Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country Paperback – April 1, 2018
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“It’s a rare writer who has the power to make one aware in every paragraph of the moral necessity of literature, but in Bad Stories, Steve Almond has done just that. With fierce intelligence, moving candor, and dazzling insight, Almond draws on everything from The Grapes of Wrath to the voting practices of his babysitter to dismantle the false narratives about American democracy that got us into the political pickle we’re in. I was enlightened and spellbound by Bad Stories, outraged and consoled. This is a profound and essential book for all time, but especially for now.”―Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
About the Author
Steve Almond is the author of eight books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times Bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series. His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. He teaches at the Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard, and hosts the New York Times podcast “Dear Sugars” with fellow writer Cheryl Strayed.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This vulgarian misogynist rages and destroys everything in his path, and Steve Almond uses his acumen in literature, journalism, and personal memoir to make his compelling points. This is the best book I've read about the tragedy that is occurring to this country. Highly recommended.
Premise that we are trivializing the truly important issues of civic responsibility and reasonable discourse
At its root is the premise that if we tell ourselves, and believe, bad stories, we will inevitably live them—belief creates reality, or more accurately, those beliefs we don’t fully acknowledge, examine, and understand create unconscious actions that create reality. This is not a new idea, but Almond makes it new by spotlighting our shadow (our denied self, per Jung) through the bad stories that we believe so fervently that they have resulted in our current predictable situation—starting with our belief that we are a country founded on the notion that all people are created equal. (That took me-the-reader instantly into the eye of the upset and my body went into such an extreme reaction, I had to put the book down and go for a walk in nature to recover.)
In each chapter, Almond relates stories—from Moby-Dick, to tales of the reasons for the Electoral College, to a magical liberal belief that court jesters like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert can rescue us (even as they erode our urgency to react seriously). The stories vibrate—and sometimes electrocute the unsuspecting reader—with upsetting truth because they are not relegated to Republican or Democratic or Independent or anarchistic belief. They are we-the-people’s stories (and although it seems obvious, I’ll add that the Fourth Estate, which is fiercely examined, is a component of we-the-people). We own these stories and we created our present environment out of them. They are stories written by all of us, but the foundational one is the creation of white American society—the story of people who founded a country via genocide, enslaved people, knew we were doing the wrong thing but justified it, and now function with a legacy of subconscious fear of retribution from “dark people,” resulting in the present paranoia and nationalism. We are a country who enjoys not knowing; clings to our “unserious” right not to know or care or even vote; deeply enjoys the entertainment of fear, loathing, and anger at “other;” unknowingly cherishes the negative pleasure of being helpless and will twist it into a pretzel-shaped projection if confronted by contradiction; and will defend our beliefs, condemning those who do not agree as “the enemy,” because we believe our life depends on it.
This is a brilliant and deeply upsetting book; the antidote for a denied shadow is illumination, and the shock at seeing a denied part of ourselves can be an identity crisis. But out of that crisis can arise the possibility of “dream[ing] up stories that offer a vision of the American spirit as one of kindness and decency . . . ”
Almond's literary and intellectual range are matched by his heart, but it's his poetic skills that enable him to deliver such a beautiful work. I guarantee that you will be touched, deeply and often, but this book, and that, though you may still wonder along with the author "what the hell happened", you will have a much better sense of the answer to that question than you did going in.
I am with a previous Goodreads reviewer in not always agreeing with Almond's conclusions--I may yet give up professional football fandom, but I'm sticking with my political humorists, especially John Stewart--but his analysis is honest, thoroughly considered, beautifully expressed and consistently thought-provoking.