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Later the Same Day

by Grace Paley

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289366,890 (3.27)6

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The only reason I didn’t give up on this collection halfway through the first tale is because I had to do a joint presentation on the author as part of my MA degree.

Checking other reviews, I see I’m of a minority who can’t stand these type of stories. I did expect to like this collection more than the author’s previous two books of shorts – neither of which impressed me – but turned out that this one was the worst of the three.

On the whole I was either bored, irritated, or both. I skipped a few tales, owing to them grating on my nerves. I especially hate how, in all but one of the tales, there’re no quotation marks for dialogue. Several times I hadn’t a clue who was talking, or if it was the narrator.

Plots are virtually non-existent. Each story more or less revolves around people chatting about political matters, which is of no interest to me whatsoever. If it’s not political, it’s just commonplace gossip. In short, it comes across as the author’s way of expressing her opinions through lacklustre characters.

Speaking of characters, there are too many per story for it to be possible to feel any sympathy for any of them, never mind getting to know them. A good short should have two or three main characters, whereas many of these have more than I can care to remember. ( )
1 vote PhilSyphe | Feb 27, 2017 |
Enigmatic stories, not light but containing lightness. Very funny. A sympathetic humor. The short ones are very strange. Off-kilter occurences following their own logic, sometimes reminds me of Jane Bowle's stories, but with broader concerns. Politics is in there a lot, the stories are more about the ways people deal with politics in their own lives, rather than trying to make any political points. I like her voice a lot, and she has recurring characters. Faith and her friends Ruth and Ann and Susan. She doesn't use quotation marks to set off dialogue and it can be really confusing when a lot of people start talking, but she does dialogue well, and her stories are sometimes hard to follow but they go in these weird directions without any kind of explanation. I like that. I also like, in her shorter stories, where she doesn't try for any kind of realism. Like in "At That Time, or The History of a Joke". ( )
1 vote JimmyChanga | Jul 13, 2010 |
This book disappointed me now and the previous time I read it. There was so much in each story that would have made for intereting commentary, but I felt the writing was so evasive I got nothing out of it. ( )
  suesbooks | Apr 7, 2007 |
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For my daughter and son, Nora and Danny, without whom my life and literature would be pretty slim ... and for Laura, our newest person.
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Short stories: Love -- Dreamer in a dead language -- Somewhere else -- Lavinia: an old story -- Friends -- At that time, or The history of a joke -- Anxiety -- In this country, but in another language, my aunt refuses to marry the men everyone wants her to -- Mother -- Ruthie and Edie -- A man told me the story of his life -- The story hearer -- This is a story about my friend George, the toy inventor -- Zagrowsky tells -- The expensive moment -- Listening.
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