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You Have Time for This: Contemporary American Short-Short Stories Paperback – November 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""These contenders for the title of ‘world’s best short-short stories’ are by some of the best micro and flash writers I know of, writers such as Katherine Weber, Bruce Holland Rogers, Sherrie Flick, Deb Olin Unferth, Bruce Boston, and Aimee Bender. How can they do it in less than five hundred words—suspense, revelation, a twist of metaphor or plot or character, and sometimes all—before you can turn the page? It’s like levitation—I’m skeptical, but seeing is believing. A good book by two editors who are excellent flash fiction writers themselves.” 

Robert Shapard, co-editor of New Sudden Fiction and Flash Fiction Forward

From the Back Cover

Welcome to the book that satiates your craving for quality literature without taxing your schedule. Inside you'll find fifty-three stories of love, death, fantasy, and foreign lands, collected by two of the top names in short-short fiction. Co-editors Mark Budman and Tom Hazuka have brought together forty-four diverse writers and stories with topics ranging from Buddha to beer and sex to headless angels.

Enjoy. You Have Time for This.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Ooligan Press (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781932010176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932010176
  • ASIN: 1932010173
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.3 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Scotellaro on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
"You Have Time for This" is a vibrant and engaging collection of fifty-three short-short stories, demonstrating how stunning, varied, and satisfying stories 500 words or less can be. These are not fragments of imagined longer works, but eminently realized fictions rife with telling details, nuanced characters and resonant themes and situations.

The flash fiction form has been expanding in popularity the last couple of decades and drawing the talents of many fine writers to the challenge of this compelling genre. Mark Budman and Tom Hazuka have gathered together a diverse and outstanding selection of these literary gems in "You Have Time for This"--and you will.
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This book is all micro-fiction so you definitely do have time for this. It has a very wide variety of styles and authors, so there's something for everybody. I read it years ago and still think of acrobatic roadkill way more than I thought I would. I highly recommend this.
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Good but not great. My perspective is that some of the earlier collections edited by the same editors are better.

There are about a half dozen stories that I'd put in the great category including a coupld by the editors, The Diary of a Salaryman by Mark Budman is the best of the lot IMO.

Only a few real clinkers, rest are good. Overall worth a read, but don't expect this to be the best example(s) of Flash Fiction out there.
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"You Have Time for This" is an excellent collection of fifty plus short (flash) stories from some of the best writers in contemporary American fiction.
The collection is very readable, with quite a number of stories I keep going back to reread. Memorable work, and a smart addition to the liberary of anyone who enjoys great short fiction.
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Before picking up this collection, my total knowledge of flash fiction was more or less encompassed by the (okay, supposedly) Hemingway-penned “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” The pieces in You Have Time For This have a similar effect—though, with a five hundred word limit, they have a little more space to work with. They’re not so much telling stories as suggesting them through quick little glimpses into the characters’ lives, and I think they’re most effective in the possibilities opened up by what’s been left unsaid. Some of the pieces were more successful for me than others but, as they say, if you don’t like it, another one will be along in a minute. Flash fiction in general requires no great commitment to try out, and this particular collection is well worth the time.

There’s a nice range of work here, and I feel like most readers will be able to find something that appeals, but some of the standouts for me were: Deb Olin Unferth’s sublimely weird “Maybe a Superhero;” the corporate loopiness of “The Diary of a Salaryman” by Mark Budman; and Avital Gad-Cykman’s dreamy snapshot, “All it Loves.”
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I've always had a soft spot for short stories. An author who can tell an effective story or evoke a detailed world in as many words as others take to get their protagonists to the grocery store and back is something special. And as satisfying as it can be to wake up early and immediately dig into a good novel, finishing just as the sun goes down, some days that's just not what I want. Short story collections are often like boxes of chocolates: pop one in your mouth, let it melt on your tongue, and then lean back content awhile before reaching for another. Flash fiction is especially apt for this sort of reading; it's almost like short-story-turned-poetry.

You Have Time For This is one of the most rewarding collections of flash fiction I've come across. I was especially glad to find that brief author bios have been included, since I found myself hunting around libraries and online for more of several contributors' work. No, I didn't like every single story here, but I genuinely can't say that about any other collection I've read, either. Actually, because it's flash (so I knew no story could possibly steal more than three minutes of my time unless I let it) I ended up sticking with stories that didn't catch me at first but that I ended up liking a lot.

You know how tough it is to buy books for other people? Well, this collection is a pretty darn safe bet. With fifty-three stories, everyone will find a gem that speaks to them. And as for the ones they don't like . . . just turn the page! Also great for bathrooms ('nuff said).
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I first heard the term flash fiction just barely six months ago. Then three months ago I took a grammar class in which the final project was, as a class, to publish an anthology of “Flash Fiction.” Since then I’ve become quite fond of the genre and have been working towards not just reading but also building a small section in my home library for works of flash fiction, with my own anthology as the sections first member.

I am quite happy that I stumbled across the book, You Have Time for This. Flash fiction is quick. Short bursts of emotion, plot, characters and story that burst off the page and into your face. A few, like many inside You have Time for This, also work their way into your heart and soul, making you glad for their swift entry into your life. While the average short story, if there is indeed such a thing as average, is often three to ten pages in length, flash fiction is far shorter. The treasure that this book and the flash fiction genre in general is that many of the stories are only one or two pages long, sometimes more, but not often.

Mark Budman’s (one of the editors of this book) story entitled, “Dark Side of the Moon” is a great example of how far just a few carefully crafted words can take you. The story begins with the main character, as a child, standing on the shores of the Baltic Sea. By the end (one page) the protagonist is now presumably a Russian mob boss, and ends with: “The cell phone rang. ‘This better be good.’ I said. ‘It’s done boss.’ Was the reply. I hung up quickly,...If you blow the whistle in my company you don’t last long.”

I highly recommend that if you have not yet dabbled in reading flash fiction that you give it try, and you’d do well to start with, You Have Time for This.
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