Customer Reviews for

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

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3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

How I Feel

This book, filled to the brim with short stories, chronicles a chunk of the lives of colorful and vivid characters. Most of the characters portrayed are black women, considering Pacer herself matches this image, but make no mistake, as they are all invariably different....
This book, filled to the brim with short stories, chronicles a chunk of the lives of colorful and vivid characters. Most of the characters portrayed are black women, considering Pacer herself matches this image, but make no mistake, as they are all invariably different. From the dramatized African American Christian Society portrayed in the ant of the self to the life of a misled young woman in speaking in tongues , the tales are fascinating and engaging. What is left to be desired though, is an end to the procession of Packer's frequently anti-climatic tales. Building up to a mysterious and dark state, many of the character's tales are left hopelessly unfinished. While this leaves much to the imagination... it leaves much less on paper than what would be hoped for. Some of the stories tend to drag on a bit, and it is right when they begin to pick up that the horribly anti-climatic end rears its head. While it can't be denied the artistic value of unfinshed anitclimax, many readers may not be able to appreciate this unique and identifying characteristic. It remains a mystery to the reader as if Packer just got lazy, or intended the puzzling resolve. Perhaps just as mysterious as the characters themselves....

posted by Anonymous on February 9, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Mediocre

I wasn't exactly swept off my feet by this particular story collection. There was only one story I was really halfway impressed with, and that was 'Brownies'. Packer seems to have a knack for adding superfluous endings, a sort of 'this is what we learned' spie...
I wasn't exactly swept off my feet by this particular story collection. There was only one story I was really halfway impressed with, and that was 'Brownies'. Packer seems to have a knack for adding superfluous endings, a sort of 'this is what we learned' spiel so we get the moral of the story, as if we couldn't figure it out from the brunt of the story. She seems to feel a need to baby the audience with the endings of her stories, and this irked me.

posted by Anonymous on April 15, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Mediocre

    I wasn't exactly swept off my feet by this particular story collection. There was only one story I was really halfway impressed with, and that was 'Brownies'. Packer seems to have a knack for adding superfluous endings, a sort of 'this is what we learned' spiel so we get the moral of the story, as if we couldn't figure it out from the brunt of the story. She seems to feel a need to baby the audience with the endings of her stories, and this irked me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2006

    Freaking Fantastic!

    I read the title story in a women's short story anthology and loved ZZ Packer's writing, so I decided to pick up her book. I wasn't disappointed. Each story is so unique and wonderfully composed. Some other fiction writers have stories that all start sounding the same, but Packer really makes the setting and characters of each of her stories completely fresh. My money was well spent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2006

    Exciting stories

    DRINKING COFFEE ELSEWHERE is one of my personal favorites. ItS exploration of the characters, fascinating plots and smooth flow make for an excellent read.and message, which is why I recommend it to any lover of nice stories.With other collections like USUPER AND OTHER STORIES, RUNAWAY, WARD NUMBER SIX AND OTHER RORIES,UNION MOUJIK, I am in the phase of my life where I am enjoying short fiction the most.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2006

    Rich

    I bought this book when I went to hear ZZ Packer speak at a writing convention. Until then, I hadn't heard of her, but her speech, which was titled something like, 'How writing can make a difference,' really enticed me to buy it. Make no mistake, Packer's fiction is vivid and enervating. Rather than being formulaic or banal, her stories draw compelling pictures of her characters' lives. From Dina starving in Japan in 'Geese' to holly-roller Doris who confronts endemic racism in 'Doris is Coming' to a misanthrope Dina who can't abandon her hardened shell in 'Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,' Packer has abundant understanding and compassion toward her characters. These stories are beautiful works of art, and open-ended enough that one feels as though these are living, breathing people who will continue living and breathing. Unlike so many authors, Packer allows us joint-custody for these characters' futures, which only makes them more honest and convincing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    good stuff!

    I bought it on impulse, didn't expect much, and I was surprised. The problem with lots of books of short stories is that the stories end up seeming alike, or they end abruptly, for it's not easy to deliver everything in such short length. But Packer does a wonderful job of everything. Varied, emotional stories that develop well..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2005

    How I Feel

    This book, filled to the brim with short stories, chronicles a chunk of the lives of colorful and vivid characters. Most of the characters portrayed are black women, considering Pacer herself matches this image, but make no mistake, as they are all invariably different. From the dramatized African American Christian Society portrayed in the ant of the self to the life of a misled young woman in speaking in tongues , the tales are fascinating and engaging. What is left to be desired though, is an end to the procession of Packer's frequently anti-climatic tales. Building up to a mysterious and dark state, many of the character's tales are left hopelessly unfinished. While this leaves much to the imagination... it leaves much less on paper than what would be hoped for. Some of the stories tend to drag on a bit, and it is right when they begin to pick up that the horribly anti-climatic end rears its head. While it can't be denied the artistic value of unfinshed anitclimax, many readers may not be able to appreciate this unique and identifying characteristic. It remains a mystery to the reader as if Packer just got lazy, or intended the puzzling resolve. Perhaps just as mysterious as the characters themselves....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2005

    Speaking In Tongues and Brownies

    This book was pretty good. Brownis and Speaking In Tongues I think are the best in the book. Defintely recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    Speaking in Tongues

    I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book, but I bought it anyway. I enjoyed all of the stories besides the last two (absolutely boring). 'The Anf of the Self' was a tongue splattering to all of those people who don't believe women can write from a man's perspective. But 'Speaking in Tongues' had my eyes bugged out, grinning from ear to ear, feeling sad and excited all at the same time. I just really loved this story and wish it had been turned into a novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2003

    the best book i've read this year...

    ...and i've read a lot (including Middlesex, Atonement, and The Crimson Petal and the White, all great books). I became lost in her simple but brilliant stories. I would laugh out loud, feel afraid, and experience rage while reading. It's nice to get lost like that and I look forward to her next book...hope it's real soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2003

    A talented, remarkable, witty writer!

    Impressive. Gritty. Uncompromising. ZZ Packer offers a variety of stories, protagonists, themes, and messages. She handles issues of race, gender, class, religion, and sexuality with an honesty that is tempered solely through wonderful prose and powerful dialogue. Ms. Packer has a masterfully lyrical approach to the English language. It is rare to find a writer so gifted and dedicated to exploring those facets of life from which we often times try to shy away. I look forward to her next work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Rex

    I meant what do i search and what result.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Carly

    *grabs her viola and bow and runs bac to the camp*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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