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What Boys Like: and Other Stories Paperback – Apr 21 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Biblioasis; 1 edition (April 21 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897231636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897231630
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #534,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review


Story after story she's hauling out some new literary stunt, some new way to make her story enthrall you.--"Salty Ink"

"Jones takes an unblinking look at a variety of social misfits and more run-of-the-mill damaged people, all trying to find their way...a brilliant collection"--"The Chronicle Journal"

"When Jones hits her stride, she displays an incisive eye, a knack for poignancy, and sharp, witty dialogue."—"Quill & Quire"

"Amy Jones excels at the prose of invisible labour. In the best of this debut collection, her writing reads like understanding - as if there's no gap between the words and what they make you perceive."—"Globe and Mail"

From the Back Cover

Amy Jones's Metcalf-Rooke Award-winning short fiction collection What Boys Like brings together a motley assemblage of urban misfits and outsiders, and explores their love/hate relationships with their city and one another. Whether a parent and a child struggling with poverty, sisters trying to find their place in a family, two friends separated by distance and time, or between lovers who find themselves growing apart, Jones's characters grapple with lust, love and loss with an unsentimental eye, while remaining open to the sharp-edged humour caused by the chaotic and random nature of life, and the absurdity of the world around them. What Boys Like introduces another thrillingly original literary voice.

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Format: Paperback
I first heard about Amy Jones from a review of What Boys Like in The Globe and Mail. Critic James Bartley wrote: "Amy Jones excels at the prose of invisible labour. In the best of this debut collection, her writing reads like understanding ' as if there's no gap between the words and what they make you perceive. The top 10 of these 15 tales would make a book that is close to perfect." Seeing as Globe reviewers hardly ever hand out this sort of praise, I figured the book would be worth a read. All Jones' stories feature protagonists who are social misfits: drunken teenagers, sex-crazed deadbeats, young alcoholic moms on welfare and siblings of runaways to name a few. Though I couldn't really identify with most of her characters, Jones does create tight, cutting and darkly humourous dialogue that makes the stories punchy and immediate. Unfortunately, I found the opening story, "A Good Girl," irritating and melodramatic but the collection also contains some gems: "Where You Are," for example, blurs the line between what is and what might have been and forces the reader to appreciate the present.
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Format: Paperback
i read a review of this book of short stories that said it 'reads like understanding' which I would say now is true - even though you only get say 15 pages or so of each story, you feel like you 'get' the characters in each case - like you could fairly predict what they would say about this or that. I enjoyed the way you sort of parachute into a scene in each case between characters - sometimes as short as a day but in others you follow a slice of the trajectory of a relationship. i will say though that the material is not uplifting ... several characters are misanthropic, messed up, or plain old selfish (maybe this is supposed to be part of each of us??) ... and a number of the stories follow young, high school aged people so be prepared to trip back to your own teenage angst if you read it. certainly good food for thought. oh - it is also very geographically specific - set in Halifax area - and this is nice as a Canadian - although i don't know the exact spots, i liked trying to imagine them based on my own visits there. i thought that was gutsy of the author.
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