Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $3.01 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Corpus Christi: Stories has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This item is listed as acceptable and has probably been well used. It could have considerable writing or highlighting throughout but is still usable and has been priced accordingly. Please do not buy if you are expecting a perfect copy. It has a couple more reads left before its time to be recycled. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Corpus Christi: Stories Paperback – June 14, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.99
$3.18 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$11.99 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Corpus Christi: Stories
  • +
  • Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer
Total price: $21.27
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his promising debut collection, Johnston travels through time and across socioeconomic divides to present a series of nuanced portraits of middle-aged, middle-American loneliness in all its permutations. All 10 of these astutely observed stories are set in or near Corpus Christi, Tex., a small Gulf Coast city that, in addition to getting hit hard and often by passing hurricanes, is subject to more than its share of emotional storms. Encompassing dusty old horse corrals, private yacht marinas, a naval air station and a run-down motel, Johnston's Corpus is America in microcosm. But it is the emotional landscape that interests the author, not the physical, and, without lapsing into sentimentality, he evokes a peculiarly American brand of abject loneliness and tentative optimism. When his wind-buffeted and storm-scarred protagonists revisit the past, they do so not in the flattering, fire-lit glow of placid old age but in the caustic light of bitter revisionism. A now-grown son recalls the night his father torched their well-tended family home in order to pay off his debts with the insurance settlement. A young man brags to co-workers about reaching 120 mph in his new Lexus, failing to reveal that he did so on his way to visit his wife in a psychiatric hospital. And an elegantly constructed novella in three stories finds a dying mother grappling with the knowledge that her grown son/caretaker "would survive this, rebuild a life that she would never see.... Shouldn't this please rather than terrify and anger her?" In Corpus, memory summons loneliness rather than banishing it, and "calm [is] born not of hope... but of hope's absence."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

According to this debut collection of stories, Corpus Christi is a very depressing place to live. Children, parents, and spouses all die with alarming frequency. When they don't die or lose their loved ones, people suffer from depression or psychosis. In the title story alone there is a miscarriage, a fatal car crash, a divorce, a mother with Alzheimer's, and two people committed to a mental hospital. The high point of this collection is the three stories spread throughout the book that together form a novella and a complete picture of a touching mother-son relationship. Each individual story overcomes its tragic subject matter to deliver an honest and nonpatronizing view of the mainly lower-middle-class characters. However, trying to read these stories in one sitting may require an antidepressant. Marta Segal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812971876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812971873
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first became aware of Brett Anthony Johnston because of a terrific story that he had in the Fall 2011 issue of American Short Fiction titled "Paradeability" about a father coping with the aftermath of his wife's death and his son's obsession with learning how to become a clown, which is the boy's way of coping with his mother's loss. It's a greatly paced and nuanced story, offering wonderful insights into how the father and son cope with tragedy. All the skill at display in that piece made me go searching for more work by Johnston and this collection didn't let me down. Each story offers a terrific premise, great character insight and deft writing.

The 10 stories in the piece, all located in or near Corpus Christi, Texas, are:

1. Waterwalkers - 31 pp - My favorite story in the collection. While a hurricane is bearing down on Corpus Christi, a man runs into his ex-wife in a hardware store. They haven't seen each other in years, since they separated and divorced after the death of their son. The story is filled with evidence of why they had the original connection, and how it got marred by the pain of losing their child.

2. I See Something You Don't See - 29 pp - The first in a trilogy of stories about a son who's had to take time off from his teaching job and post-graduate studies in order to move back to Texas to take care of his mother who is dying from cancer. Here his mother is hopeful that she still has some time to enjoy life, but when the son learns her cancer has actually taken a turn for the worse, he keeps the news from her for a while and is wracked with guilt about keeping a secret he knows will shatter all her newfound hope.

3.
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago I stopped buying short story collections as I found it to be like buying a CD by a favorite band: There would be the one, popular, Top 10 cut, then the rest of the music would be filler. I was encouraged by a writer-friend to read Corpus Christi and I have to say honestly that each and every story is a gem. This book made me laugh and weep and sing and dance--and weep again--sometimes in the sadness of the story, sometimes in joy at the gift of Johnston's writing. Long ago it seemed the literary world lost the vision of a short story with beginning, middle, end. Here the skill in such craftsmanship is reborn. Bret Johnston deftly chisels every sentence out of the substance that is his beloved medium: the written word.
Thank the muses!
If you love the short story as an art form, buy this book! You won't be disappointed.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on June 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book.
Sumptuously written with dialogue and detail that remind you of the beauty that is life. There are no "heroes" among these characters and stories...just people who bravely face their surroundings, not just physical (the inevitable hurricane) but emotional as well. There is loss. There is regret. There is everything that memory assails us with; but these stories also tell of what memory rewards us with. This may not be a book for the faint-hearted, for these characters are certainly not. They face their shining moments and imperfections with a grace and courage that makes you glad to know their stories.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
One of the biggest literary errors made by new (and even some veteran) writers is to trumpet THE BIG, EMOTIONAL EVENT. Not so with Bret Anthony Johnston's exquisite, powerful debut collection, "Corpus Christi." Whether dealing with madness, a father's violence or broken marriages, Johnston uses both restraint and often humor to paint characters who are as real and flawed as any in modern literature. "Corpus Christi" brings us to places plumbed by Annie Proulx and Dagoberto Gilb but with Johnston's own remarkable imprint.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
All ten of the stories in Johnston's collection deal with similar topics; loss, infidelity, and how families respond to these events are a common theme throughout. Mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters all have a voice in Johnston’s work. This range of perspectives allows the reader to see multiple sides of each story, showcasing the literary skill of the writer who crafted such authentic characters.

The first story, ‘Waterwalkers’, is about a man reuniting with his ex-wife several years after the sudden death of their only son. As the two prepare to brave an impending hurricane, they are forced to stay together overnight and reflect on the past. The violent storm serves as a physical representation, a displacement, of the inner turmoil both characters face when bringing up memories of the past. Only after they reconcile and rekindle their relationship does the weather outside abate.

Three of the ten stories, powerful on their own, connect to form a longer narrative. Part one, ‘I see Something You Don’t See’, introduces a young man named Lee and his dying mother, Minnie. Lee is first to hear about his mother’s terminal cancer and struggles with whether or not he should tell her or let Minnie live out the remainder of her days in blissful ignorance. The first is told from both of their viewpoints while the second focuses on Minnie’s relationship with her late husband and the third more heavily follows Lee dealing with his mother’s passing. Each character is shown strongest not in their interactions with each other but in how they think of and remember one another in their memories. Scenes in the present are accompanied by those from the past, contrasting who they were with who they’ve become. Lee, especially, goes through enough of a change to warrant his own novella. Johnston writes all his characters with genuine craft and emotion, organically revealing their intricacies.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Corpus Christi: Stories
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Corpus Christi: Stories