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Everybody Loves Somebody [Paperback]

Joanna Scott

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Book Description

Dec 11 2006
Joanna Scott's unparalleled gift for storytelling has inspired hyperbole from critics and her devoted fanbase, which includes some of the most preeminent writers of our time. But not since Various Antidotes, a finalist for the PEN/FaulknerAward, has she turned her talents toward short stories. At the seaside wedding of two lovers kept apart by the caprices of fate, a doting uncle looks on while his errant brother, father of the bride,struggles to free himself from a locked bathroom across town. A young woman arrives in Jazz Age New York with stars in her eyes and a few coins in her pocket and after a string of failed jobs, she thinks she's found salvation in a romance with her boss at a local greasy spoon but learns that her idea of herself and others'ideas of her are quite different. A bright business man seems content with all the trappings his good fortune affords, until a flat tire and a chance encounter with a couple of mechanics in the country upsets his entire view. Here Joanna Scott offers a group of tales that celebrate her acknowledged sense of character, plot and her gift for capturing the breathtaking tension even in life's quietest moments.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1 edition (Dec 11 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316013455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316013451
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 23 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,400,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. From the formidable imagination of Scott (Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Manikin, etc.) comes a collection of 10 stories that stalk across the 20th century to document love and its consequences. In "Heaven and Hell," a bride and groom seal their vows with a lengthy kiss after he returns home, blind, from WWI. "The Lucite Cane" sees an elderly man navigating a slew of literal and metaphorical modern-day hazards in June 2000. A young Harlem mother abandons her daughter to join a cultlike church in "The Queen of Sheba Is Afraid of Snow." The teenage grifter at the center of "Or Else" travels from New York to Europe and steals from her benefactor. In the title story, a New York advertising executive sent upstate to finalize a contract encounters trouble on his drive home to his wife and baby. Although the characters struggle differently, they are almost all observed by a Paul Bowles–style godless eye-in-the-sky that lays bare human frailty with almost unbearable acuity; the two first-person stories, "Yip" and "Across from the Shannonso," don't convey the same gravitas. But Scott's craft can be breathtaking—and her perceptions uncanny. (Dec. 11)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Scott's The Manikin (1996) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Various Antidotes (1994)and Arrogance (1991) were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and she is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and a Lannan Award. So it should come as no surprise that her collection of short stories is a stylish and apt depiction of everyday life. In the first story, an estranged father has made it to his daughter's wedding only to find himself trapped in the bathroom of his hotel room. In "Stumble,"a young woman labeled as easy makes her way to New York for excitement. What she finds is harsh reality. The most creative story, "Yip,"has a Broadway impresario trying to get permission to build a play around a mentally ill young boy. "He would just stand there in the spotlight, his body pressing against the empty space behind him, and then, at last, he would utter a single yip." Each of these quietly well-crafted stories takes the reader to a place or an emotion that is palpable and enlightening. And each one will leave a lasting impression. Elizabeth Dickie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short Stories About Love Dec 20 2006
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Author Joanna Scott, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize with The Manikin, brings the reader captivating tales in Everybody Loves Somebody.

Her book is a collection of ten short stories that parade across the 20th century, telling sagas of love; those who find it, those who lose it, and those who keep looking.

A full spectrum of relationships is brought to the page, including love between couples, love between parents and children, and love among siblings. Many different forms of love--and the breathtaking results, struggles, and stings suffered because of love--are captured. Romantic love is not the only story within the pages of this book, rather a love that comes through struggles and the search for a tie with another human being.

Armchair Interviews says: The depth that only love can bring to a soul is captured within the pages of Everybody Loves Somebody.
3.0 out of 5 stars nicely written, but ...... April 7 2010
By algo41 - Published on Amazon.com
Scott writes nicely enough that just about any of her short stories are worth reading. However, the only ones that really have weight are the stores dense with plot: particularly "Or Else" , and also "The Lucite Cane". I recently read Kazuo Ishiguro's "Nocturnes", and I believe his collection better illustrates what can be accomplished in a short story.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good character study though short on narrative May 9 2009
By C. Avampato - Published on Amazon.com
After reading Follow Me, I had very high expectations for the remainder of Scott's books. In this collection of short stories, her writing really focuses on character sketches more than narrative, despite that fact that her ability to weave together plot lines into a cohesive story is second-to-none.

After my initial disappointment that the stories were not as compelling as what I found in Follow Me, I realized that this collection was a good resource for me as a writer. I spent a lot of time focused on her description of characters - the way they moved, spoke, smelled, dressed, and behaved. Rather than feeling like an outside observing a situation unfolding, I found that I was very much side by side with the characters, learning about their unqiue personality quirks and histories.

As a writer, this book was very helpful to me from a character study point-of-view. It answers all of the questions that an author must consider to create characters that truly spring from the page. It reminded me of break-outs you might read in preparation for a theatre performance. They are the back stories for colorful characters who could each easily be made into their own full-length novels. I finished each story wanting to know more about these people I had just met and was disappointed to not learn more about their them.
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, timeless, haunting tales Jan. 31 2007
By Reader Views - Published on Amazon.com
Reviewed by Shalley Malchoir for Reader Views (1/07)

Joanna Scott, world-renowned author and Pulitzer Prize finalist, has compiled a collection of ten short stories. The stories span from World War One, all the way down to the present day. The stories all tell tales of heartache, heartbreak, and true love. Scott has a timeless way of telling a tale, and this book is sure to become a classic. Each story has a quiet simplicity to it, a commodity often unseen today.

From the first story, in which a ne'er do well father finds himself trapped in the bathroom of the hotel in which he is staying, unable to atone for his past sins and attend his daughter's wedding, the reader has a sense that Scott is speaking not merely from her imagination, but, rather, that she has an uncanny ability to peer into the inmost parts of the human heart, and define what resides within. No theme is too tense, or too sacred for Scott to analyze and interpret. From lives in the tenements of New York to a beautiful wedding on a bright, sunny ocean beach, to drunken bouts, prostitution, old age, and an infant making a feast out of a cicada shell, Scott weaves ten powerful tales of love and loss. Not only is romantic, passionate love related, as in the kiss that lasts near a half-hour, but also love for family, friends, and the human race.

Although, at times, the stories in "Everybody Loves Somebody" seem a bit "wordy," Scott has a knack for taking ordinary words and sentences, and converting them into beautiful, timeless, haunting tales that the reader will not soon forget.

Received book free of charge.

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