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

by William H. Gass

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591730,789 (3.97)21
In the Heart of the Heart of the Countryis 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)
  1. 30
    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 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Gass is a philologopher, certainly, but I find that it takes patience to chop trough the thickets and brambles of his prose to find those soaring moments of poetry that lash out and sting your senses.

The Pedersen Kid: vividly alienating. 4.
Mrs. Mean: starkly profound. 5.
Icicles: disengagingly meandering. 2.
Order of Insects: platitudinally overwrought. 2.
In the Heart of the Heart of the Country: jabbingly groping. 3.

AVG: 3.2
( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
This is a strong collection of short stories by William H. Gass. I particularly enjoyed The Order of Insects and Icicles for the outlandish mania that grips the protagonists of the stories. In Icicles it's a failed real estate agents and in The Order of Insects a housewife who keeps finding dead insects on the carpet. Gass writes in a lyrical style that brings a flourish of mania to a setting that would in most cases be quite dull. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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In the Heart of the Heart of the Countryis 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.

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