HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules…
Loading...

Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules (edition 2005)

by David Sedaris, David Sedaris (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
95699,073 (3.6)10
Member:JennyG
Title:Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules
Authors:David Sedaris
Other authors:David Sedaris (Introduction)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2005), Edition: Original, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Read: 2013

Work details

Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules by David Sedaris (Editor)

None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
A friend gave me this, as we are both Sedaris fans. None of this is his work (save the introduction, which was on par with most of his better essays), but I decided to trust his judgment and try something new. As with most collections, the stories were of varying quality.

Where the Door is Always Open and the Welcome Mat is Out by Patricia Highsmith, read by Cherry Jones: Mildred is rushing around frantically to prepare for her sister Edith’s visit. The reader was great, but the story itself was pretty boring. Maybe it was because I just wasn’t all that interested in the characters, or maybe because all the minutia felt excessively detailed.

Bullet In the Brain by Tobias Wolff, read by Toby Wherry: A fascinating little vignette that stretches out an instant of time into a fully coherent narrative, and it ended at just the right spot too.

Gryphon by Charles Baxter, read by David Sedaris: A new substitute teacher with crazy ideas. Sedaris did an excellent job, which is kind of surprising since he tends to narrate in a sort of monotone, but somehow he managed to get across everything with subtle changes in pitch and inflection. Probably my favorite of the batch.

In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried by Amy Hempel, read by Mary-Louise Parker: I’ll be perfectly honest here: I had a whole lot of trouble following this one. Maybe I was just distracted, but I have absolutely no idea what it was about.

Cosmopolitan written and read by Akhil Sharma: A somewhat strange tale about an older Indian man attempting to have an affair with his American neighbor. Sharma probably should not have read his own story, as his cadence tended toward the droning, but I still very much enjoyed the story, and the ending made me smile.

In all, not a bad collection. These are the sorts of stories we’d read in creative writing classes, which gave me weird flashbacks from time to time, but it was a nice break from the string of novels I’d been listening to lately. ( )
  melydia | Jun 13, 2011 |
for a book edited by David Sedaris, not overly funny. Having said that, I think I have found a few new authors to read. ( )
  traciolsen | Mar 13, 2011 |
Readers should be aware that this is a collection of Sedaris's favorite essays, not his own work. That said, the pieces are generally excellent, and it is interesting to get a perspective on the more serious literary side of this remarkable comedic writer.

Perhaps the best aspect of this book is that his popularity will encourage more people to discover the pleasures of short stories. All this great storytelling, and the proceeds of new sales go to charity!

After reading these pieces, it's easy to see how Sedaris got his inspiration for his tightly constructed comedic essays. A great read. ( )
  Oreillynsf | Jun 20, 2010 |
Now it begins, the sorting and testing of words. Remember that words are not symbols of other words. There are words which, when tinkered with, become honest representatives of the cresting blood, the fine living net of nerves. Define rain. Or even joy. It can be done.

So, short stories. I do like them, but have trouble reading several by one author as they end up feeling like Faberge eggs. You know, you see one and it's exquisite. And then you see the next one and, hey, it's quite nice too, but by the third or fourth, any elements of surprise are gone and after a half dozen I'm a little bored and looking forward to the cafe. An anthology of some sort is a different matter. Each author spins their perfect little tale and then is finished. I don't become jaded with a dozen instances in a row of subdued disappointment or witty dialogue, but get to be astonished all over again with the next story.

This book is a collection of short stories gathered by David Sedaris. There is the expected Dorothy Parker (Song of the Shirt, 1941), but there's also Richard Yates (Oh, Joseph, I'm So Tired), Joyce Carol Oates (The Girl with the Blackened Eye) and Jhumpa Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies). Sedaris favors stories with emotional resonance over clever wordplay, and the best two stories in the book were amazing; Revelation by Flannery O'Connor and Cosmopolitan by Akhil Sharma.

I loved rediscovering how a short story can compress all the emotion and heft of a novel into a dozen or so pages. I think I may start reading from all those Collected Stories of I have sitting around, but one at a time, with a few months between each story so that I can be newly astonished with each one. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Apr 26, 2010 |
This is a compilation of David Sedaris' favorite short stories by literary greats such as Alice Munro, Flannery O'Connor and Dororthy Parker, just to name a few. With a crowd like this, you can expect stories that will leave you ever so slightly unsettled, such as Tobias Wolff's "Bullet in the Brain" and Lorrie Moore's troubling tromp through a pediatric cancer ward in "People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk." The stories seem to gather eccentric value as the book progresses. They are provocative and probably not best read right before bed. But Sedaris has indeed gathered the best of the best, and each of the stories represents an intricate piece of literary art.

But there is another reason to buy this book. All the proceeds benefit 826NYC, an afterschool tutoring organization that also does community outreach by way of writing workshops for young people. Literature to help foster literature-it is a great idea and one worthy of support. ( )
  rebcamuse | Jan 11, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sedaris, DavidEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxter, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gannon, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hempel, AmyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Highsmith, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnston, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lahiri, JhumpaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mansfield, KatherineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, LorrieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Munro, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Connor, FlanneryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, Joyce CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, DorothyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sedaris, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sharma, AkhilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thompson, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vowell, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Willett, JincyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolff, TobiasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yates, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074327394X, Paperback)

A bestseller in its own right and a must-have for fans of the #1 bestselling author David Sedaris, a collection of his favorite short fiction.

David Sedaris is an exceptional reader. Alone in his apartment, he reads stories aloud to the point he has them memorized. Sometimes he fantasizes that he wrote them. Sometimes, when they’re his very favorite stories, he’ll fantasize about reading them in front of an audience and taking credit for them. The audience in these fantasies always loves him and gives him the respect he deserves.

David Sedaris didn’t write the stories in Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules . But he did read them. And he liked them enough to hand pick them for this collection of short fiction. Featuring such notable writers as Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Joyce Carol Oates, Jean Thompson, and Tobias Wolff, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules includes some of the most influential and talented short story writers, contemporary and classic.

Perfect for fans who suffer from Sedaris fever, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules will tide them over and provide relief.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection of contemporary and classical short fiction works includes pieces by such writers as Alice Munro, Tobias Wolff, and Joyce Carol Oates.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
357 wanted
4 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.6)
0.5
1 4
1.5 1
2 13
2.5
3 54
3.5 6
4 53
4.5 5
5 29

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,485,249 books! | Top bar: Always visible