The Secret Lives of People in Love

The Secret Lives of People in Love

by Simon Van Booy


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061766121
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/23/2010
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 175
Sales rank: 1,279,984
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Simon Van Booy is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, including The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He is the editor of three philosophy books and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and the BBC. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

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The Secret Lives of People in Love 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Yvonne-Cawley More than 1 year ago
Simon Van Booy's collection of stories have the confident strength of gravity pulling you into his pages so that the reader becomes a sponge taking on the mood of the story. Subtle imagery makes you pause and reread the paragraph, the sentence the word so as to fully feel the scene and the weight and sometimes burden of its beauty. I refused to read this book in a waiting room or in public because I did not want to squander the experience; I wanted to feel the story without any distraction, feeling free to linger because this book is a rare encounter and something to be savored.
tap_aparecium on LibraryThing 3 days ago
This book forces you to fall in love.Then quickly you must go.I was compiling a list of my favorite stories from the book but the list grew too long. If you appreciate short stories and have a soul then I highly recommend this book to you.
writestuff on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Love reveals the beauty of seemingly trivial things ¿ a pair of shoes, an empty wine glass, an open drawer, cracks on the avenue. - from The World Laughs in Flowers, page 48 of The Secret Lives of People in Love -Simon Van Booy weaves tales of ordinary people and makes them extraordinary in this collection of nineteen short stories. What appears trivial, is revealed to be monumental in the lives of his characters ¿ all of whom have secrets they keep from those around them. As with his other published collection, Van Booy writes stories in poetic, intricate language which draws the reader in.My favorite story in the collection is perhaps the shortest story at only three pages. In The Reappearance of Strawberries, a man¿s deathbed becomes a reminiscence of love in France sparked by the joy of sweet strawberries.Eight stories above the infamous rue de Vaugirard, the man in the ninth bed of the Bonnard Hospital ward had requested nothing but strawberries for several day. For most of that Tuesday afternoon all that could be heard were the tiny hands and feet of rain against the window. ¿ from The Reappearance of Strawberries, page 11 of The Secret Lives of People in Love -Van Booy takes the reader to New York City in several of his stories, relating the immigrant experience from a very personal point of view. A Russian man living in Brooklyn finds himself contemplating marriage to an American girl, but he harbors a secret from when he served on a Russian submarine. This secret fills him with guilt. Before he can move forward in his life and in his relationship, he must face his demons; and as the tale unfolds, the secret is revealed.All seas are one sea. Every ocean holds hands with another. Although I have a job in Brooklyn, and I even have a girlfriend called Mina, part of my soul is in Russia. If I can brave the sea one last time ¿ just up to my chest ¿ I know that I may be reunited with myself. - from As Much Below as Up Above, page 14 of The Secret Lives of People in Love -The themes of loss and redemption are common in this collection. For many of the characters, their secrets keep them tethered to guilt. In Distant Ships a father living in a small village in Wales chooses to become mute when tragedy steals his son from him. His days are monotonous as he gets up each day to work in a warehouse. He mourns his son and the wife who has moved to America but never divorced him. Van Booy¿s ability to capture grief and loss is amazing ¿ and he does so with few words.Sometimes I time my walk to coincide with the three o¿clock school bell. Children gush into the playground like hot water and into the arms of their parents. I would give everything, even memory ¿ especially memory ¿ if I could hold Leo again. The weight of his absence is the weight of the entire world. - from Distant Ships, page 68 of The Secrets of People in Love -I also found myself being pleasantly surprised by some of Van Booy¿s stories. In
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this book on whim after just reading a few pages in the store. Something caught me about this book. These stories are so well written, I found myself enthralled by this book. Descriptions that find the bare essence of a scene, characters who show the many sides of humanity. There is no pretense in this writing, it is intensely focused storytelling. Some stories are inspiring, some poignant but every one a gem. I highly recommend this book for both its stories and being so beautifully written.
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed peeling away the layers and enjoying this one in small bits. Although it wasn¿t my intention to take an entire year to read it, reading it this way seemed proper. These are not stories to rush through. This was my first experience with Van Booy¿s writing but it definitely won¿t be my last.
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TheCloud More than 1 year ago
Van Booy's medium, the short story, compels. Every single story in this collection gave me chills, and I don't mean goosebumps, but actual chills that ran up and down my spine. If the economy has you worried, read Van Booy's work. Just one story at bedtime is a prescription for pleasure. I can't wait for his second collection of stories to come out.
SillyPuttyHD More than 1 year ago
I somewhat regret buying this. I really thought I would like it. I read a few of the stories and they just didn't speak to me. Try buying a single story before paying for the entire collection if you're unsure. I so badley wanted to like these stories, I will try again. Maybe a different story or maybe the same story again at another time. From the description I expcted to fall in love immediately. I didn't, but I'm not gonna give up! lol Sometimes it's just not the right season.I hope to update this review more positvely in the future.