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Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
Bragging Bantering Bawling: Collected Stories
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on January 28, 2012
The book was fantastic, funny and completely entertaining! I will pass it on so someone else can enjoy it, thank you!
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on December 10, 2011
Ever wondered what was on the mind of a young, single woman at the beginning of the twenty-first century? Find out in Niya Sisk's Bragging, Bantering, Bawling stories. The stories present a slice of life, a community, really, made up of neighbors, friends, and sympathetic strangers, including pets and even a honey bee.

The narrative voice that fires the stories is the voice of a compassionate, intense, poetic spirit. The writing is often as fine as gossamer, and as delicate: thoughtful, provocative, and a little weird sometimes (but in a good way).

Who can forget the cowboy who spits tobacco juice into his cup at a restaurant or an artist with ALS ("Yay!") who earns the narrator's phone number? Somewhat unsavory male characters predominate in Sisk's world--no lawyers, please!--but rather than taking this as cause for regret, she does the opposite, ending up in bed with the thief who robs the stereo from her car. (He was, at least, a considerate thief.)

"Take me," she says after their night together in a trailer park setting reminiscent of the conclusion to James Dickey's junkyard tryst: "Wild to be wreckage forever."

Sisk's women characters tend toward the suspicious as in Joe's wife, Monica, in "Joe." If the characters as a whole appear to be ugly, not quite grotesque, ugly in the sense of not being able to measure up to the narrator's amazing sensitivity and energy, the narrator is, one realizes, the great big Mama of the sky she cries out to as a child.

For she does not condemn the ugly, she embraces it, him, her as if the ugly were one of her own, and therefore she is like Buddha. She cares for the beauty beneath the appearance, even if she can't admit to the value of what she conceives to be the manmade conception of such a reality.

Like the girl in "Cutting the Boys Loose," "She was well taught by her grandmother not to turn quickly from the suffering in human beings--but to instead linger a bit longer than comfortable to see if there is something to learn, to do, or understand."

"The brain is wider than the sky," said Emily Dickinson, and once you get inside Sisk's brain through her book, the ordinary world opens up into vast intricate vistas--recommended reading, especially for lawyers!
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on January 9, 2012
Niya C. Sisk is an original. Her stories are gripping and are fables of life. Her characters are delightfully eccentric and the plots and sub-plots will provide the reader with endless surprises. Through these tales we are able to laugh hysterically at our own human foibles and experience a vast array of emotions. Ms. Sisk's brilliance and sophistication are ever present in her writing and she portrays slices of life in the most unique and amazing way.
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on December 20, 2011
These stories are brilliant and witty! Niya's sophisticated, artistic talent is woven into each one of her protagonists. She effortlessly describes her characters with a stroke of a pen, which could easily have been a paintbrush, as they come to life as splashes of vivid colors on a canvas. This collection of short stories is a must read for anyone wanting to laugh, cry, or just reflect upon life's timeline of memorable moments.
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on May 1, 2012
In this wonderful anthology of short stories, author Niya Sisk creates dreamlike worlds for her characters to inhabit and interact in. There is a quiet sense of magic, of quest and of longing in many of these tales, that moves the reader through them in a dream-like but deliberate manner. Unexpected points of view lead her characters through comic or tragic (or both!)situations. Humor and compassion are doled out in equal measure. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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