(KINDLE) [That Glimpse of Truth] By David Miller
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But this darkly comic vivid and evocative story made me laugh out loud and heave with silent giggles several times when I was reading it in bed and my wife had to ask me to be uiet I ll be looking him up in order to find things he has writtenA Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O ConnorI d read this before but reading it again here I was reminded of how beautiful and utterly powerful this story is It leaves a strong imprint on the memory AND it contains some interesting theological reflections placed in the mouth of its villain Gold standard I d love to write a story like this I can see why it is among the most anthologised of all short stories ever written in English Go and listen to the Sufjan Stevens song named after it tooMy least favourite stories in descending order of un favouriteness wereSolid Geometry by Ian McEwanSaw the trick coming miles off it was signposted far too heavy handedly by McEwan A choreAt The Beach by Bernard MacLavertyJust a bit gross for me in a few probably highly subjective waysLizzie s Tiger by Angela CarterI now Carter is really famous and groundbreaking and all but I found the surprise hidden at the heart of this story just nasty and unpleasant gratuitous and virulentEntropy by Thomas PynchonSelf indulgent pretentious bollocksThe Tangling Point by Tim ParksAgain gross About an affair implies that an old man has sex with a dogMixed Breeding by Nicola BarkerA literal shaggy dog story Yuk What is it with these writers and dog sexA Real Doll by AM HomesGraphic sex this time with Barbie dolls Urgh Stopped reading and skipped aheadLet Me Count the Times by Martin AmisAn absolutely disgusting obscene and horrible story I m actually ashamed of myself that I finished reading this and didn t just skip over it It s clever in its own way but simultaneously lurid and filthy I think Amis should be ashamed of himself for having written itSome other things I noticed1 Good short stories seem often than not to have compelling characters painted with revealing details in a small space feature interesting or unusual situations or people and focus on precise surprising observations2 Somewhere around Alice Munro born in the 1930s every story starts to involves or mention sex in some way Almost without fail They are not necessarily better for it3 Short stories can be highly moving and profound even as much as novels They re like little pearls or gemstones But they can also be total crap so you re playing roulette whenever you read them which can make them hard to want to read So VERY similar to Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans then But hey if you get a dud at least you won t waste as much time as with a novel And they re worth it for the gemstones that you do find I asked for this book for Christmas last year and I took the whole year to read it 100 of the finest short stories ever written you don t zip through that you savor that a couple of stories a week As with any anthology I liked some stories better than others Some of my favorites were Fitzgerald s Babylon Revisited and Cheever s The Swimmer neither of which I had previously read even though they are classics Other well nown classics included in this collection include Shirley Jackson s The Lottery and Flannery O Connor s A Good Man is Hard to Find A lesser nown and recent story that really stuck with me was Ian McEwan s Butterflies You need strong nerve to even read it but it is almost perfectly constructed as the horror of what actually happened slowly occurs to you Like my reviews Check out my blog at Been dipping in and out of this for a few years It s an historical narrative of the genre rather than a Best 100 as the stories gradually move from old at the outset to contemporary by the end At least 30 are incredible stories and the anthology is worth buying for these alone I thought another 40 or so strong well strong according to my own personal taste and Miller deliberately provides a very varied selection here in terms of style and theme And there was roughly a uarter I disliked not Miler s fault it s subjective I d highly recommend this anthology to lovers of prose as well as lovers of the short story genre along with anyone een on seeing the short story s evolution via a reading journe. Crompton Charles Dickens Roald Dahl Penelope Fitzgerald Gustave Flaubert Rudyard Kipling Somerset Maugham Ian McEwan Alice Munro VS Pritchett Thomas Pynchon Muriel Spark and Colm Tóibín THAT GLIMPSE OF TRUTH is the biggest most handsome collection of short fiction in print tod.
N which the tales were originally penned Primarily those in That Glimpse of Truth are English but there are stories translated from Danish Yiddish and Vietnamese to name but three The stories have been ordered by the chronological date of birth of each author as says Miller that seemed easiest It is as good a way as any to organise a collection of tales and there is conseuently a marvellous progression from beginning to endThe book s title has been taken from a uote by Joseph Conrad on why he chose to write within the short story form My task which I am trying to achieve is by the power of the written word to make you hear to make you feel and perhaps also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask That Glimpse of Truth begins with a story from The Book of Jonah and encompasses among others the Brothers Grimm Nikolai Gogol Charles Dickens Rudyard Kipling Stefan Zweig Edith Pearlman and Lorrie Moore The format of the book makes it a perfect volume from which to read one or two stories per day So many themes perspectives characters and emotions have been encompassed There are stories within stories and also those which ask wider uestions That Glimpse of Truth has been beautifully designed The book itself is lovely a red hardback with a nicely designed dustjacket and ribbon bookmarks The only drawback is that there are rather a lot of mistakes within the majority of the stories and it is a real shame that it was not better edited Regardless at over 900 pages That Glimpse of Truth is sure to eep every reader amused It is a marvellous collection and has been thoughtfully put together so much so that it is an absolute delight to read I finally finally finished this after years of reading it on and off I read it because of deciding to try to write some short stories to see some of the finest examples of the form I ept getting stuck because I would come across a really bad story and then either struggle to want to finish it or expect the next one to be just like it which it never was As you d expect with an anthology some of the stories in this collection are incredible Some are absolutely abysmal It s like the book euivalent of a lucky dip or Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans Hence three stars on averageMy favourite stories in ascending order of favouriteness wereForgotten Dreams by Stefan ZweigI remember it was good but I forget what it was aboutPierre Menard Author of the uixote by Jorge Luis BorgesMore of a pretentious joke than a story but I did find it funny Very cleverThe Index by JG BallardIngenious Tells a story through one explanatory note and a fictionalised index FunnyThe Nose by GogolIt s really hard to picture what is going on but that doesn t make it any less compelling perhaps WowThe Hare and The Tortoise by AesopGeniusA Cold Autumn by Ivan BuninA little jewelA Little Ramble by Robert WalserMore of a journal entry note Flash fiction Poetic PoignantThe Toymaker and His Wife by Joanne HarrisMore flash fiction but a clever and piercing fableA Hunger Artist by Franz KafkaHow have I not read Kafka yet I really need to read KafkaRadio Gannet by Shena MackayUnexpected and smile raisingLord Emsworth and the Girl Friend by PG WodehouseI d never read any Wodehouse before and enjoyed this Funny and touching at the same time O Whistle and I ll Come to You My Lad by MR JamesBizarre Haunting MesmerisingThe Book of Jonah by anonymousA classic If you read it carefully it s actually very very funny especially at the endParson s Pleasure by Roald DahlAh good old Roald Dahl I only read a few of his grown up short stories when I was younger Perfect example of the twist or the trick at the end Need to read of theseBeauty s Sister by James BradleyNotable for contemporarising the fairy tale genre proficientlyThe Deep by Anthony DoerrA powerful life affirming bittersweet storyThe Lottery by Shirley JacksonChilling but supremely effective In a weird way a bit like a proto Hunger GamesErrand by Raymond CarverOk I get why he is considered so good nowThe Swimmer by John CheeverStunning lyrical and eerie Leaves a strong taste in the mouthThe Wavemaker Falters by George SaundersA serendipitous discovery an arresting surprise a true hidden gem Never heard of this guy before. Or any fiction lover Here are childhood favourites and neglected masters twenty first century wits and national treasures Man Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates Featuring an all star cast of authors including Kate Atkinson Julian Barnes Angela Carter Anton Chekhov Richmal.
Some of these stories were not for me Some of them were a little strange some were a little boring A lot of them had really interesting endings that weren t really endings But most of them I really enjoyed and wanted of each David Miller chose a great selection of stories for this collection great collection but print book format is too big and heavy to hold to read Obviously these are not really the 100 finest short stories ever written they are one person s selection Further I note that David Miller works for a literary agent and according to the credits a suspiciously high proportion of the contemporary authors are represented by his agency It s a global collection but inevitably biased towards the West But leaving those matters I once read a teensy self published novel and put the boot into it because of all the typos Come on I said it s your damn novel proofread it Now here is a nearly 1000 page long big important collection of short stories and blow me down typos all over the place Anyway I have been reading this big thing on and off since I got it 3 years ago and all due respect but it was a pretty lukewarm bunch of stuff Lot of them were just a little bit too subtle I think Like uh What was the point there Somebody explain it to me Do you like O Henry or would you ratherRead Barrie Zweig Saki and CatherSuch sumptuous extravagant choice Gogol Dinesen Cheever Joyce By page 400 if you are ableTo carry on there s Isaac BabelWhat could we possibly be missingOf course a little bit of GissingEtc EtcNot too many of these have made my all time favourites list but I did really like A M Homes account of sex with Barbie and Ken dolls that one is a must read I could see the outline of Toy Story 4 in that one I read only 38% of the stories or rather 28 of themI found them on the whole slightly disappointingSome were hard to understand Borges Pierre Menard and Pynchon s Entropy one was just utterly boring MacLaverty s At the BeachI liked Flaubert s a Simple Heart and Munro s story about the wife whose husband could only joke and whose parents didn t like her Also Barnes melancholic story of a recent widower on his Island holiday he had been to 20 times with his wife was moving in its brevity and sustained feelingsI was amused by Martin Amis funny sory abut a calculator salesman s obsession with the freuency of his sex life Fairly decent collection of stories As it was said in the preamble they are personal choices of the author I did like the stories in varying degrees and I might choose some stories differently but I do acknowledge that it is uite nice cut through the century of authors The tales within Head of Zeus That Glimpse of Truth 100 of the Finest Short Stories Ever Written have been selected and introduced by David Miller The book s blurb states Profound lyrical shocking wise the short story is capable of almost anything and goes on to describe the way in which the stories range from the essential to the unexpected the traditional to the surreal Here are childhood favourites and neglected masters twenty first century wits and national treasures Man Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates In his witty introduction in which he leads an informed discussion about the power of the short story Miller writes of the Herculean task of selecting the one hundred best tales ever written I ve tried to remain dispassionate searching for the finest ending up being wholly and I d argue usefully passionate I have spent weeks then months uarrelling with myself and others and now there is a result some will complain I ve not included a or y or h or z or given due attention to the burgeoning literary genre or scene in delete as appropriate He goes on to say that as a short story is already a distillation it gives the writer a far harder task to achieve everything not just any thing Every thing in this book is as good as it can get So many wonderful authors have been included in this anthology just glancing at the full list on the back of the book before I began to read I picked out Virginia Woolf Anton Chekhov Roald Dahl William Maxwell Ian McEwan and Flannery O Connor The range of contributors is diverse particularly when one takes into account the wealth of original languages Profound lyrical shocking wise the short story is capable of almost anything This collection of 100 of the finest stories ever written ranges from the essential to the unexpected the traditional to the surreal Wide in scope both beautiful and vast this is the perfect companion
(KINDLE) That Glimpse of Truth By David Miller
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