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Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day…

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (2011)

by Ben Loory

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2322372,809 (3.7)16
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    Words Without Pictures by Steve Niles (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: An odd, quirky anthology with a similar atmosphere of weirdness.

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
The prose may be deceptively simple, but there's a lot of imagination here. ( )
  AlbertHolmes | Nov 12, 2018 |
Imagine observing a highly-proficient artisan specializing in balloon animals or origami. Twist and fold, twist and fold. Then there's that last turn and the obscure creation suddenly pops into being, large as life. But Ben Loory is a tad more skilled than most and when his bizarre inventions abruptly open their eyes, gain consciousness of their artificial existence, and then scream wildly (or saunter up to you for a cuddle) - well, it's at that moment you realize you've hit on something extraordinary. - Adam
  stephencrowe | Nov 11, 2015 |
A collection of short stories. Here, everything is alive and emotional, such as the sea and a house on a cliff who long for each other. Animals talk, aliens exist and people meet through weird circumstances because they were meant to. Some really stuck with me, like "The Octopus", where the nephews come from the sea to visit their city Uncle and remind him what he left behind, or "The Knife Act", about two friends who suddenly decide to form a knife-throwing act and find out the hard way that they have no talent for it.
The writing style is extremely minimalist; you'll find very little backstory or character development. And the endings tend to be less about closure, leaving the reader with a feeling that the author was just done with that particular story. It's the unusual, sometimes bizarre, plots the author sets up that I admire. ( )
  mstrust | Mar 12, 2015 |
It has been a while since I came across such an inane, non-sensical and boring collection of short stories. Most stories are absurd or complete nonsense. Short sentences result in a staccato reading rhythm. Many stories have an ultra-simplistic beginning, almost like jokes, starting off with "A man etc" or "The man and the woman, etc".

Maybe this style of writing is what you get when you spend the whole day on Twitter and other micro-blog services.

Recommended for idiots.

Now, it is possible that Stories for nighttime and some for the day is a real innovation. Other critics suggest that the short fiction of Ben Loory shares characteristics with the work of Lydia Davis.

In Stories for nighttime and some for the day there are 40 stories on 200 pages, appended with some nonsense before and after. That leaves a mere five pages per story.

In my most concessional mood, I might suggest that the stories of Ben Loory show some affinity to for instance The fairy tales of Charles Perrault. They are very short stories that high-light a particular point. The style of the stories is that of a short fairy tale or, as I suggested before, a joke. However, most of the stories are non-sensical or absurd.

Most stories begin abruptly, introducing unnamed characters simply as "the man" or "the man and the woman." The stories also feature animals and aliens that can talk.

Another feature that adds to the jarring quality of the stories is the mixing register. It is confusing and irritating to see typical colloquial speech patterns integrated into literary dialogue. Although literary dialogue is supposedly a representation of speech, Loory uses these colloquialisms in a way that just does not seem to fit. ( )
2 vote edwinbcn | Nov 4, 2014 |
Short, fable-like wisps of fantasy/light horror. Good for fans of Etgar Keret. ( )
  apurdie | Dec 9, 2013 |
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Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree.
-- Emerson
A halo is not a helmet.
-- Jason Vincz
For Dennis Etchison, Maureen de Sousa, my parents, Mel and Barbara Loory, Andra Moldav, Sarah Funke Butler, and Aline Xavier Mineiro Alvares
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143119508, Paperback)

"Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is that rare find--a book that excites the reader. These tales are hilarious and vertiginous in the calmly absurd manner of Lydia Davis, Jack Handey and Etgar Keret. With his first book, Ben Loory proves he's already a master of the sleight of hand." -Stewart O'Nan, author of A Prayer for the Dying

Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people--and monsters and trees and jocular octopi--who are motivated by the same fears and desires that isolate and unite us all. In this singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination.

Contains the story "The Duck," as heard on NPR's This American Life, and "The TV," as published in The New Yorker.

"This guy can write!" -Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:48 -0400)

"This collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables and tales is populated by people--and monsters and aliens and animals and inanimate objects--motivated by and grappling with the fears and desires that unite us all."--P. [2] of cover.… (more)

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