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Good Things: And Other Stories

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0898232622
ISBN-10: 0898232627
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Knittel pursued undergraduate studies in communications at Ohio University. In 2011, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. Knittel currently works as a medical editor in Madison, Wisconsin. His collection of short stories, Good Things, was selected by finalist judge Charles Simic as the Fairfield University's Fairfield MFA Book Prize winner for 2011.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: New Rivers Press (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898232627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898232622
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Guenther on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nick Knittel's stories have a quiet and low-to-the-ground way about them that is both meditative and, at times, heartbreaking. He is able to craft very real, knowable characters whose rather normal lives slowly reveal a deep sense of humanity; Knittel does not rely upon unnecessary extravagance or overblown circumstances to convey his work's meaning. After my first reading of this collection, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction quite similar to when I first read Salinger's Nine Stories. Thoughtful and earnest, Good Things is a strong addition to the collective voice of young American writers.
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Format: Paperback
Good Things is a sensitive collection of stories. Knittel possess a sweet, delicate insight into his characters, but that insight has an edge. I think the story that struck me most viscerally was "Bengal Tiger," about a mute runaway who is attacked in an alley with her brother.

Knittel places his fragile characters in gritty bars and desperate situations. He shows us their ignoble thoughts and behaviors, but always allows those characters to keep their dignity.

Definitely pick up "Good Things."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic first book! I can't wait to see what Nick Knittel comes up with next. Every story is so different it keeps you hooked. I absolutely had to know what would come next. The stories are not just entertainment, but thought-provoking.
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Format: Paperback
I am halfway through this short story collection, and it is quickly becoming a new favorite. Each story is told from the point of view of a tender and reaffirmingly-human soul whose quiet way of living life inadvertently touches the grand. The reading experience is meditative. The stories and characters stay with you like a sweet and sad dream that makes you care about and pay attention to life a little more throughout the whole next day.

So I highly recommend this book.
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The broken, seedy characters remind us of Dennis Johnson, the restrained narration echoes Raymond Carver, but Nick Knittel brings a new and authentic voice to the ten stories in Good Things. As others have mentioned, Bengal Tiger emerges as the biggest gem in this collection - 27 pages that traverse a welter of emotion, but remain grounded by Knittel's attentive, humanistic prose.

The restraint of Knittel's writing quickly gains our trust--he's not leading us down any dead end roads--but, at times, there is almost too much of it. He's a real talent, and I wonder if some surprises were left at the editing table.

Good Things is a rich debut, and a quick read. Any fan of blue-collar short fiction wouldn't go wrong with this one.
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