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Don't Make Me Stop Now: Stories

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Overview

In these funny, heartbreaking, and frighteningly perceptive stories, Michael Parker shows us, for better or worse, the mechanics of the male mind. The men here—no matter how culpable, deceptive, idealistic, dangerous, flirtatious, gullible, undecided, obsessed, callous, or illogically logical—trust in the power of love and in the women who reel them in or do their best to leave them behind.

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Don't Make Me Stop Now: Stories

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Overview

In these funny, heartbreaking, and frighteningly perceptive stories, Michael Parker shows us, for better or worse, the mechanics of the male mind. The men here—no matter how culpable, deceptive, idealistic, dangerous, flirtatious, gullible, undecided, obsessed, callous, or illogically logical—trust in the power of love and in the women who reel them in or do their best to leave them behind.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“What makes Mr. Parker so satisfying a writer: his bone-deep affection for his characters; his love of clear, crisp, pungent language; . . . his confidence in the possibility of redemption.” — The New York Times Book Review
The Washington Post
“In prose that is languid and mysterious . . . Parker writes descriptions as precise as line engravings, more revealing than recordings or photographs.” —The Washington Post
From the Publisher
“In prose that is languid and mysterious . . . Parker writes descriptions as precise as line engravings, more revealing than recordings or photographs.” —The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Love's unfortunate side effects dominate the majority of stories in Parker's latest (after If You Want Me to Stay), in which characters, haunted by romances past, are frequently driven to extremes. In "I Will Clean Your Attic," Laura, desperate for companionship after her husband leaves her, befriends handyman B.R. Bradshaw after a freak winter storm buries her Southern town in snow and ice. In "Muddy Water, Turn to Wine," college dropout James, who is just beginning to recover from a year-old breakup, takes waitress Erin on a road trip to her father's funeral the morning after their one-night stand. In "The Right to Remain," Sanderson is so devastated by the departure of his girlfriend that he burns his house down in a bid to win back her affection. Though most stories sympathetically treat emotionally wounded or stunted characters, "Hidden Meanings, Treatment of Time, Supreme Irony, and Life Experiences in the song `Ain't Gonna Bump No More No Big Fat Woman' " is an unwieldy one-off in the form of a critical essay penned by a jilted woman. Parker's prose is pristine, but readers may tire of similarly suffering protagonists. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A collection chock-full of breakups and breakdowns-just about everybody here is in the midst of a downward spiral or unwittingly beginning one. But that's not to say that these latest stories by Parker (If You Want Me to Stay, 2005, etc.) are all downers. Though many of the men he writes about (and they are mostly men) have slipped into alcohol, drugs or just garden-variety dissolution, his prose is efficient and Carver-esque, with little moral posturing. And he has a sense of humor: One story, framed as a term paper by a mediocre college student, devolves from an earnest attempt to parse the meaning of a novelty hit into a rant about a split with a boyfriend to a lecture about the professor's own prejudices; its wild discursiveness gives the story both depth and a comic lift. The best are empathetic but clearheaded portraits of folks who've hit the skids: The narrator of "The Right to Remain" is well aware of how drinking has wrecked his relationships but can't bring himself to stop stalking his ex, and the narrator of "What Happens Next" is constantly shadowed by the memory of how his grandmother died on his watch when he was a reckless teen. And the finest piece in the collection, "Go Ugly Early," neatly captures two decades of domestic worry and regret in a mere 20 pages-if the narrator had only had one or two fewer drinks, he wonders, would he have wound up with the right woman instead of the one he married? Parker knows his characters deeply, has his style down and isn't budging from his chosen theme, so any flaws here are mainly matters of execution. A story in which a reconciling couple go gem-mining is almost hackneyed in plot and setting, and "Everything Was Paid For" is anoverlong and unconvincing tale of a crank addict's increasing confusion about his-and his girlfriend's-loyalties. Overall: solid, carefully composed glimpses into domestic dysfunction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565124851
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/26/2007
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Parker is the author of seven works of fiction, most recently the critically acclaimed novel The Watery Part of the World. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and many other magazines. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and three lifetime achievement awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature. He teaches in the MFA writing program at UNC–Greensboro and lives in North Carolina and Texas.

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Table of Contents


What Happens Next     1
"Hidden Meanings, Treatment of Time, Supreme Irony, and Life Experiences in the Song 'Ain't Gonna Bump No More No Big Fat Woman'     19
Everything Was Paid For     33
Off Island     67
Go Ugly Early     85
I Will Clean Your Attic     107
Muddy Water, Turn to Wine     139
The Right to Remain     163
Smoke from Chester Leading Me Down to See Dogman     189
Couple Strike It Rich on Second Honeymoon     207
The Golden Era of Heartbreak     223
Results for Novice Males     243
A Conversation with Michael Parker     271
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Lily

    * walks in in black lace blond hair flowing to her mid back blue eyes full*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Nate

    Walks in hor<_>ny and nak<_>ed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Zack

    Zack: why do you want to have sex so bad?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Mickey

    Walks in naked I need se.x to u ready

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Samantha

    She smiles at ash " well arent you just a little slut."~ samantha

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Ash

    Smiles* hello

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