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Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day Paperback – July 26, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The 40 cheerfully ominous stories in this collection feel like collaborations between Tex Avery and Franz Kafka." -Publishers Weekly

"Strange, gorgeous fables - the reader isn't sure if she has dreamed them or read them." -Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Review of Books

"These stories are full of wit, humor, and heart, at times koan-like in their deceptive simplicity and focus." -Michael Patrick Brady, Boston Globe

"...lonely, haunting, and dreamlike..." -Gary K. Wolfe, Locus Magazine

"Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day might be the best collection of wonder and amazement I have ever read." -Michael Jones, Blogcritics.org

"...loopy yet lovely..." -Elle Magazine

"...immensely entertaining..." -The AV Club

"One of a kind: a thoroughly entertaining antidote to rigid thinking and excessive seriousness." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

From the Inside Flap

"Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a book that comes alive when you read it. It will stand on its own, pet your hair while you sleep, and hold the umbrella over your head in the rain." -Aaron Dietz, author of Super
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 33620th edition (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143119508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143119500
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Raymond Chandler once said that a "good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled." When I first came to read Ben Loory's stories five years ago, I began to see just what Chandler meant. For me, these stories were, and are, a revelation: in some ways so modern, their brevity suited to our contemporary attention span, so easily consumed sitting on the subway, while wondering how a particular tale might end (I never could guess what would happen next), and yet so familiar: so like the fables, and myths, the sagas, and the dreams and the twilight zones that I have loved, that they feel they must have existed before Ben wrote them.

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is pure distillate of story, boiled down to the essential words that unfurl inside and take up residence, and the disarming restraint of their sinewy form only serves to bring me in closer so that I'm collected inside them, as they are inside this book, as they collect inside my memory, as they make laugh (oh so hard), cower (equally hard), and smile (hardest there is). They make me feel, for those moments when I am in them, that I have a reprieve from this world, and have really lived these stories myself, that I was part of them and those sublimely surreal other worlds that we are still left to discover in this looryverse.

The most visceral moments in reading are the ones to wait for, so absorbing you can almost reach out and touch the taut atmosphere, and the tension of the tale resolves itself inside you. Ben's book is full of these moments, told with a direct simplicity and metre; his words wash over you, delightful and unexpected, like a convenient sprinkler on an unbearably hot day.
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Format: Paperback
Here's the thing about the stories in Ben Loory's collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, each one will make you feel something different. One of them made me cry with its sad beauty. Another scared the bejeezus out of me with its quiet terror. Another made this desert rat of a girl long for the ocean. And still another made me laugh out loud with delight. Some of them torture you with their brevity...wait, you say, that's it? But I want to know more! But Mr. Loory doesn't tell you more. And it's ok really. Only giving you that bit that he's giving you and making that bit so very powerful is what keeps his stories with you for days and days after you've read them. Pondering...imagining...weighing.
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Format: Paperback
Ben Loory's Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a book of fairy tales for adults. Kind of. The tales have this sort of secret ingredient in them that makes you feel incredibly wise when you read the book. Like, while you're reading it, you might think, "Of course I don't know why that man did that thing in this story, but I feel like I'm almost smart enough to figure it out even though it's an unsolvable puzzle. Take that, person-who-got-better-grades-than-me-in-elementary-school!"

When Ben Loory read a piece from the book in Denver, my girlfriend and I both cried. When Ben Loory sent me the manuscript for a blurb, I held it in my heart each night for a summer while my girlfriend was in Taiwan. Oh, to get through the day and have stories from this book awaiting you!

Here's the blurb I wrote:

"Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a book that comes alive when you read it. It will stand on its own, pet your hair while you sleep, and hold the umbrella over your head in the rain."

None of those claims are outrageous in the least.
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Format: Paperback
The blurb there really pulled me in. A collection of short stories with a little bit of horror, a little bit of sci-fi, a little bit of everything. It sounded right up my alley. And it really wasn't bad but it left me wanting. Not necessarily more stories but more out of the stories that were already in there.

There's a thin thread of similarity among all of the stories - there's something not right about them. Whatever it is, the ending will twist. The degree of that twist isn't always the same but they're strung together by a hint of the macabre in each. That I really did like. There wasn't a story in this anthology that I didn't like.

Kind of in that same vein they were so short that I think that was a big reason why I couldn't find one that I didn't like. All of them had enough to pull me in and hold on to me, with endings that were more often than not abrupt but still provided a punch. But at the same time they were so short that, for a lot of them I felt like I couldn't get too much out of them. There were some that did well as short stories, written succinctly and that the voice did it a service. One that really stands out in my head is with a little boy crawling through a water tunnel trying to find the end and getting stuck. The ending to that one is phenomenal.

But by the end of STORIES I was a little done with the writing. It's a very simple type of style that I think works really well in small doses and fit many of Loory's shorts but reading one after another in the same tone just got a little boring for me. While the subjects of the stories differed, the voice was the same in every single one of them. Aside from the short I mentioned above, not too many others really stood out to me because the voice blended them all together.
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