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Refresh, Refresh: Stories Paperback – October 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Tumalo has many textures. Good and evil don't fight each other in horseback showdowns; they are confusedly linked like a jelly fish's tentacles. Pain and loss live on the surface of daily life.
Percy's Tumalo is firstly a masculine world. A world of omnipresent blood, of knuckle-tearing and sledgehammer-swinging factory work, snot and dirt-filled backyard brawls, Budweiser's consumed in front of nightly Wheel of Fortune episodes, and piles of animal bones.
This western and resourceful frontier brawniness, in all its masculinity, however, never ceases being real.
The turbocharged, big chested, Papa Hemingway manliness serves to merely color the inescapable pains and joy's of everyday life: a father at war, a wife's miscarriage, a father tormented with watching his daughter suffer through a destructive relationship.
The brawny, unshaven gruff, the stand-up freezers of hanging deer carcasses, the vultures, hunting dogs, and pools of deep red blood wouldn't work, just wouldn't work without the counterposed textures of human vulnerability and tenderness: the struggling marriage, an aging man feeling his mortality, a tyrannical and abusive husband, and father and son whom cannot find the words to pierce the silence of a car ride down a quiet country road.
The vulnerability and masculinity in "Refresh, Refresh" interplay in a polyphonic, brilliant way that is above all- authentic. These stories from Benjamin Percy represent life lived honestly, if not perfectly, and in unwavering recognition of the human struggles that befall, in some form, us all.Read more ›
I guess I'm a little cynical. I lost faith in the short story? Did I? Is that it? When I read, I'm hopeful. And, despite my faithlessness, I am sometimes surprised.
Let's see. I bought their books after reading Richard Russo's "Horseman," Roy Kesey's "Wait," Nathan Englander's "How We Avenged the Blums," and William Gay's, "Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You?" Lorrie Moore has been pretty influential. Kyle Minor gave me a Flannery O'Connor epiphany with "A Day Meant to Do Less." And I'm still in love with Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried.
Sometimes I hold the stories up to my own fierce literary theories about the redemptive end (see my essay on "Lost," which is out there somewhere). Sometimes I read stuff and just forget about it. But sometimes I read something and take notes.
Okay, let's not call me "cynical." Let's use "eclectic" instead.
So I just finished Benjamin Percy's Refresh, Refresh.
This is one of the good ones. I'm not sure it really meets my whole redemptive-end-standards, but these are good stories with meaning and resolution. They're also fairly, hmm, masculine. I can tell a guy wrote them. I hope that's okay to say. I know I don't like when people say that I write for women (I don't!)--but I'm okay if you say I write like a girl. These are stories written by a guy, though they're not enmeshed in that Hemingway macho stuff. There is, however, a fair amount of hunting and fishing.
But, ultimately, they're stories for men and women. Perhaps they deal with a universal concern.Read more ›
Overall, this is a really good short story collection. I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Percy's breakout collection is one of my favorites. A rare moment to read an author who's become and American-lit staple.Published 5 months ago by E. M. Jenkins
Benjamin Percy is one of my favorite authors writing today. He's able to mix genre fiction with literary fiction to create captivating, eloquent stories. Loved this book. Read morePublished on July 13, 2011 by Richard Thomas
I came to Benjamin Percy's short story collection Refresh, Refresh in a rather backhand way. My first experience of reading his work was in The Wilding, his first full-length novel... Read morePublished on December 6, 2010 by W. V. Buckley
I highly recomend this book to anyone. I agree with most of the reviews posted here and would only summarize what I believe are the most remarkable things about the author and the... Read morePublished on October 25, 2009 by Bernardo Thompson
Great short stories..
Out of the ten stories in the book, five are really, really oustanding! Read more
There is something etched, something rough, something raw about these stories, but nothing unfinished or unturned. Read morePublished on December 30, 2008 by Stefanie Freele
I chose this story collection based on another writer's review. The title story lived up to that review. Read morePublished on September 9, 2008 by Fierce Red Pen