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The Uninnocent: Stories Hardcover – December 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; 1 edition (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605982652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605982656
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conjunctions founding editor Morrow (The Diviner's Tale), creates beautifully dark and soulfully intimate stories in his first collection, featuring characters who, though hardly citizens of virtue, reveal their true colors with little remorse. Each tale is told close at hand, with first-person narrators drawing the reader into their confidence, making readers complicit in shadowy inner workings that they don't completely understand. A man who enjoys collecting trinkets sets his sights dangerously on his brother's girlfriend in "The Hoarder." A blind man, in "Amazing Grace," regains his sight only to realize that the enlightened life he had imagined for himself is actually shrouded in darkness. After misplacing his mind, a man finds that, "whereas before he was dependable (had been with the same accounting firm for fifteen years, was the star shortstop on their interleague softball team), he now became not just unreliable, but entirely unpredictable," in "Mis(Laid)." In the sinister "Tsunami," a wife and mother relays the details of her unraveled marriage, remaining matter-of-fact: "This story doesn't get any better, so if you wanted to stop here I certainly wouldn't blame you. I can even tell you what happens so you won't have to bother." Morrow's stories are hauntingly honest and linger in the consciousness. (Dec.)

From Library Journal

A teenage boy obsessively (and surreptitiously) photographs his older brother’s girlfriend. An electrical worker who turns motivational speaker after he’s blinded in an accident miraculously regains his sight and discovers that life was better when he couldn’t see. A young wife prone to fugue states is at the center of a series of murders that involve her husband, her children, and her husband’s lover. A teenage boy murders his grandmother’s male friend, whom he believes to be a Martian landed on Earth as part of the invasion that captivated the country in Orson Welles’s broadcast of War of the Worlds—and no trace of the body can be found. What links all these dark tales from Morrow (The Diviner’s Tale) is that the main characters live in the shadowland where normalcy and mania and at times even depravity meet. VERDICT Hanging on the voices of their narrators—at once fascinating in their fixations and repelling in their twisted logic—and mixing elements of Southern gothic and noir, these powerful tales will linger in the reader’s mind. —­Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, North Andover, MA

More About the Author

Bradford Morrow has lived for the past thirty years in New York City and rural upstate New York, though he grew up in Colorado and lived and worked in a variety of places in between. While in his mid-teens, he traveled through rural Honduras as a member of the Amigos de las Americas program, serving as a medical volunteer in the summer of 1967. The following year he was awarded an American Field Service scholarship to finish his last year of high school as a foreign exchange student at a Liceo Scientifico in Cuneo, Italy. In 1973, he took time off from studying at the University of Colorado to live in Paris for a year. After doing graduate work on a Danforth Fellowship at Yale University, he moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he worked as a rare book dealer until relocating to New York City in 1981, where he began editing the literary journal "Conjunctions" and writing novels.

Morrow's first five novels--"Come Sunday" (1988), "The Almanac Branch" (1992, PEN/Faulkner Award finalist), "Trinity Fields" (Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, 1995), "Giovanni's Gift" (1997) and "Ariel's Crossing" (2002)--are all available as e-books from Open Road Media. His sixth novel, "The Diviner's Tale" (2011), was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the U.S. and in England with Corvus (Atlantic), as well as an audiobook with Blackstone. His first collection of short stories, "The Uninnocent," was published in 2011 by Pegasus Books, and a novella, "The Nature of MY Inheritance," was published earlier in 2014 by the Mysterious Bookshop. His most recent novel, "The Forgers," is just out with Mysterious Press/Grove Atlantic. He is completing work on his seventh novel, "The Prague Sonata," as well as a book of creative nonfiction works, "Meditations on a Shadow."

In collaboration with eighteen artists, Morrow is the author of "A Bestiary," as well as a book for children, "Didn't Didn't Do It," illustrated by the legendary Gahan Wilson. Morrow has also edited and written a number of other books, including "Posthumes" (poetry), "The New Gothic" (with Patrick McGrath) and "The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth" (with Sam Hamill) and has contributed to many anthologies and journals. As founding editor of "Conjunctions," he has edited over 55 volumes of the journal from 1981 to the present. An anthology on death, "The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death," co-edited with David Shields, was published by W.W. Norton in 2011.

Morrow's many awards include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes, as well as the PEN/Nora Magid Award. He has taught at Princeton, Columbia, and Brown Universities and for the past twenty years has been a Bard Center Fellow and professor of literature at Bard College.

Visit his website at www.bradfordmorrow.com.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is truly one of the best collections of short stories I have ever read.
Mary P. Rayme
Though some of the tales felt like something from the dark side, I truly had fun with the book and, the best I can say of any book, I'm glad I read it.
George Foxworth
I was incredibly impressed by how seamlessly the author slipped into such different voices so convincingly in each story.
pokeybear

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pokeybear on January 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have never read anything by this author before and am so very glad this was my introduction to his work. Some of the very best writing I've come across in recent years, each story was brilliantly crafted, so beautifully and carefully written. I was incredibly impressed by how seamlessly the author slipped into such different voices so convincingly in each story. Reading this book was like attending a seminar in how to write the perfect short story. Some really hauntingly beautiful pieces in this collection, and of course, some wonderfully fractured ones as well! A fabulous read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pickfordm on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The Uninnocent," the wonderful new book of short fiction from Bradford Morrow, manages to be at once luminous and dark. Each story takes a brave look at the underside of characters who often narrate their own tales. I agree with the reviewers on this page who read these stories slowly. Because of the macabre, noir nature of the material, its narrative richness, its descriptive powers, and the multitude of surprise endings, these are stories to be savored rather than hurried through in one or two sittings. Also, as Morrow subtly foreshadows many of the twists and turns early on, a rereading yields its own rewards, perhaps revealing clues missed the first time around.

It's hard to single out the best pieces in such a uniformly fine collection, but my current favorites are "Gardener of Heart" and "The Enigma of Grover's Mill." In the first, the funeral of a beloved twin sister brings an archaeologist back to the home town he long ago abandoned. Though their paths forked outwardly, he learns, their deep love for one another inexorably binds them. "The Enigma of Grover's Mill" contains a lot of death, an alien invasion, radio hoaxes and (maybe) murder. Simultaneously, it's a coming-of-age tale filled with nostalgia, mourning, the wonders of adolescence and love.

Also powerful is "The Hoarder," a creepy story which reminded me of John Fowles' masterfully chilling novel "The Collector." In "Ellie's Idea" a woman decides to wipe her moral slate clean, purifying herself and hopefully winning back her husband, by apologizing to everyone for every bad act she believes she's committed. This one snuck up on and eventually enfolded me; the character for whom I felt empathy at the outset became the one from whose clutches I eventually wanted to escape.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DoskoiPanda on December 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Bradford Morrow's The Uninnocent is a collection of short stories, each with a theme of various sins, madness, obsessions and other transgressions, or loss. Beautifully written, the darkness in the stories gently takes root and flowers in subtly hideous and frightening ways - the soothing hiss of a serpent's voice - all the more effective because of the gentle language, while the melancholic notes of the more poignant tales draw upon memories of living, of joy and grief, to shape the tales. (Please note: when I describe these as hideous and frightening, I mean something more in line with Henry James' Turn of the Screw; psychological rather than thriller.)

This was not a quick read for me, the stories are beautifully and richly written, giving the kind of reading experience that you have to allow to sink in slowly. You could read this quickly, but end up with a sense of reading fatigue; your brain bloated with all the stories. So I'm not sure I would recommend this to a casual reader for beach or travel reading, but I would recommend it to people who enjoy the experiences of reading the literary equivalent of after-dinner dessert wine.

4.5 or 5 stars. If you've enjoyed Joyce Carol Oates' Southern Gothic stories, you'll probably enjoy these, though I'd relabel them as Northeastern Gothic, for, if there is such a thing, this would be it.

Review copy supplied by the publisher as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L.E.Olteano - Butterfly-o-meter Books on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is my second reading experience with Bradford Morrow, and it proved to be yet another memorable one. After reading Fall of the Birds, the chance of reading some gothic, some yummy noir by the same author was extremely tempting. I'm glad I fell pray to the temptation.

The 12 stories range from the troubling and touching to the disconcerting and unnerving, all in beautiful writing and emotionally gripping imagery. Some I've personally liked more then others, some are a tad too disturbing while others I fully and wholeheartedly loved. Together though, they form an interesting, exciting and scary journey into the human mind, an exploration into dusty nooks of the human soul.

The Hoarder, the first story of the collection, starts out deceivingly tame. Touching, beautiful, and deceitfully tame; as it progresses, the degree of troubling slowly ascends to bring the reader a shock, then slowly subsides only to flare up again at the end. After that adventure, I was edified in respect to the type of read this collection would be: bold, fearless, subtle here and brutal there - in fewer words, a delight.

Amazing Grace and The Road to Nadeja were my personal favorites of the collection because the light they shine on the characters involved shows more then devious urges or pathologic needs; they show the simple but crushing darkness of solitude and the value of hope (pun intended regarding the second title). While dark and certainly troubling, they also have a bit of that inherent human shimmer of light.

Some of the stories, like Whom no hate stirs none dances, The Uninnocent or Tsunami, were on the disturbing side, some a lot disturbing in fact.
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