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Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts Paperback – May 3, 1978


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket; F First Edition Thus edition (May 3, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067182306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671823061
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,880,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts" is a collection of 15 short stories by Donald Barthelme. The pieces contained are as follows: "The Indian Uprising," "The Balloon," "The Newspaper Here," Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning," "Report," "The Dolt," "The Police Band," "Edward and Pia," "A Few Moments of Sleeping and Waking," "Can We Talk," "Game," "Alice," "A Picture History of the War," "The President," and "See the Moon?". The collection as a whole is surreal, often bizarre, and often a lot of fun.
My favorites from this collection are as follows: "The Balloon," in which a giant balloon is inflated over Manhattan (this story in particular raises questions about the nature and meaning of art); "The Dolt," about a man "preparing to take the National Writers' Examination" (this one contains segments of a story-within-the-story); "The Police Band," about the hoped for "triumph of art over good sense"; "Game," a claustrophobic psychological study of two officers confined in what sounds like a missile launching site; and "See the Moon?", a warped look at parenthood and academia (this story has quite a bit of alliteration and amusing wordplay). This collection as a whole reveals Barthelme to be an inventive practitioner of the short story form.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina on January 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These short stories, curling away from the light in an ironic self-embrace, start, go on,
and then stop without any visible reason except perhaps the restrictions of writing for
The New Yorker.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By doug mitchell on March 17, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read "the school" in an anthology, and liked it. But I guess I'm too straight, as these stories are a bit off the wall to me...
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