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Shiloh and Other Stories [Paperback]

Bobbie Ann Mason
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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3.0 out of 5 stars Rural life in Kentucky Jan. 3 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This collection of short stories is loved, even revered, by many fledgling short story writers, and with some legitimate reasons. Bobbie Ann Mason constructs a story well, and her characters behave as real people would. She rarely chooses to give the reader much of a sense of the landscapes in which she works, but when she does, she does it beautifully and economically. Frankly, though, I grew weary of the themes in her stories. In the middle of one of the stories, I think I screamed something like, "If I have to read one more story about dysfunctional relationships, I'm going to shoot myself!" I never did go through with it, in part because Mason does give the reader a taste of some likeable male characters in a few of the stories near the end of the book. I myself would never want to write stories which are, ultimately, as bleak as the stories in this collection, but Mason's bitter humor is often endearing, and her characters are interesting (if similarly crafted from story to story). If you want to read about people from rural Kentucky, read Wendell Berry instead; if you're looking for stories about relationships, read Joyce Carol Oates. Save this one for after you're read just about everything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars terrific stories July 23 2000
By J. Byrd
Format:Hardcover
This is a wonderful collection of stories. I read it originally as a student about 12 years ago and was happy to recently re-read it. Mason gives us an honest and very un-sensational look at the middle and lower class of the South but does so in a way that neither patronizes nor glorifies her subjects. Having grown up in the culture that Mason describes, I can say that she captures both the mystery and the mundane that is the South. The drama is so understated and she allows her characters a quiet dignity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a short story master March 19 2004
Format:Hardcover
Bobbie Ann Mason is one of the modern masters of the short story, and to see why all you have to do is pick up this collection. The stories all have a melancholy feel and are simple stories of rural Kentucky. They do at times tend to be very similar, so it is best to break this collection up with something else. But reading this shows you the skill Mason has with the short story, and why so many students love her work. I especially loved the touching story "Drawing Names."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Too good to forget June 19 2000
Format:Hardcover
I was given this book by a friend about ten years ago. Somewhere in between, it went walkabout. It is such a haunting, beautiful set of stories that the chance to get it back - and in hardback - is not to be missed. Tales about working class life don't get much truer or more real than this. Very gentle, very thoughtful, very moving. Worth going out of your way for a copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable and wonderful! Oct. 15 1999
Format:Hardcover
How can there be no other reviews of this great book? "Shiloh" itself is superb, ranking with "In the Gloaming" and "The Lottery" as one of the three all-time great short stories (in my opinion). A++++
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