- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (April 4, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780743273947
- ISBN-13: 978-0743273947
- ASIN: 074327394X
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 133 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules Paperback – April 4, 2005
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Consider the irresistible narrative arc of Sedaris' personal essays, his indelible voice, and his crisp timing, and it will come as no surprise that he is an avid, insightful reader of short stories. He is so inspired by the form that he has put together an A-list anthology of his favorites, thus creating a collection that will seduce readers heretofore resistant to the form, and induce fellow short story lovers to nod in pleased recognition. One can't go wrong with an anthology that includes Katherine Mansfield's "The Garden Party," Flannery O'Connor's "Revelation," and stories by Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolff, and Jhumpa Lahiri, let alone appearances by Dorothy Parker and Patricia Highsmith. An epilogue by Sarah Vowell explains that the proceeds from this collection will go to 826NYC, a nonprofit tutoring program designed to help students learn to write, one of a string of programs being established across the country by the creative and enterprising group at McSweeney's. Donna Seaman
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About the Author
David Sedaris is the author of the internationally bestselling Barrel Fever, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
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I recognized the names of many of the authors, but had never read anything in this collection. The first half were just pointing out humanity's shortcomings, not in any particular enlightening or enjoyable writing style.
Further in the stories become much more violent - abduction of a teenager with vivid descriptions of her rape and torture, then you have parents bargaining for their cancerous baby's life and just for kick's, a man's head being shot, point-blank with a bullet and the entire trip of the bullet being laid out.
It just was not my cup of tea. I understood what the stories the authors were telling, I've lived in this world long enough to have seen this kind of horror up close. I just wish this book had had a warning on it before I bought it ... NOT PLEASANT READING, NIGHTMARES POSSIBLE
I am not the slightest bit disappointed that this wasn't a collection of Sedaris stories, because the selections he picked are fantastic. In fact, this is probably the best collection of short stories that I have ever encountered. Not a bad one in the bunch. Most of them are really depressing and downright hard to read. In particular, "In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen in Buried" by Amy Hempel and "People Like That are the Only People Here" by Lorrie Moore. Both stories deal with different aspects of cancer and both are honest and heartbreaking.
I think the only story that I had previously read, was Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies." It's such a well crafted story, that I really enjoyed a second read of it. Really, this is an outstanding short story collection and I cannot praise it enough. Read it!!!