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Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories by [Rash, Ron]
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Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This collection of stories takes place in small areas in western North Carolina, many dipping into people’s lives that are about to change and staying long enough to see the consequences of their actions or plans. The paths that the people take give Rash the chance to let us get to know their lives and the history of the area, all compellingly told in an even tone. Time moves back and forth seamlessly, resulting in outcomes that, although not always fully revealed, nevertheless feel inevitable. In many of the stories, people who try to leave or change their current circumstances end up worse off. For instance, in “Those Who Are Dead Are Only Now Forgiven,” the story of a town, a house, and kids all hit hard by the bad economy, a couple of high-school sweethearts get all the way up to the financial-aid forms for college before the girl changes her mind. His visits home find her a meth addict, and their world of options diminish. Within the confines of place, the similarities and varieties of the stories make this a wonderful collection. --Lani Smith


* Rash can create a character in a single sentence; this is the great American short story at its best The Times * Rash's prose is at once strong and supple, masculine and poetic, and lit up by a wealth of precise detail Sunday Times * Nothing Gold Can Stay is excitingly versatile, covering time periods from the Civil War to the present and ranging in mood from wryly comic to brutal. The 14 stories are united by clean, tough specificity, courtly backwoods diction, and a capacity for sending shivers New York Times * All these stories speak about relationships, and at their heart is often the desire for something better, something more. Rash's unforgettable, beautifully crafted, sure and strong stories tap into whan human beings want from each other, and want from the world -- Lesley McDowell Independent on Sunday * Nothing Gold Can Stay is excitingly versatile, covering periods in time from the American Civil War to the present day, and ranging in mood from wryly comic to brutal. The 14 stories are united by clean, tough specificity, courtly backwoods diction, and a capacity for sending shivers down the spine... Nothing Gold Can Stay contains more fine stories than can be done justice here -- Janet Maslin The Scotsman * With Nothing Gold Can Stay, Ron Rash cements his reputation as one of the foremost chroniclers of that mythic uber-America known as the South... At his best, Rash evokes an understated poignancy that is genuinely affecting... Washington Post * Burning Bright netted Ron Rash the 2010 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award and earned him comparisons to Raymond Carver, John Steinbeck, William Trevor and Cormac McCarthy ... If you haven't read Ron Rash yet, you have a treat in store Irish Times * A collection of short stories about Appalachia that are actually more like diamonds: cold, glittering, valuable New York Magazine * There's a powerful certainty that these short stories at least - the finest by a very fine writer - will stay with you for a long time to come Washington Independent Review of Books * Nothing Gold Can Stay is lyrical and honest, grounded in place yet sweeping in scope Boston Globe * Remarkable ... Mr Rash certainly knows how to rivet attention New York Times * Technically absolutely beautiful - incredibly well-wrought ... Ron Rash is a real storyteller -- Nadine O'Regan, judge of the Frank O'Connor Award, on BURNING BRIGHT * Could sit comfortably on any bookshelf beside Cormac McCarthy and Charles Frazier The Guardian on SERENA * These are tales that put you in another place, another kind of life Daily Mail on BURNING BRIGHT * Another fine collection from Ron Rash ... his oneness with the region and its people makes an indelible impression Kirkus Reviews * All I need to write here is read this book. Read everything he has written. Scoop up all his books, secrete yourself in a quiet room, and then emerge pale, shaken and amazed The Puffin Review * Rash impresses with clear-eyed, sympathetic writing about flawed and troubled characters Publishers Weekly * They are beautiful, moving stories. Rash's prose is so clear, so controlled that he manages to convey huge amounts about character, situation and motivations in just a few perfect words -- Doug Johnstone The Big Issue

Product Details

  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (February 19, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 19, 2013
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089LOJVI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,329 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fairbanks Reader - Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed each and every one of these stories. Ron Rash has a way with words and his stories are interesting, intriguing and often surprising.

In The Trusty, a prisoner gets loose and with the help of a woman he sees his way to freedom only to have things turn on him in the end.

In Cherokee, Danny goes to a casino hoping to win enough money to pay off his debt. He and his wife check in to the hotel and Danny carefully plays the slot machines.

A man who considers himself a 'Servant of History' looks into the etiology of songs. His search for these beginnings ends up turning around and harming him.

Those Who Are Dead Are Only Now Forgiven was one of my favorite stories in the collection. A college student is in love with Lauren who has turned into a meth-head. He tries to free her from her addiction but ends up giving himself to her and her demons.

The Dowry is another of my favorites. A family is totally against the marriage of their daughter and is about to kill her fiance when a pastor steps in to make things right and evens up the score.

All of the stories have panache and I read them aloud to my husband as we were driving. It was great to hear the words spoken and to share the book with someone else. It is a welcome addition to Rash's repertoire of works and I plan to read his other short stories soon. For those of you who enjoyed 'Serena', these stories will not be disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ron Rash's short stories stir the mind to, and renew my perception of, the lower classes in the South, their mindset and ills, like no other writer has. Anais Nin said, "What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it."

Ron Rash is a magician then. He's a wizard who, without resorting to stereotypes, writes honestly, and for the most part realistically, about depressing subjects while maintaining, perhaps unintentionally, an optimistic air, or Hope. In a short story, he connects you to the character(s) in a way that's rare. One that struck me particularly hard was "The Ascent" in his collection, "Burning Bright: Stories," about a typical 5th grader whose parents are meth-head scavengers from whom he wishes to fly away.

I purchased "Nothing Gold Can Stay" after reading reviews for this and prior books by Ron Rash. Since I've read this, I've bought and read his other short story books (the ibooks) "Burning Bright: Stories" and "Chemistry and Other Stories." I have enjoyed nearly every story in each volume, even the ones that seem to me somewhat far-fetched like "A Sort of Miracle," with Baroque and Marlboro, in "Nothing Gold..." I get a rush as I start each new story and find nearly every one of them provocative of folks and places and what-nots I've known growing up in the Deep South. For short story collections, you can't beat that. I highly recommend this and the other 2 mentioned above.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ron Rash can be a tough read because his stories often have nasty outcomes. Beyond this the characters are sharply developed, the reader will form attachment or revulsion, as if every character were a personal acquaintance and has done the reader good or evil. I began reading Rash in short story form and progressed to his novels. His shifty twists and surprising endings are worth the price of admission, and then some.

I haven't read as many of his novels but living in logging country, right up next to the tree-falling side of the business I can say Ron's novel, "Serena" is the finest accounting of the cutting and sawing end of the logging business I have ever read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing Gold Can Stay is a collection of 14 short stories by Ron Rash, a professor at Western Carolina University. The stories are all set across various parts of western North Carolina -- from the city of Asheville to the small foothills town of Lattimore; and take place across a wide swath of time periods. Rash does an excellent job of capturing the culture and people of western NC in his writing. In fact, one of the more impressive parts of the work is how accurately he captures life in the area with attention to detail across the various time periods he visits. Although each story is short, Rash is excellent at pulling the reader in and getting them to understand and care about the main characters -- even if they aren't the best of people. While the stories are all good and entertaining, they often end in a way that leaves the reader wanting more. While a short story is just a small snippet of a character's life, some of these offerings feel like an incomplete snippet. In addition, it is a bit frustrating to see the depressing angle in many of the stories. In several instances, the reader is left hoping that the character will make the right decision, while ultimately realizing they'll choose the wrong path. Even in the rare instance where the main character makes the unexpected right decision, it's often because of some inner feeling of hopelessness (as in the story "Cherokee" where a gambler has to decide how far to ride his good fortune). Ultimately, this is a good read -- but one that is often frustrating.
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