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The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman by [Friedman, Bruce Jay]
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The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 484 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From poignant bildungsroman to sly satire, from wicked comedy to surrealistic farce, this virtuosic collection covers more than four decades' worth of short stories (1952-1995) by novelist (Stern), screenwriter (Stir Crazy), and playwright (Steambath) Friedman. With a caricaturist's gift for evoking complexities in a few quick strokes, Friedman illuminates the minds of both ordinary guys and egregious eccentrics as they grapple with pivotal decisions. A college professor contemplates life as a pimp; another man dreams of helping Sammy Davis Jr. relax. A hospital patient's EKG follows fluctuations in a stock price; a suicide "jumper" refuses to be sweet-talked by a cop. The 48 stories here are grouped into seven sections ("Crazed Youth"; "Sex"; "Death," and so on); several of the tales feature Harry Towns, a screenwriter who wrestles with personal responsibility, the uncertainty of Hollywood life and a recreational cocaine habit. In still other stories, one Martin Gans attends strangers' funerals to make sure enough fuss is made; Mr. Prinzo devises a perverse test of his analyst's discretion; Mr. Dworkin weaves elaborate sexual fantasies as he interviews job applicants. Throughout, Friedman explores themes such as loneliness, aging, fear, parenthood and ethnicity, spinning tales in an expertly modulated voice that lies somewhere equidistant from those of Wilde, Salinger and Woody Allen.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Like his film script Splash, the typical Friedman story begins in the realm of the mundane, takes a quick surreal detour, and travels erratically through an idiosyncratic and highly risible countryside. In "The Big Six," for example, clumps of broccoli from a special can allow the eater to return to the past and "consummate early seductions that went awry." Originally published between 1953 and 1995, these 48 stories provide wry commentary on social behavior spanning almost half a century. In a semblance of order, the stories appear under headings like "Crazed Youth," "Mother," "Sex," and "Death." At times these categories themselves seem to be a part of Friedman's running joke. For example, "The Holiday Celebrators" is a tale about gamblers who must arrange traffic fatalities so that they can win bets on the holiday death toll. Inexplicably, this story comes in the middle of the section labeled "Sex." Recommended for most collections.?Albert Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 1397 KB
  • Print Length: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (December 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005012P6Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,924 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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