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Someday This Will Be Funny
     

Someday This Will Be Funny

1.5 39
by Lynne Tillman
 

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The stories in Some Day This Will Be Funny marry memory to moment in a union of narrative form as immaculate and imperfect as the characters damned to act them out on page. Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, presides over the ceremony; Clarence Thomas, Marvin Gaye, and Madame Realism mingle at the reception. Narrators – by turn infamous

Overview

The stories in Some Day This Will Be Funny marry memory to moment in a union of narrative form as immaculate and imperfect as the characters damned to act them out on page. Lynne Tillman, author of American Genius, presides over the ceremony; Clarence Thomas, Marvin Gaye, and Madame Realism mingle at the reception. Narrators – by turn infamous and nameless – shift within their own skin, struggling to unknot reminiscence from reality while scenes rush into warm focus, then cool, twist, and snap in the breeze of shifting thought. Epistle, quotation, and haiku bounce between lyrical passages of lucid beauty, echoing the scattered, cycling arpeggio of Tillman’s preferred subject: the unsettled mind. Collectively, these stories own a conscience shaped by oaths made and broken; by the skeleton silence and secrets of family; by love’s shifting chartreuse. They traffic in the quiet images of personal history, each one a flickering sacrament in danger of being swallowed up by the lust and desperation of their possessor: a fistful of parking tickets shoved in the glove compartment, a little black book hidden from a wife in a safe-deposit box, a planter stuffed with flowers to keep out the cooing mourning doves. They are stories fashioned with candor and animated by fits of wordplay and invention – stories that affirm Tillman’s unshakable talent for wedding the patterns and rituals of thought with the blushing immediacy of existence, defying genre and defining experimental short fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tillman's gorgeous and potent latest (after American Genius) finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales. "Give Us Some Dirt" is a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that, in scarcely four pages, plays skillfully on multiple meanings of "dirt" and raises provocative questions about race. Feeling more like an essay than a story, "Love Sentence" considers the role of words as vehicles of intense emotions, particularly in the digital age. With subjects ranging from birds to Marvin Gaye to an ex-lover who has earned Tillman's wrath, these missives partake in an elegant, efficient use of language to challenge concepts of love, history, memory, and language. Tillman's compact narratives shine and stand up to multiple readings. (May)
From the Publisher
"Tillman’s gorgeous and potent latest finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales"—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Gorgeously at ease and technically virtuosic...Tillman is simply a terrific prose stylist whose work should have wide appeal—"New York Times Book Review

"Clever intricate fictions that map both the complication and comedy of the moments that most writers miss—"Times Literary Supplement

Library Journal
The 22 pieces by Tillman (American Genius) collected here vary wildly in length, complexity, and focus, pondering such topics as the color chartreuse, the moon, the behavior of mourning doves, and the difficulties of writing about love. Some of the stories take on the perspective of famous people: "Give Us Some Dirt" manages to serve up sympathy for Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings; "Later"—an elegiac piece about two music icons who died too soon—features a conversation between John Lennon and Marvin Gaye in which they sing each other's songs. The most traditional stories are about male-female relationships: in "The Substitute," a woman overanalyzes her budding romance, while in "Playing Hurt," a smart woman makes a bad marriage choice. The funniest stories are "A Simple Idea," which involves paranoia stemming from unpaid parking tickets, and "More Sex," in which a woman ruminates on how men can possibly think of sex every seven minutes, as one statistic suggests. VERDICT Tillman's stories, though not always engrossing, are consistently illuminating; best suited for serious, patient readers who are dedicated to wrangling with ideas. Fans of Donald Barthelme and William Gass will also appreciate. [This is part of Red Lemonade's debut list. More information at rnash.com.—Ed.]—Evelyn Beck, Piedmont Technical Coll., Greenwood, SC
Forrest Gander
The innovations that characterize Someday This Will Be Funny…are familiar enough to readers who survived the 20th century that there is no reason to qualify Tillman as an "experimental" writer. Emotional subtlety and psychological complexity are at the heart of her stories…Tillman is simply a terrific prose stylist whose work should have wide appeal…Someday This Will Be Funny has a casual exuberance that leaves the reader atilt, tenderized and more than a bit awed.
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935869009
Publisher:
Cursor
Publication date:
04/22/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,167,225
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Tillman’s gorgeous and potent latest finds the innovative author embracing diverse, imaginative forms in these often brief but always intriguing tales"—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Gorgeously at ease and technically virtuosic...Tillman is simply a terrific prose stylist whose work should have wide appeal—"New York Times Book Review

"Clever intricate fictions that map both the complication and comedy of the moments that most writers miss—"Times Literary Supplement

Customer Reviews

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Someday This Will Be Funny 1.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An overview needs to be something that we can quickly read and get to the bottom of and decide whether to buy the book. Prose can be left to the book. I have read and re-read the overview in a hurry to decide if I will buy the book. Based on this overview, it's a no. Can you or a reviewer who has already bought the book please give a synopsis of the book, it's tone, subject matter and what it is? Thank you.
qwizwizard More than 1 year ago
Good Grief!! I got to the third line of the overview, tried to quickly skim over the rest of it but was unmoved. Just get to the point. Maybe Oprah should write the overview.
Loves2ReadWA More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous reviewer. I struggled through the overview enough to be totally confused. I'll wait for someone else to read it first. That was very frustrating.
Shabie More than 1 year ago
I was so glad to read that others felt the same as I about the review of this book. I wouldn't touch that book with a ten foot pole based on that review! If I were the author I would be furious!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't read books just because Oprah likes them but this title caught my attention. I, like the others, was hoping to get a quick synopsis to help me decide if it would be an interesting read but alas...it was not to be. Too bad the overview is killing the ratings on what might be a decent book. I hope someone who has read it will respond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Won't someone please read the book and tell us what it's about? Not one sentence in the review imparted anything that made sense to me. I thought it was just me until I read all of the other reviews. What a relief! Maybe I'm not as stupid as someone wants me to think I am.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I unfortunately purchased this book. I got through about 60 painful pages. Do not plan to read anymore of it. I would not recommend this book to anyone. With Oprah's busy life I don't know how she had time to waste it on this book.
thenickguy More than 1 year ago
The overview was obviously written by a pretentious fop Perhaps someday this overview will be funny, but for now it painful.
Paso More than 1 year ago
I agree with most of the other reviewers...it's true...Someday This Will Be Funny and that's just the overview. This took me back to my college English courses where I had to sit and try to understand "how" things came together in a piece of literature and not "why" they congealed. There is a method to the madness that is presented in the overview but it is so weighty. If I have to spend that much time on an overview, I'm afraid of the time I have to spend on the actual reading of the book. It might be intriguing to some; but I believe I will pass on this one.
ParisDog More than 1 year ago
Either the book is vague and wandering, and the author of the overview is attempting to mask its horridity, or s/he is trying to assert his own florid writing style, irrespective of the actual stories in the book. I usually enjoy books on Oprah's list, but this overview is killing this book. Forget it, until someone says what the book is really about.
pmreader11 More than 1 year ago
Animated by fits of wordplay? Really? Was this written by a fifth grader or a robot reviewer. Come on B&n get real give us a review that actually tells something about the book. Make us want to read the book!
MaryCarstairs More than 1 year ago
Dear Barnes & Noble -- Please hire someone to read the book and give a straightforward, useful overview. Your own sales will surely go up.
Alisa Mcgrath More than 1 year ago
If the author wants his book read, maybe b&n should offer the book for free. I dont think anyone will pay to read it the eay the overveiw stands right now. What were they thinking
HoustonLaw01 More than 1 year ago
My goodness, I was so turned off by the oveview that I just could not bring myself to buy the book. I gave up after re-reading the first couple of sentences at least 3 times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I, like the others, was intrigued enough by the title to want to find out more. Alas, the overview was so daunting, I barely made it through the first few lines without giving up. I believe this is likely causing the book to be unfairly rated. Surely there has to be a simpler way to provide a synopsis?
rc_truebie More than 1 year ago
yes I am another person commenting on the awful synopsis! i thought it was just me! my professor used to say, k.i.s.s. it-- keep it simple stupid! no offense, but get to the point without trying to be cute...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worst Overview Ever! But thought I would provide feedback about the book. From the online reviews (not related to B & N) this is a wordy book, full of short stories and annoying wordplay that will never be funny. If you like I found the Overview annoying and lengthly then you probably won't like this book. Even Oprah gets it wrong sometimes.
disneyfan67 More than 1 year ago
I, like the previous reviewers, became so confused that I gave up. Why does it have to be so surreal? Clarence Thomas and Marvin Gaye mingling? Forget about it not interested
oldandgrumpy More than 1 year ago
I am underwhelmed by the "overview". So many words making so little sense. The Editorial Review wasn't much help either....
Sandys_Mom More than 1 year ago
This must be one of those overviews that they pull out of their back pocket when they have a deadline and no material. It would work if they were entering a contest called "Say nothing in 100 words or more". The problem is this isn't a contest. Love the title but will not buy it until I know what it is about. An Oprah referral is not enough for me.
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Paristraveler More than 1 year ago
Sorry I wasted my money. This will NEVER be funny someday.