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Showing 1-10 of 76 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 150 reviews
on October 28, 2016
We read this for book club though some of our members are not short story readers. I am not one of those members; a well-crafted short story is one of my favorite things in life. In my opinion Moore's biggest contribution to the short story form is her humor. While she examines the significance of a marriage, a divorce, a first date after divorce or a remarriage in which the first husband is now the best man, her clever observations fill out the characters in a way only humor can.
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on September 26, 2016
This book is insanely wonderful. Beautiful prose! Intelligent, ingenious turns of phrase. Funny. Thoughtful. In my opinion, there's none better in regard to short stories than Lorrie Moore. And she doesn't have to stoop into the throes of dark violence and despair to keep you thinking and reading. Thoughtful, profound, and let wonderful clear and readable. Love this book.
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on September 18, 2014
I love reading (and writing) short stories and novels. I have read other novels and stories by the author. I loved her novel Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? The characters were interesting and real.The dialogue true, plot interesting and the narrator's voice compelling.

Here we go again: I wanted to like it, but Bark was a different experience. To me, the writing generally seems forced. By that I mean it is stretching with too much effort to find meaning that doesn't seem to be there. The characters suffer from too little redemption in their sorry lives. I didn't laugh enough.

That said, I really like her previous work. My favorites in the contemporary short story genre include Alice Monroe, Carol Shields, Stuart Dybek.
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on April 5, 2014
The stories in Bark are full of all kinds of break ups and of people trying to hold themselves together. Some characters flounder on their own looking for “stray volts of mother love.” Others protect themselves through acceptance because “life was merely the hope for less pain,” and “the only happiness in life [is] to chose the best unhappiness.” But these stories are not without humor. One character comments: “If you’re suicidal, and you don’t actually kill yourself, you become known as wry.” Other laugh-out-loud moments are when a character tries to relieve seasonal allergies by “waterboarding himself with a neti pot.” Moore comments on another character’s plastic surgery and observes that “[h]e would rather look startled and insane, than look fifty-six.” The final story in the collection offers wisdom from an unlikely wedding crasher and ends with one of the wedding guests contemplating the risks required “in order to give life room.”
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on July 26, 2017
I've adored this author since her first work of fiction. Like Alice Munro, she will take you in wonderfully strange directions. Although this is not my favorite story collection of hers, she is still heads above most. Tried to make it last longer with one story before bed nightly but as usual I devoured it.
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on April 12, 2014
I picked up Bark on the recommendation of my mega-reader aunt and after seeing a pretty good review in the NY Times. I forget that oftentimes a short story collection is a set of stories published in the past with not a lot of new writing. Some of the articles did seem familiar from past New Yorkers. That said, the collection is solid and anyone who likes Lorrie Moore's writing and had a thirst for something new since she wrote the highly acclaimed novel A Gate at the Stairs--which was excellent--will enjoy this collection.

There are 8 stories in the book all of which in my opinion are non-traditional in nature. There is something just a bit odd happening to the characters in each book. I thought the first story "Debarking" was the best in the book as we are introduced to Ira who is a newly divorced man in search of what is normal in life now that he does not have a permanent partner. In "The Juniper Tree" we are taken to a world of science fiction where a group of friends encounter their newly dead friend in her house (this was the weirdest story of the bunch). "Referential" talked about a woman with a crazed son who is institutionalized and her attempt to forge a bond with a single man Pete who is in and out of their lives. Finally, I enjoyed "Thank You For Having Me" which depicted a wedding ceremony gone horribly wrong--or at least gone horribly odd--and a mother and her daughter trying to make sense out of the chaos. In fact, the stories in this book are very much about people trying to make sense of chaos and confusion. I highly recommend this book for any fan of the short story genre and for fans of Lorrie Moore. You will not be disappointed.

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 ou
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on June 18, 2014
Not like the bedtime stories read when you were a kid. These are stories about situations and feelings that real people experience. The writing is clever and often surprising. Very different one from the other, reading this compilation is very much like visiting a large house where each of the rooms is entirely different with views from various vantage points. Only a brief time to settle into a read, each of these short stories provides a large helping of grab-and-immerse-me in the characters and what happens to them. Go on - BARK will pleasantly or provocatively disrupt your silence!
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on June 19, 2014
Although I have been huge fan of Moore's earlier works such as: Like Life and Birds of America, I find Bark to be lacking in emotional integrity (as with her previous novel). I have become uninspired by these last two publications, and, although a few witty lines and images show up here, this collection seems to be missing the craft and attention to understated metaphor use I once applauded in her writing.
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on August 10, 2017
I had no idea what I was going to be reading when I started this book. I have come away with an appreciation of how the author uses language and for the situations and characters she writes about. I enjoyed this book very much.
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on June 30, 2014
Eh? I didn't laugh out loud once...or fine the deep meanings in the stories...two were worth reading ( maybe if I had a book club I would realize the greatness ) I love short stories...I'll have to wait for this year's Americas Best Short Stories...I think I agree with the mix reviews I read about the book
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