anyone could aspire to, read this book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've read most of Wolff's work, and this is my favorite. The collection spans the colorful spectrum of human emotion and experience, yet there remains a pleasant aftertaste of familiarity in his characters that makes us identify with that life on the page.Whether it's a tubby object of scorn, a disillusioned old man on his 50th anniversary cruise, or a young boy spinning tales for acceptance on a broken-down bus, we feel some sliver of our psyche being worked to the surface when reading these stories by Wolff. He's one of the best storytellers of our generation, and you deserve to discover him. Favorite stories in this collection: Smokers, The Liar, Maiden Voyage, Hunters in the Snow and In the Garden of North American Martyrs
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel on May 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have read Tobias Wolff for about 5 years now so I was very exited to read this collection of short stories, and needless to say I was not disappointed. The first story I ever read from Wolff was "Bullet in the Brain", and these stories followed in the same amazing tradition. Wolff is able to set the reader down in the middle of a scenario or time like no other author. This voice that he uses is so unique in each story and that you have a real sense of who you are dealing with in each story, and on a smaller level, each character. Wolff is able to create interest in situations and actions that border on plain on all other accounts. He creates characters that we see next to us on the bus everyday buy showing the reader who they are in the actions that carry out, and the how they deal with the certain situations they find themselves in. A hunting trip with friends becomes a look into the deepest crevasse of friendship; a fender bender turns into a trial in patience and trusting with people in everyday settings. Wolff is a master at writing these stories in a voice that speaks to every person, and yet is so unique that we must read on. This was a wonderful collection of stories and is highly recommended for any reader of fiction.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on June 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
The characters in Tobias Wolff's short stories are typically ordinary people in relatively ordinary circumstances yet he creates through them such vivd glimpses of humanity that we recognize our friends ,relatives,neighbors and ourselves in them.
Powerful writing that is subtle and yet somehow unforgettable.
All of his short fiction collections are equally enjoyable and I would have a hard time recommending one as opposed to any other. This particular book contains several stories that will pull you in and cause you to want to explore more. This is a book that can be opened at random to any of the selections and read with great enjoyment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1996
Format: Paperback
These are fantastic short stories. I am only 13 years old
and loved it. Wolff provides a fascinating insight into us
and finds some startling revelations. While we may think
we're better than the people in the stories, in fact, almost
all of us are guilty of some crime similar. He manages to
keep the stories in good humor while maiking sure everyone
sees the real meaning. I throgoughly enjoyed this book. I
read the whole book in 2 days. I seriously doubt it would
take anyone else longer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wolff's short stories in this collection provide crisp narrative journey's exploring humanity in its complexities, confusions, controdictions and emotions. It is as if a heart pumps underneath all the words in each story: they are that alive and that remarkable. I read this in one sitting weeks ago, and the stories and characters are still fresh and instant in my mind. Wolff is one of the best short story writers ever.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sam Sohn on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tobias Wolff, in this collection, gives up short snippets of ordinary people's lives. And yet the stories, themselves, have an eerie, almost transcendent power to them. It's as though the telling of these events, with a keen eye for the hard-to-see significance lurking underneath the surface, lends them a sort of magical gravity. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the seemingly mundane things permeating everyone's everyday lives may very well have a greater meaning. Not a readily discernible moralizing kind of meaning, but glimpses of what is true. I suppose it takes as sensitive an eye as the one Wolff possesses to discover those truths. I'm glad he at least shared a few of his insights in this collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Tobias Wolff is one of those rare writers who's managed to become an absolute master without becoming aloof. He's a writer's writer who's actually fun to read. His characters are real yet surprising - in other words, like actual human beings. These are wickedly funny, wonderful stories, one of the very best debut collections EVER published. Unforgettable. You'll read some of these stories again and again.
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