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11 Kinds of Loneliness [Hardcover]

Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1972
First published in 1962, a year after "Revolutionary Road", this sublime collection of stories seems even more powerful today. Out of the lives of Manhattan office workers, a cab driver seeking immortality, frustrated would-be novelists, suburban men and their yearning, neglected women, Richard Yates creates a haunting mosaic of the 1950s, the era when the American dream was finally coming true - and just beginning to ring a little hollow.

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Review

"The most perceptive author of the twentieth century" The Times "Yates is a realist par excellence, the natural heir to Hemingway's pared-to-the-bones style and the antecedent of Carver's flat minimalism. There is something else though: a kind of transparency, almost a translucency, that owes more to Fitzgerald, his great literary hero... Read and weep" -- Kate Atkinson Guardian "Yates created what is almost the New York equivalent of Dubliners" New York Times "Eloquent and powerful... Wryly funny even when he's quietly tearing your heart out" Harper's "Extravagantly gifted... Yates' eye and ear are unsurpassed; I know of no writer whose senses are in more admirable condition. It is they that make his characters live, make these stories move and beat - they, and the sure perfection of his writing" Esquire

About the Author

Richard Yates was born in 1926 in New York and lived in California. His prize-winning stories began to appear in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade, and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love. He died in 1992.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the Lonely June 16 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
To put it simply: you must read this book. It is the most depressing, uplifting, poignant, ironic book I've read. That may seem like a contradiction in terms, but if you've read the book you know what I'm talking about.
Richard Yates writes about ordinary men, women and children -- "loners" leading solitary existences. A few stories, such as "Doctor Jack-O'-Lantern" and "Jody Rolled the Bones", are filled with bittersweet humor; others, such as "Fun With a Stranger" are downright sad. But don't think Yates is some depressed, manic-depressive writer, because he's not. Rather, his words, his characters strike you in a way you never thought possible, making you want to read them over and over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Writer's Writer Dec 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This collection is hands-down one of the best short-story collections I've read. Yates is a no-nonsense, straight-talking, highly skilled story teller with an intelligent voice who knows how to keep the reader genuinely engaged without sacrificing emotional depth or subtlety. Each and every story in this book is a winner: touching, honest, well-told, deeply felt. The collection is also a refreshing change from the morass of badly written contemporary short fiction that has taken the very worst from the minimalist movement (sometimes less IS less...). These are stories with meat on their bones--but no fat. HIGHLY recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Eleven Kinds of Loneliness" is a delicious work. Sept. 6 2000
Format:Paperback
Richard Yates was a brilliant writer of novels and short stories who was universally admired by his peers including--among others--Tennessee Williams, John Updike, and Phillip Roth. His novel "Revolutionary Road" was considered groundbreaking when it was published in 1961. Never commercially successful after that, Yates continued to write and taught on a number of college campuses including the University of Iowa Writing Program. "Eleven Kinds of Loneliness" is delicious.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the Lonely June 16 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To put it simply: you must read this book. It is the most depressing, uplifting, poignant, ironic book I've read. That may seem like a contradiction in terms, but if you've read the book you know what I'm talking about.
Richard Yates writes about ordinary men, women and children -- "loners" leading solitary existences. A few stories, such as "Doctor Jack-O'-Lantern" and "Jody Rolled the Bones", are filled with bittersweet humor; others, such as "Fun With a Stranger" are downright sad. But don't think Yates is some depressed, manic-depressive writer, because he's not. Rather, his words, his characters strike you in a way you never thought possible, making you want to read them over and over again.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad Stories Say So Much Aug. 11 2009
By Mick McKeown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A collection of short stories each portraying a different kind of loneliness. Yates' writing is nothing short of hyponotic. Every character let me into their little part of the world and showed their rawest and deepest emotion. As a writer, Yates honors his craft and I would suggest an aspiring writer to pick this up and learn from his work. Two of his stories had a profound effect me. The first one is about a young boy who starts at a new school and lies about everything. His situation was unique but reminescent of the feelings many of us had during those turbulent middle school years. The other story was about a guy writing stories for a cabbie. Eventually, the writer recognizes their "friendship" has no real foundation and the cabbie is a friend in name only. This slice from the scence of life is worth the read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleven Kinds of Loneliness Jan. 12 2011
By Spider Monkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When you read a lot of books, whether they be good or bad, when something extremely well written comes along it stands out immediately. Whether it be a certain quality of writing, or the ability to connect emotionally, or cutting to the heart of the matter as simply as possible or an amalgamation of these, it is very special when they come along. `Eleven Kinds of Loneliness' is one of these books and by the time I had read the first short story on offer, I was held enthralled until I had reached the end. This has eleven short stories that are mainly based in and around New York and have a slight melancholy feel to them, the delicious kind that makes you feel nostalgic without the depression that can come after. The theme of loneliness, in all it's forms, runs through this book and many stories are immensely poignant. Yates has the ability to draw you in and to help you connect with the characters in the stories until you feel their sadness', triumphs and notice their positive traits and flaws within yourself. This is perfect to dip into when you need that hit of top class literature, but is just as good to sit and read from cover to cover in one sitting. It is American literature at it's best and highly recommended reading.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Writer's Writer Dec 27 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This collection is hands-down one of the best short-story collections I've read. Yates is a no-nonsense, straight-talking, highly skilled story teller with an intelligent voice who knows how to keep the reader genuinely engaged without sacrificing emotional depth or subtlety. Each and every story in this book is a winner: touching, honest, well-told, deeply felt. The collection is also a refreshing change from the morass of badly written contemporary short fiction that has taken the very worst from the minimalist movement (sometimes less IS less...). These are stories with meat on their bones--but no fat. HIGHLY recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step Back in Time Aug. 23 2009
By Cynthia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I usually shy away from short story collections because I always feel like I've had a snack instead of a meal but Yates' stories are unexpectedly full and satisfying. He's so good at depicting time and place.....late 30's, 40's and 50's. His stories are grim as the title implies but they provide lots of insight into human motivations/feelings/relationships. These stories are well worth your reading time.
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