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The Collected Stories by Leonard Michaels

The Collected Stories (edition 2007)

by Leonard Michaels (Author)

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1374131,545 (3.96)None
Title:The Collected Stories
Authors:Leonard Michaels (Author)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2007), Edition: 1st, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:to-read, in-library

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The Collected Stories by Leonard Michaels



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This edition is provides a marvelous vantage point from which the creative trajectory of LM becomes clear. Starting from flashy, acrid stories of the 60s and 70s, in which Babel and the Russian Formalists go fucking around in Manhattan, running across a period of what seems to be intellectually induced disorientation, where the author seems to give a slap to every authoritative philosophizer he meets saying "come again?", bullying the reader into consuming diaries as a form of fiction and enjoying ideas like blow-jobs, the volume flows into the gentle, wistful precision of the Nachman stories.

Up until Nachman, I kept laughing aloud so hard I couldn't read, and I kept chewing on every clause, reluctant to swallow, choking on the juice; Nachman seems like a gentle, merciless surgery. Something steely and relentless comes up in that look on the cover towards the end, watches you back and is gone.

There are things I will never be able to understand, things of tremendous and inconceivable power, unreachable for the reason and in immediate contact with my life, Michaels told me somewhere along the way. ( )
  alik-fuchs | Apr 27, 2018 |
Was prompted to read the Nachman stories by a recent New Yorker Fiction podcast reading of "The Penultimate Conjecture". A very singular and rich perspective. I found it amazing how easily Michaels is able to convey the mathematical mindset without mentioning much math content. A real shame Michaels died before completing these. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Aug 25, 2014 |
The earliest stories here are pretty mindblowing in their use of language, and for the anomie and desperation that haunt the characters. Though they aren't as excitingly weird, as the daughter of a mathematician I have a soft spot for the Nachman stories that come at the end, as well. As with Portnoy's Complaint, though, there were many places which made me wonder how gentiles could read these stories, and what the hell they were getting out of them. ( )
  amydross | Jun 1, 2013 |
A great collection: These stories present vision of many different times and places, all told with precision and biting humor. Many take place in New York in the '50s and '60s. You will witness a major social and cultural center at a crucial moment. You will feel you lived there for a brief time while you read the story.
  mugwump2 | Nov 29, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374126542, Hardcover)

Leonard Michaels was a master of the short story. His collections are among the most admired, influential, and exciting of the last half century. The Collected Stories brings them back into print, from the astonishing debut Going Places (1969) to the uncollected last stories, unavailable since they appeared in The New Yorker, Threepenny Review, and Partisan Review.

At every stage in his career, Michaels produced taut, spare tales of sex, love, and other adult intimacies: gossip, argument, friendship, guilt, rage. A fearless writer--"destructive, joyful, brilliant, purely creative," in the words of John Hawkes--Michaels probed his characters' motivations with brutal humor and startling frankness; his ear for the vernacular puts him in the company of Philip Roth, Grace Paley, and Bernard Malamud. Remarkable for its compression and cadences, his prose is nothing short of addictive.

The Collected Stories is a landmark.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:20 -0400)

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