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Bark: Stories Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 25, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2014: Here’s a reason Lorrie Moore is so beloved by her baby boomer brethren: she’s smart, she’s funny, her eye is even sharper than her tongue. In Bark, her latest collection of stories, all those qualities are well on display. “He had never been involved with the mentally ill before,” she writes of her mid-life anti-hero in the (sort-of) title story, "Debarking." "[B]ut he now felt more than ever that there should be strong international laws against them being too good looking.” Acerbic? Check. Knowing? Check. Says out loud on the page what we less talented, less observant mere mortals wish we could form so well in thought? Check. Check. Check. The only reason not to read these seven stories is that, perhaps, they’re just too accurate and perceptive about the way we live now--but then, why would you ever want to read stories that were anything else? --Sara Nelson
*Starred Review* Moore’s first collection of short stories, the uncommonly perceptive and energetically articulate Birds of America (1998), established her prominent place in the renaissance of the American short story that made itself heard with great innovation in the 1980s and 1990s. Since then, she has alternated between story collections and novels, and now a new compilation of stories will add support to the widely held opinion that the short form is her true forte. Her talent is best exhibited in the collection’s longest stories (each around 40 pages); her comfort with that length is indicated by her careful avoidance of overplotting, which, of course, dulls the effect of an expansive short story, and by not allowing the stories to seem like the outlines of novels that never got developed. These two examples of her proficiency shine: “Debarking” is about a divorced man who enters the dating scene only to experience complications with the is-she-crazy woman he starts dating and also within himself, as intimacy seems the natural antidote to “global craziness”; “Wings” concerns husband-and-wife musicians whose dreams haven’t panned out. A major ingredient of Moore’s tales of troubled lives is an abiding humor, which serves to protect her characters, in all their frailties, from grating on the reader as too pathetic. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An extensive author tour will attract many Moore enthusiasts and generate both publicity and sales. --Brad Hooper
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These stories grab your attention at first glance and hold it until the end of each tale. Characters are well drawn and the writing is expressive and true to each situation and personality. As you read Bark, you want a longer experience with the author and hope each story will continue. Its as though you are given delicious bites but want the full meal. Each individual work could be/should be developed into a book you feel. The strength and talent of Moore is a treat for the reader and stays with you long after the book is closed...
Most recent customer reviews
My one star review is based on the story titled 'Foes,' which has subtle elements of racism against Asians.Read more