Sixty Stories

Overview

With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are the urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts. Like all of Barthelme's work, the sixty stories collected in this volume are triumphs of ...

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Overview

With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are the urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts. Like all of Barthelme's work, the sixty stories collected in this volume are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.

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Editorial Reviews

Anatole Broyard
"Donald Bathelme may have influenced the short story in his time as much as Henningway and O'Hara did in theirs. 60 Stories is a whole earth catalog of life in our time." -- The New York Times
Anne Tyler
"If you read straight through these stories you're bound to be struck by the volume's cohesiveness. Donald Bathelme's writing is from the outset firm and sure, entirely his own. He experiments as freely nowadays as he did when younger, and his experiments reaveal a rare exhuberance, an unfaiing joy in words and possibilities." -- Detroit News
Guy Davenport
"Bathalme can focu our feeling into a bright point that can raise a blister. These 60 stories show him inventing at full pitch." -- Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142437391
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/2/2003
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 262,641
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.83 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) published twelve books, including two novels and a prize-winning children's book. He was a regular contributor to the New Yorker and taught creative writing at the University of Houston. In his career, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Book Award, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, among others.

David Gates is a book critic at Newsweek. He is the author of three acclaimed works of fiction.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    the pleasure of the text.

    Postmodern/avant-garde/experimental authors tend to range from excellent to unreadable. Barthelme is one of the figures (along with Pynchon, Wallace, and Gaddis) that gives this new breed of weird, challenging fiction a good name. He was peers with John Barth. Interesting story: one time, an interviewer asked Barthelme his advice for fiction writers. He said they should read every philosophy book from Plato to the present. Another reviewer posed the same question to John Barth, repeated what Barthelme said, and Barth answered, "read every piece of fiction from Gilgamesh to the present." Reading his fiction, you can tell the guy read everything. Many of his stories parody writing itself, with stories written as spoofs of travel brochures and encyclopedia listings. I like this collection the most out of all of his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    Mostly incoherent

    I fail to understand the high praise Barthelme gets; most of these stories are incoherent and pointless to me, and I do not foresee a desire to read them again at any time later in my life. If you expect that a `story' tells a story, you will be disappointed. Most of the texts in these `60 Stories' would not suffer if you rearranged the paragraphs, or left out some (even many) sentences. Of course, this leaves much room for interpretation and hermeneutics, so it is perhaps understandable if these texts are found useful in literature classes. The back cover blurb cites a New York Times review which states "Sixty Stories is a Whole Earth Catalogue of life in our time", so perhaps this book is more interesting for those readers who like to browse a list of catalogue items.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Will you Tell me?

    Will you tell me why this book was published?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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