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In the Heart of the Heart of the Country &…
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In the Heart of the Heart of the Country & Other Stories (1968)

by William H. Gass

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491530,869 (4)20
  1. 20
    Pricksongs & Descants: Fictions by Robert Coover (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: These two story collections tend to go hand-in-hand in literary-slash-academic circles, and they're both about on equal footing. Despite this preceding reputation, the similarities aren't so extensive, as Gass takes a more modernist approach and perfects it when and where he can. At his best, his stories fill a hole left behind by Faulkner's thematic antiquity. Pure gothic dread--or not so pure, coming off Gass' experimental, innovative genius, ultimately warranting the comparisons to his more self-consciously postmodern contemporary.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
This book just kicked my ass. holy fuck. I MUST rereading Omensetters Luck...
Note: the last time I rated a book of fiction 5 stars was 2014... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
I think this is what we read ( can't remember anything about it now ) ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
I think this is what we read ( can't remember anything about it now ) ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Gass at his early best. He is to be appreciated on the level of the word, then sentence, then perhaps paragraph. The rest is just details. ( )
  Librarianlacey | Aug 13, 2013 |
The best book I've read in a long, long time. This collection of long short stories (apparently there is such a thing) range from the plot-driven (the sinister "The Pedersen Kid") to the more experimental ("In the Heart of the Heart of the Country"), but never suffers a spat of boring language. Gass captures the hard, unforgiving American Midwest -- its provincialism, its bleak winters, and its small, simple pleasures (the way winter light illuminates an icicle, for instance) -- through a series of different and fully-realized consciousnesses. An incredible achievement. Since I'm sometimes a poor salesman, I give you a sentence from "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country":"It's true there are moments--foolish moments, ecstasy on a tree stump--when I'm all but gone, scattered I like to think like seed, for I'm the sort now in the fool's position of having love left over which I'd like to lose; what good is it now to me, candy ungiven after Halloween?" ( )
5 vote Patrick311 | Jul 15, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0879233745, Paperback)

IN THIS SUITE of five short pieces -- one of the unqualified literary masterpieces of the American 1960s -- William Gass finds five beautiful forms in which to explore the signature theme of his fiction: the solitary soul’s poignant, conflicted, and doomed pursuit of love and community. In their obsessions, Gass’s Midwestern dreamers are like the "grotesques" of Sherwood Anderson, but in their hyper-linguistic streams of consciousness, they are the match for Joyce’s Dubliners.

First published in 1968, this book begins with a beguiling thirty-three page essay and has five fictions: the celebrated novella "The Pedersen Kid," "Mrs. Mean," "Icicles," "Order of Insects," and the title story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

"In the Heart of the Heart of the Country is vintage William H. Gass: two novellas and three short stories, set in the Midwest, exhibiting Gass's characteristic and wildly original verbal brilliance and philosophical acuity. The volume includes The Pedersen Kid, a story originally published a few years before the 1965 publication of Gass's first novel Omensetter's Luck. Words populate these stories, as squirming, regal, and unexpected as the roaches, boys, icicles, neighbors, neuroses, and properties they describe. No matter how strange or estranged the human consciousness directing each symphony of words, his or her fear, delight, and disgust is uncanny and familiar"--… (more)

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