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I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project Paperback – September 7, 2002
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When the call went out to listeners of National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered to submit stories about their personal experiences, the results were overwhelming. I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project contains editor Paul Auster's pick of the best submissions. The stories, whether fact or fiction, all exhibit a heartfelt earnestness to be heard, and share similar themes of bizarre coincidences, otherworldly intervention, love and loss, life-changing experiences, and mundane pleasures. Some are deeply moving, most are not. But it is uplifting and well worth the time to sift through these brief snapshots of our collective human experience.
To give the book shape, Auster has done his best to categorize the material by subject, such as Animals, Families, War, Love, Dreams, and the like. These categories hold true to the submission criteria: "[I was most interested in] stories that defied our expectations about the world, anecdotes that revealed the mysterious and unknowable forces at work in our lives, in our family histories, in our minds and bodies, in our souls.... I was hoping to put together ... a museum of American reality." I Thought My Father Was God is a testament that, despite what on a bad day we may think is a drab existence, we all have a few good stories in us. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Finally, a bathroom book worthy of Pulitzer consideration: the one- to three-page stories gathered in this astonishing, addictive collection are absolute gems. In 1999, novelist Paul Auster (Timbuktu) and the hosts of National Public Radio's All Things Considered asked listeners to send in true stories to be read on-air as part of the National Story Project. Auster received more than 4,000 submissions; the 180 best are published here. The result is "an archive of facts, a museum of American reality." Auster is particularly interested in stories that "def[y] our expectations about the world, anecdotes that [reveal] the mysterious and unknowable forces at work in our lives." Accordingly, a vast number of the stories involve incredible, stranger-than-fiction coincidences: a pendant lost in the ocean off Atlantic City that's discovered 10 years later in a Lake Placid antique shop; the missing pieces of a china set handpainted by the author's grandmother that mysteriously surface at a flea market; a man who turns purple and dies just after being told to "drop dead." Others, while not as improbable, are no less powerful: an anecdote about a ruined birthday cake, for instance, leads one contributor to muse that fighting is "an intimate gesture reserved for the people close to you."; a small boy's realization that his mother has pawned her wedding ring so that she can buy him a school uniform serves as the knockout last line of one of the collection's quieter stories. (Sept.)Forecast: The renaissance in autobiographical writing, the accessibility of these captivating stories, and this title's appeal to all sorts of readers make this an ideal gift book. The push it will get from NPR should ensure robust sales.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
THe stories are short, extremely well written, and all seem to come from the heart.
Most of the stories make you feel like you have a little fascinating insight into the lives of people - a wide variety of people with different values, expectations, and life experiences. Admittedly, people you will never actually meet, but somehow the stories make you feel close to them. THey also give you different ways to look at things, and new ideas to think about. They run the gamut of the human experience. And these are stories that will stay with you for a long time.
The stories are honest, sincere, and not always happy. But reading from this book always leaves me with a warm, happy feeling.
The experiences told in this eclectic and endlessly absorbing collection are varied and run the gamut of experiences life has to offer. There are stories of love, loss, regret, joy, sorrow, and growing up. The subjects that bring on these emotions are as varied as a pet bird, a sharp slap from a parent, a new piece of clothing, a weekend alone at the beach, a party in which the increasingly annoying guest of honor gets his face pushed into the cake, a reconnection with a former lover, a loose car tire, and a harrowing audition for a sleazy adult film.
Some of the stories are flatly told, facts laid out on the page. Others take loving care with the details. Either way, the accretion of all the stories gives the reader a most satisfying sense of membership by the end of the book--membership in the human race.
and will do so again in the future. I just recently bought a second copy to have as my "lending" copy. If you want to be
moved to tears and or laughter, pick up one or two copies of this book!