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Comment: Copyright July 2003 First Vintage contemporaries Edition. Both the spine and binding is tight, It has bookshelf wear at the bottom of the spine. There is a thin green line on the leaves of the book. There are no marks or writings in the book. Good condition. Book shows normal wear from use and/or storage. Intact binding. Fast shipping. Satisfaction guaranted!
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Things That Fall from the Sky: Stories Hardcover – March 19, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (March 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375421343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375421341
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,393,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The stories in Kevin Brockmeier's debut collection require, test, try, exhaust, and--just often enough--reward the reader's patience. In Things That Fall from the Sky, Brockmeier writes in painstaking prose that's long on exposition and short on action. Many of these stories concern children. In "These Hands," a thirtysomething man, possibly with Nabokovian intentions, baby-sits an 18-month-old girl. In the title story, a depressive librarian finds relief, and even guidance, in the company of her small granddaughter. And in "The House at the End of the World," 4-year-old Holly describes her isolated life in a shack in the woods with her father: "This was during the collapse of civilization, and I believed we were the only people in the world." Here Brockmeier's expository style pays off, as he describes in detail father and daughter setting traps, lighting lanterns, and tracking streams. It's a kind of end-of-days Little House in the Big Woods, except, of course, the father is crazy, and civilization has not collapsed. In the end, Holly's mother comes to take her away, and Brockmeier doesn't shy for a moment from Holly's pain as she is carried "from the house and the bed and the world which were mine." At his best, Brockmeier writes with excruciatingly thorough imagination. --Claire Dederer

From Publishers Weekly

Twenty-eight-year-old Brockmeier won inclusion in the 1997 O. Henry Prize anthology for "These Hands," a delicate and risky story about a male nanny who may be unhealthily attached to the young girl in his care. Lewis, the nanny, tells the reader in a voice rich with wit, compassion and longing about his brief time caring for Caroline, a girl who seems ordinary in every way except to him, to whom each of her movements is precious: "Caroline lay on the silver-gray carpet, winking each eye in turn as she scrutinized her thumb." As the first story in this debut collection, it strikes an impressive note, but it also sets a standard only intermittently met in the remaining 10 stories. Brockmeier assembles the collection loosely around the theme of fairy tales, aiming for a sense of wonder and enchantment, though sometimes settling for the familiar and earthbound or drifting into weightless whimsy. The title story features a librarian whose grown children are inattentive and whose supervisor shows little sense of humor. When she encounters the village eccentric among the library stacks, it comes as no surprise that he's destined to rescue her from her prosaic existence. In "The Light Through the Window," a window cleaner swoops across the facade of the huge building where he lives and works, dreaming about his past. Most amusing is the clever "A Day in the Life of Half of Rumpelstiltskin," which brings the betrayed dwarf of Grimm legend (or more accurately, half of him) into the present day. The highlight is a hilarious letter only half-finished from the dwarf's missing half. Brockmeier's hallmark is the fineness of his prose, and in the tender sweep of his best stories he proves himself a formidable young writer. Agent, Kyung Cho.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Topham on June 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Here are some of the things that fall from the sky in Kevin BrockmeierŐs striking and unusual debut collection of short fiction: an autumn leaf, errant fireworks, a lethal bucket, an impenetrable barrier of blackness, and a characterŐs dead mother. For Brockmeier, these strange rains come to symbolize the moments of pain and grace that intrude themselves upon our lives, falling without warning onto our unsuspecting heads.
These stories move effortlessly from naturalism (a boy shares his first kiss on the same day that his Bible teacher is killed by a falling bucket) to fantasy (a manŐs marriage falls apart as the sky above his house creeps ever lower), and each is distinguished by a richness of theme and character and a formidable stylistic talent. Not every story here works, but those that do are quite impressive. Brockmeier, it seems, is a writer to watch.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
In this extraordinary collection, Brockemeier effortlessly crosses borders between many different modes of writing -- realism, surrealism, fantasy, mystery, fable, fairy tale -- to create sharply insightful stories that have much to say about modern life and the surreal world we live in. Tender, funny, painful, and deeply moving, I highly, highly recommend this collection to all fans of interstitial fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rich and whimsical and beautifully written; imaginative and tender and lovely.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
With Things That Fall from the Sky, Kevin Brockmeier boldy introduces himself as a writer worth reading. Every story is a joy to read, and taken as a whole the collection makes a lasting impression.
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By FL Couple on September 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading good reviews and reading another Brockmeier book, The Truth about Celia. It is a collection of off-beat stories but for me, most of them are only fair. Many seem pointless. I enjoyed The Truth about Celia much more.
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