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No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories Paperback – May 6, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's a testament to July's artistry that the narrators of this arresting first collection elicit empathy rather than groans. "Making Love in 2003," for example, follows a young woman's dubious trajectory from being the passive, discarded object of her writing professor's attentions to seducing a 14-year-old boy in the special-needs class she teaches, while another young woman enters the sex industry when her girlfriend abandons her, with a surprising effect on the relationship. July's characters over these 16 stories get into similarly extreme situations in their quests to be loved and accepted, and often resort to their fantasy lives when the real world disappoints (which is often): the self-effacing narrator of "The Shared Patio" concocts a touching romance around her epilectic Korean neighbor; the aging single man of "The Sister" weaves an elaborate fantasy around his factory colleague Victor's teenage sister (who doesn't exist) to seduce someone else. July's single emotional register is familiar from her film Me and You and Everyone We Know, but it's a capacious one: wry, wistful, vulnerable, tough and tender, it fully accommodates moments of bleak human reversals. These stories are as immediate and distressing as confessionals. (May)
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 Bookmarks Magazine

Miranda July's impressive accomplishments include two exhibits at the Whitney Biennial, an award-winning film (Me and You and Everyone We Know), two albums on the record label Kill Rock Stars, and now her praised collection of short stories (encouraged by her literary mentor Rick Moody). The stories, previously published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harper's, Tin House, and other literary journals, won July praise as "a strange and compelling new voice" (Seattle Times). Even those who found the collection uneven and the narrative voices of each story eerily similar admire the best ones as "funny and insightful, offering moments of utter heartbreak through deeper, more sophisticated storytelling" (New York Times Book Review).

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743299418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743299411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are some very private, strangely beautiful moments in these short stories. It's an almost perfect little tome although a writer friend of mine made a very interesting observation. He said that he often felt that Miranda's quirkiness superseded substance as was the case in "The Swimming Lesson." In retrospect I agree with him but I still loved this book and bought copies to give to friends. It's worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
I kind of had a secret crush on Miranda July after watching her delightful film "You and Me and Everyone We Know". After reading this book though, the shine is beginning to wear off.

I enjoyed the first few stories of this book, but was more than ready to move on to something else by the end. Her stories aren't so much stories in the traditional sense, but more like quirky, silly things that come into her mind that's written into a stream of consciousness which then don't really have endings in the traditional sense either. All of this could be fine, but every story is just so precious and kooky there's no ground of normalcy to stand on.

There are times though when she really captures the small things in life. There were some instances where she's describing the small behaviors of couples interactions that really connected with me, as I felt I'd had similar experiences that I'd never seen written out like that. I do love her creativity, as this book is like nothing else that I've read. I just wish there would have been a bit more substance in place of some of her Miranda July-ness.

Also, something that annoyed me was how her dialogue never ends with "so and so said". It's just paragraph after paragraph of characters dialogue, and sometimes I had to go back and figure out which character was saying what. Why does she do that? It's kooky I guess.

All in all, this book is best in small doses. Read a chapter here and there, and you'll probably have some fun. Otherwise, you may overdose on twee.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book feels like a creepy adult version of Dr. Seuss. I bought this because of an article I read in the New York Times about Miranda July. It creeped me out, made me laugh and entertained me through long periods of waiting for the bus.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd been meaning to read this book for a long time. I've owned it for years and even started it twice, both times ultimately setting it aside in favor of something that seemed more interesting before I'd gotten so much as halfway through. I really enjoyed Miranda July's movie Me and You and Everyone We Know and wanted to give her book a fair shot by actually finishing it, so I buckled down and didn't stop until I'd turned the last page.

My actual rating for No One Belongs Here More Than You is 3.5 stars, but that's not an option here so I've rounded it to 3 because for me it leans more in that direction than 4. I had a difficult time feeling transported by and getting lost in these stories. Probably my biggest issue was that I wanted them to come to more of a conclusion somehow, to have more of a point, or at least more of a payoff. The fact that every story seemed to just sort of fade out without much of a purpose seemed to give the book as a whole the feeling that IT lacked much of a purpose. There were some great moments throughout the book, I definitely highlighted multiple passages where July's use of language was particularly interesting/pretty/truthful. I enjoyed Birthmark the most, and also genuinely liked The Swim Team and The Sister. Something That Needs Nothing wasn't bad either. I half really enjoyed and half really didn't Making Love in 2003. The stories were unique, and July didn't seem afraid to write whatever the hell she felt like writing, whether that meant including a sort of super natural element or a controversial/taboo topic, and I appreciated the genre-defying nature of them. At the same time, there were also stories (like The Moves) that felt like they were mostly shocking for the sake of being shocking and ultimately didn't really go anywhere or say very much. I found myself feeling very `...okay, and?'

It wasn't awful. Ultimately, I really just wanted this book to DO more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How can you not love Miranda July? There is no artist/writer in the world like her. She is singular, and I describe people as such uber sparingly! I keep this book in my office and pick it up when I need to shake myself out of a creativity slump. I love the lens through which she looks at life at the world.
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Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I'm a longtime fan of and contributor to Miranda July's collaborative website, Learning To Love You More. Last year's Me and You and Everyone We Know is a film I regularly dream of making. So despite my anticipation of July's premiere short story collection and real fascination and appreciation for her work as a writer, filmmaker and performer; I give this anthology a centrist's recommendation. If you aren't familiar with July's media, suffice to say she's one of the more brilliant working artists of her generation, and this collection wouldn't be the worst place to get acquainted. I'd just probably recommend a smaller dose of her quirky formula.

One of July's greatest strengths is her ability to tease out the strangeness of everyday life and the bizarre interactions we take for granted. While in this compendium she certainly includes the usual intense encounters - the return of a once-removed birthmark or tragedy involving the people with whom she is forced to share an apartment patio - most of the stories in No One Belongs Here More Than You are full of awkward sexual interactions or unrequited fantasies. Not bad or even or out of character, I still found myself yearning for more offbeat anecdotes and metaphors than lustful musings. However, what I do cherish are July's introspective reflections on love: women who cry together in group romance therapy, informal childcare surrogacy, the couple who knew subconsciously they would sacrifice each other in the face of a killer, taking a sewing class to spy on your boss's mysterious wife. My favorite story, "This Person," also drew to mind a 1999 Dismemberment Plan song, "You Are Invited." Random reference, I know, but the two are so comparable, if you like the story "This Person," you'll love the song too.
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