Bubble Witch Saga 3 Industrial Deals Beauty Best Books of the Month STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Learn more about Amazon Music Unlimited PCB for Musical Instruments Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Tote Bags Home Gift Guide Off to College Home Gift Guide Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon MozartintheJungle MozartintheJungle MozartintheJungle  Introducing Echo Show Introducing All-New Fire HD 10 with Alexa hands-free $149.99 Kindle Oasis, unlike any Kindle you've ever held Tailgating PSFF17_gno

Customer Review

on November 25, 2001
This collection has many great short stories within it. Often, within this book, Barthelme shows himself to be an extremely creative and insightful writer. "Jaws" is a good example of this. Basically, it's a story about how people deal with their dissatisfaction in relationship; how lovers cope with significant others' inevitable inability to meet all their (the lovers') expectations. It follows a workers at a local A & P while he mediates the relationship of two customers (who are married to each other). He acts as a sort of counciler in their marriage. The interaction between the couple is extremely humorous, and yet very sad (as, I suppose, dysfunction can often be). It's an excellent piece of work, and it deals with a common theme throughout this collection: The dissatisfaction of couples in long-lasting relationships. "Chablis," "The Genius," and "Paul Klee..." are also all excellent short stories. They exhibit Barthelme's ability to be humorous and yet still get at an interesting/serious point (that is, not lose himself in zaniness).
After such praise, however, I must admit that this collection isn't without flaw. Out of the forty stories that are included in this book, I felt that about ten of them could have been pruned away. These stories (for example, "On the Deck," and "Blue Beard") seemed unfulfilled, and worse, overwritten. These, perhaps could have used a little more focus on content rather than style. It's true with almost any collection of short stories that not all of them are good, enjoyable, or interesting (that is, not all of them will catch your imagination). However, with this book there seemed to be quite a few of those. So despite the fact that many of the stories in this collection are great, I'm only giving it three stars.
I would recomend this to anyone in search of a humorous, challenging read. I would also, recomend this to someone who is interested in cutting edge, stylized short stories (after all 25-30 of them in this collection are very good). Many of the short stories in this collection are written in an unusual manner. For instance, "The Bodygaurd" is compose almost entirely of questions. I'm also of the opinion that those of you who like both Kurt Vonnegut jr. and Thomas Pynchon would find this collection interesting.
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse| Permalink
What's this?

What are product links?

In the text of your review, you can link directly to any product offered on Amazon.com. To insert a product link, follow these steps:
1. Find the product you want to reference on Amazon.com
2. Copy the web address of the product
3. Click Insert product link
4. Paste the web address in the box
5. Click Select
6. Selecting the item displayed will insert text that looks like this: [[ASIN:014312854XHamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)]]
7. When your review is displayed on Amazon.com, this text will be transformed into a hyperlink, like so:Hamlet (The Pelican Shakespeare)

You are limited to 10 product links in your review, and your link text may not be longer than 256 characters.

Please write at least one word
You must purchase at least one item from Amazon to post a comment
A problem occurred while submitting your comment. Please try again later.

There was a problem loading comments right now. Please try again later.