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McSweeney's Issue 15 Hardcover – Jan 25 2005

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Roseann the Librarian LOVES Mcsweeney's Sept. 4 2007
By R. H. Polashek - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Highly, highly recommended!! I am not a huge fan of short stories, but this book has changed my mindset. It is by far my most favorite of the few Mcsweeney's editions I have read, to date.
I enjoyed every one, but particularly "Uninvited" which is written from a naughty child's perspective. Bravo.
The stories by Icelandic authors are quite vivid and a little unorthodox compared to some of the stories Americans would write....I enjoyed every one! A definite must-have for the short-story reader or collector.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Icelandic Issue Aug. 16 2010
By Matt M. Martin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
(3.5 stars). McSweeney's 15 is a handsome 300-page hardcover with stories half from our shores and half from Iceland. There are Scandinavian runes accompanying the stories, a brief overview of Icelandic fiction, and a bonus "best of" Icelandic tabloids that's pretty rich. In total, there are 21 pieces.

The "local" stories are 8/10, including Steven Millhauser's nonfiction piece about the unknown first film-maker of all time, Roy Kesey's story of a man falling in love with a mugger in Paraguay, Judy Budnitz's story of a couple trapping salesmen in their backyard, Benjamin Rosenbaum's story of a man falling in unrequited love with an elephant, Eric Hanson's hilarious portrait of Stalin's brutality, Seth Fried's story of a disaster-prone family and Jimmy Chen's short short. Best is Padgett Powell's "Manifesto," where two young men discuss how to earn the respect of the "codgers." The two duds are care of Roddy Doyle and Kiara Brinkman, whose stories are generic and banal.

Then there are the Icelandic stories, which are 2/9. I had trouble with these. Most seemed trifling or tedious, either just describing weird things or detailing the commonest daily occurrences and that's it. They often reminded me of all the other things I could be reading instead. Exceptions are Guðbergur Bergsson's frequently quotable, deeply introspective piece, and Andri Snær Magnason's story of radioactive wave interference.

I will say that the Icelandic stories are jarring, and that effect--being jarred by an entirely different type of writing--is welcome. The strangeness of the style may be reason enough to give this volume a chance: the more unusual the stories are, the more varied personal opinion of them will be.
recommended July 7 2013
By John S. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a quirky collection of essays from a variety of sources. Written, graphic, funny, sad, shocking, all are timeless. It is a recommended read.