Don't Make Me Stop Now: Stories by Michael Parker, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Don't Make Me Stop Now: Stories

Don't Make Me Stop Now: Stories

3.8 7
by Michael Parker
     
 

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These eleven arresting, comic, and moving stories by acclaimed writer Michael Parker testify to the driving force of love, the lengths to which we’ll go to claim it and pursue it, the delusions we’ll float to keep it going, the torment that goes part and parcel with it. And despite all of the above, the absolute necessity of it, no matter its consequences.

Overview

These eleven arresting, comic, and moving stories by acclaimed writer Michael Parker testify to the driving force of love, the lengths to which we’ll go to claim it and pursue it, the delusions we’ll float to keep it going, the torment that goes part and parcel with it. And despite all of the above, the absolute necessity of it, no matter its consequences.

Whether it’s a college student undone by the boy who leaves her, or the boyfriend intent on leveling old scores from high school for his lover, or the husband who discovers—in the grocery store—the woman he should have been with all along, every character, no matter how off track, wants to believe in debt and credit and payback and making the messy world—and the messy world of love—turn out neatly.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616202170
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
276
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Only Michael Parker can tell a story you don’t want to quit about folks you don’t want to leave. . . . He has us all in mind—all of us who are needy and scared and running fast from the past, all of us who believe in magic and miracle, all of us beleaguered and bewitched by love.” —Lee K. Abbott

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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