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Amateurs by Donald Barthelme

Amateurs (1976)

by Donald Barthelme

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142684,396 (3.61)3



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This book is a collection of stories by a master of deadpan wit and magical mockery. I do believe that Donald Barthelme was an excellent writer according to his qualifications, but I did not like this book at all. It made no sense to me. I kept reading hoping that soon I would understand the meaning of the book. There was no traditional plot structures, relying instead on a steady accumulation of seemingly-unrelated detail. He has been described as "the most influential unread author in United States history". I can believe that as I don't think I'll be reading another of his books. But, if you like strange fragmented ideas that may have some humor, then you should read this book. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
Amateurs Donald Barthelme

This is a collection of short stories which covers the full range or bizzare, boring, funny and interesting.

I found the earlier stories in the collection to be not as good as the later stories

My favourites were;

Some of us had been threatening our friend Colby
The Captured Woman
Porcupines at the University
The New Member
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Interesting. Quick read, fairly humourous short stories. Not really connected and not sure what the overall message was. But I liked them. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
Amateurs is a collection of short stories written during the seventies. The 1001 Book describes them as “absurdist morality tales” and that fits. Barthelme plays with words and at times I thought “what is this?”, it read like a bunch of ideas dropped in a free association that the author could go back to later and create a story. Others actually had more of a story line. Some were interesting, some were confusing. Here are some titles from some of the more interesting ones;
120 West Sixty-first Street I thought this might represent the isolation and struggle a couple would go through at the death of a young child.
Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby, they decide to hang Colby as he has gone to far and as friends they assume they have this right. Humorous but….
The Great Hug, here I am just going to give you a word from the story, semiantireprophetical.
The Agreement, worry by a father about his daughter in the event of divorce????
Porcupines at the University interesting but ??????
The End of the Mechanical Age Thoughts on God, marriage, divorce, a great list of tools. Might be my favorite.
Overall, this was a quick read, so one you can knock off fast but each of these stories could be contemplated a long time and might make great discussions. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 4, 2012 |
Quite possibly the quirkiest and most delightful short stories ever.
  dreamingtereza | May 6, 2007 |
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