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We're All in This Together: A Novella and Stories Paperback – Bargain Price, July 11, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, July 11, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the 26-year-old scion of literary giant Stephen King comes a compelling, imaginative debut collection of four short stories both creepy and heartfelt, plus a compassionate novella about a 15-year-old son of a single mother. Set in Maine around the 2000 election, the title novella captures the teenage narrator's anger over his mother's impending marriage to Dr. Vic, while his family, led by a union organizer grandfather, seethes over Bush's election. George lays siege to his mother's relationship and helps his grandfather build a sniper's nest from which to attack the paperboy who defaces the old man's "Al Gore is the Real President" sign. Freaks and weirdos—external symptoms of his protagonists' inner struggles—people King's shorter stories, which strive to balance the lurid with a reach for emotional truth. In "Wonders," about a baseball player who takes his pregnant girlfriend to a Coney Island circus freak abortionist, the macabre and the heartfelt feel discordant, and the story ends with unearned violence. But in "Frozen Animals," King achieves a surreal blend of gory, vivid description of unanesthetized dental surgery layered with the drug-addicted dentist's intermittent memories of a happier past. This original collection heralds the arrival of the next generation.
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.


“The title novella of King's first collection is its heart and soul: a powerful exploration of the flimsiness of political moral certainty....The novella...like all great storytelling, has real strength. Newcomer King is a talent to watch.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“[T]he novella is terrific; the accompanying stories less so ? [King's] is a voice well worth hearing....Read this book for the novella alone. It wouldn't have taken many more pages to have made it into a worthy first novel, and it shines with promise.” ―Hartford Courant

“King possesses a rare understanding of the macabre side of our workaday lives....We're All in This Together has enough moments of crystalline insight into human folly to prove he's finding a voice and an artistic sensibility all his own.” ―Andrew Ervin, The Washington Post

“Owen King knows a thing or two about our yen for hate, and he has made it a potent subtext of his literary debut....Some day, when historians are frantically looking for artifacts of our Age of Hate, I think they will stumble upon We're all in this Together.” ―Denver Post

“Owen King manages to take all of these characters and their idiosyncratic lives and weave stories that are darkly hilarious, truthfully touching, and leave the reader in no doubt that we really are all in this together.” ―San Antonio ExpressNews

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582345880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,592,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Owen King the son of mega-selling phenomenon Stephen King shines with this collection. His first foray into the publishing world. The writing is like a refreshened Stephen King, like the second coming. At times macabre but mostly very poignant.

The novella, "We're All In This Together," is a mostly bittersweet story. There is comedy mixed in. Mr. King captures the climate of the nation at the time period it takes place. Everyone thinks they are right. But we're all in it together and we all deal with the same problems, young or old.

"Frozen Animals" is a short strange, narrative about a dentist. I believe the title implies the chracters in this story are animals. Read the story and I think you will believe the same.

"Wonders" is a snapshot, a picture post-card of an era long gone. The thoughts and views of the characters are where the nation was at that time. Baseball seems to be a running theme with both King writers. This story is a macabre and sad semi-love story.

"Snake," a story of a young man obsessed with crime novels is kind of strange. He comes from a broken home and believes his father lies about everything. It is poignant and sort of ends abruptly.

The final story "My Second Wife" is like a bad acid trip. Very weird story of a road trip to aquire a death row inmates car. Strange, strange, strange.

All and all each narrative is crafted with surgical precision. A worthy beginning to what I hope will be a thriving career.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Owen King is off and running with his new book, "We're All in This Together", a collection of stories nicely put together by the author. If this book is any indication, the author has a luster-filled career ahead of him.

Beginning with the "novella", after which King's book is named, he takes us through four more engrossing (and occasionally "grossing"!) short stories. His finest offering is the novella itself, where politics mix with paint balls and odd family connections. King is terrifically descriptive and his attention to detail is engaging. The state of Maine figures prominently throughout the book, as one would understand, given his own background. The stories which follow are mostly fine but sometimes a little uneven. "My Second Wife", which concludes the book, is the richest and the warmest. "Frozen Animals" and "Snake" are filled with humor. Only "Wonders" kept me from giving this book five stars.

Owen King has produced a book that leaves me wanting to read his next one. "We're All in This Together" is well worth the read for its scope, depth and pace. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Owen King's debut collection, We're All in This Together, reveals an expert craftsman at work, a brilliant storyteller whose creations never strike a false note and never fail to surprise. The eponymous novella, set in the wake of the fateful 2000 presidential election, is told in the pitch-perfect voice of an adolescent coming uneasily of age in Maine. Carefully balancing pathos and humor, King tells of the dissolution and attempted restoration of the young narrator's family on the one hand and the attenuated but ultimately salvageable ideals of the community and its most high-minded exponents on the other. In the four short stories that follow, which take in everything from a baseball team representing Coney Island in fullest, oddest flower to an itinerant dentist whose snowbound trek to treat a patient requires as much mettle as the ghastly extraction he must perform, King's creative vision and his perfect empathy for the characters whose fallibilities and grace render their stories worth the telling are on full display. We're All in This Together is a remarkable collection which rewards with every turn of the page and resounds with an emotional authenticity able to make the most callous heart or the most deadened tooth ache.
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Format: Hardcover
Owen King's first book arrives just in time, a welcome corrective to all that needs improvement in contemporary fiction: it is heartfelt, genuine, and very, very funny. Gone are the tricky postmodern devices of the McSweeney's set, the pseudo-intellectuals riding up escalators to buy shoelaces. What we get, instead, are nineteenth-century animal trappers, pot-smoking retirees, paintball fighting, and a riot of Coney Island circus performers - all rendered with a combination of generous imagination and firm prose that made me think of Richard Russo, Dickens, or the early John Irving.

The title novella is a sympathetic commentary on the perils of dogmatism. It sketches a world in which neither of the ideological poles its plot so carefully sets up -- the liberal-activist grandfather or the hapless, republican "Dr. Vic"-- can be either fully supported or completely criticized. The child at the center of this tug-of-war is the story's emotional grounding: he learns, at the same pace readers do, to extend his sympathies, to look further than his assumptions -- and to recognize that we ourselves are often the ones most in need of, well, re-centering.

Despite their laugh-out-loud jokes and uniquely outsized plotting, it's possible, too, to identify thematic links among King's stories. In their ways, all of these stories demonstrate the untidiness of lived experience, charting how physical bodies, irrational emotions, and the world itself infringe on the desire for pure truths, for certainty. As is evident in "We're All In This Together" and "Wonders" especially, the solid assurance that an election or a baseball swing might offer is something that's never granted these characters.
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