Sixty Stories Hardcover – Apr 3 1989
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This excellent collection of Donald Barthelme's literary output during the 1960s and 1970s covers the period when the writer came to prominence--producing the stories, satires, parodies, and other formal experiments that altered fiction as we know it--and wrote many of the most beautiful sentences in the English language. Due to the unfortunate discontinuance of many of Barthelme's titles, 60 Stories now stands as one of the broadest overviews of his work, containing selections from eight previously published books, as well as a number of other short works that had been otherwise uncollected. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"Barthelme can focus our feeling into a bright point that can raise a blister. These 60 stories show him inventing at a fever pitch." —The Washington Post
"Donald Barthelme may have influenced the short story in his time as much as Hemingway and O' Hara did in theirs." —The New York Times
"The delight he offers to readers is beyond question, his originality is unmatched." —Los Angeles Times--This text refers to the Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Another great thing about both Barthelme's stories and "American Beauty" is that when a narrative stradles that border between reality and parody, the characters get away with making the most straightforward thematic statements. In "The Seargent," a story about a middle aged man who somehow finds himself stuck in the army again, the narrator keeps repeating, "This is all a mistake. I'm not supposed to be here," etc. "Of course I deserve this." If the protagonist of a realistic, mid-life crisis story made these statements it would be interpreted as too obvious. Suspension of disbelief might be violated. When the situation is absurd, however, the characters can be beautifully direct.Read more ›
All that said, I feel I should qualify this review by saying that Barthelme is rarely easy reading. His narratives are so remarkably compact and so tightly wound that reading one straight through is something quite akin to venturing through an underwater cave, not coming up for air until the very end. It can be a difficuly experience, requiring intense concentration but the payoff is very worth the effort.
If you have any interest in absurd fiction, then Barthelme is the man for you, and ths volume gives a broad selection of his best work.
Most recent customer reviews
Priceless collection. Needs to be savoured slowly. I found the stories with dialogue hard to follow, but the post-modern invention in the narrative is both approachable and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by malster
In one of the most typical, poignant, funny, and resounding stories in this collection, Barthelme introduces us to the Balloon Man. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by jonathan crossley
There has been a resurgence of interest in Barthelme's work so I thought I'd go back and re-read him. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2001 by Howard Paul Burgess
A writer who knows his audience and can tap into the contemporary mind with ease, this is a collection that stands out in the latter half of the 20th century. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2000 by Account Killer
Donald Barthelme was truly a master of the short story. I had to read this book for a project in AP english, and I was very impressed. Read morePublished on March 16 2000 by Casey Baker
This collection is permanently at my bedside for when I can't get to sleep. Not that it puts me to sleep; it usually forces me to stay up another 2 hours while I re-read yet again... Read morePublished on Nov. 17 1999
This collection of short stories contains some of the most original and funny work ever published. This father of post modernism, Barthelme, has a mind like no other. Read morePublished on Dec 13 1998
Barthelme did it all in a very small space. He made you laugh and cry. He pondered deeply: Kierkegard, Schlegel, Sartre. He twisted the most mundane and concocted the most absurd. Read morePublished on Nov. 2 1998 by email@example.com