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Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams

Ninety-Nine Stories of God

by Joy Williams

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1618106,040 (3.69)10



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If for no other reason, the ability to write a short story in less than 5 paragraphs make this interesting reading. Some of the stories will make you put down the book for a while just to think what they are about. Others are very clear in their meaning. It’s not a book of religious inspiration in stories, but it is a book that is very original and makes for great reading for both the believe and the non-believer. ( )
  brangwinn | May 6, 2017 |
Here's a great collection of some very brief short stories by a true master of the format. I most enjoy her characters, her humor, and the odd plotlines that she let's her readers in on. As an atheist, I was a little shaky about the whole GOD part of these stories, but I should have known better, Williams has a wonderfully twisted sense of humor that simply doesn't allow for any standard kind of religiosity ... more humor than piety. Some of these stories are only sentences long, others a few pages, at any length, she can shine so brightly in her writing. It's sure to be read many times over the years I have left. ( )
  jphamilton | Mar 6, 2017 |
I have to admit that I feel as though much of the morals and import of NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD escaped me. These "stories" (they're more akin to fables and aphorisms) take more to understand than a cursory reading; one day soon I'd like to peruse them again, studying just a few at a time. For now, 3.5 stars — though that might just betray my thematic ignorance. ( )
  nikkinmichaels | Jan 24, 2017 |
So, this author has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. And this book left me cold. Each entry is anywhere from a sentence to two pages in length and I guess they are supposed to be pithy, intropsective, wise...but they fell completely short for me. Nada.

For example, #6: "You know that dream of Tolstoy's where he's in some sort of bed contraption suspended between the abyss below and the abyss above? You know that one? Well, I gave it to him, the Lord said." SEE THAT YOU REMEMBER

What?! This one is not for me. ( )
  Berly | Oct 29, 2016 |
Some of these are very good, or laugh-out-loud funny. I'm a Powell's Indiespensable subscriber, but not very interested in Joy Williams's stories of God. Eh. ( )
  kcshankd | Oct 5, 2016 |
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Seldom occupying more than a couple of pages, Williams' stories are headed by a number, one to 99, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind's most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being. This series of short, fictional vignettes explores our day-to-day interactions with an ever-elusive and arbitrary God. It's the Book of Common Prayer as seen through a looking glass--a powerfully vivid collection of seemingly random life moments. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O.J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams' characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for him when he's standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he's in line to get a shingles vaccination. At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.… (more)

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