Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

by Charles Baxter
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Gryphon: New and Selected Stories 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
This engaging twenty story collection from one of the best authors of the short format includes seven new tales and sixteen entries from his previous anthologies. The tales all look closely at ordinary people living mundane lives yet each character possesses a jocular quirkiness that sets him or her just outside the norm. The entire compilation contains all solid tales with a few of the reruns being super and new tales for the most part excellent. "Gryphon" (see Through the Safety Net) stars a fourth grader musing about a substitute teacher providing special reading and times table lessons. The art dealer knows 9/11 changed him forever in enigmatic "Royal Blue" (see The American Scholar). The stranger enters her house and announces to the frightened woman they are soulmates, but she will soon learn what soulmate means to him in "Ghosts" (see Ploughshares). "Fenstad's Mother" lectures him when he visits her adamantly insisting that he just tries to be good, but his daughter Sharon is the real thing. The "Poor Devil" is actually a couple beyond the edge of divorce. As always Charles Baxter provides a strong insightful look at everyman; often through a surreal Dali like eye. Harriet Klausner
catwak More than 1 year ago
"Harry, why does your generation always have to find the right person? Why can't you learn to live with the wrong person? Sooner or later everyone's wrong." These words of wisdom come from Fenstad's mother, in the eponymously titled story from this magnificent collection. I've long heard that short story writers spend too much of their imaginative capital on such writing, and my good friend Julie tells me that the market for even the best short stories is small. That's a terrible shame, as anyone who is smart enough to buy this book will quickly discover. Mr. Baxter's talent is prodigious. These are fascinating stories, written with great wit and feeling about not very remarkable people. I think that his writing is so fine that he could write about almost anything and make it interesting.
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