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True Tales of American Life by Paul Auster

True Tales of American Life

by Paul Auster

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
You'd think that this would be a collection of a wide variety of stories, a 'tossed salad' or experiences and beliefs & attitudes. ?Well, not so much. ?áAfter all, most contributors are fans of NPR. ?áAnd they are folks who think they have a story to tell. ?áAnd then Auster selects the ones he likes best. ?áSo, after awhile they start to sound much the same.... ?áI skipped Death and Dreams. ?áI think I found the first section, Animals, most interesting, and the last, Meditations, second most. ?á

Also, these are supposed to be true. ?áWell, even the ones that are most intentionally so, aren't likely to be. ?áMemory plays incredible tricks on us. ?áAnd all the coincidences, like (made-up example:) like losing a bracelet on a beach in Delaware the year your childhood friend had the mumps and was quarantined and so couldn't join you there, and decades later meeting the friend at a flea-market as you both were looking at a table of junk jewelry, and there's your old bracelet.... well, there's lots of nonsense like that in the book. ?áNot saying it's never happened, but that story concept only needed to be included a couple of times. ?áAnd did Auster do anything to verify the veracity of these vignettes? ?á

Anyway, Early Arithmetic" by Sandra Waller is worth getting the book from your library to read. ?áI'm off to see if she's written anything else. ?áEven if it's just a blog, I wanna read it." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Mr. Auster collected stories from around the nation on the theme of "brief, true-life anecdotes about events that touched their lives." It's been years since I listened to it, and so my ranking is based on a faded memory. I remember some story about a man thinking he was going to get shot and then he didn't. The audiobook's title is what sold me. I realized sometime in my twenties that my feelings toward God were based on a child's (i.e., me) perception of his parents. God never bought me an ice cream cone after swimming lessons, but my parents did teach me to be grateful for the beauty around me. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Like any number of books on my shelves, it seemed, at the time to be a "good one to buy". despite having had it for way over 10 years, I've yet to start it to any great extent. The first time I dipped into it, I was mildly disappointed, but think i might now have a different view on the subject
  corracreigh | Feb 8, 2016 |
For my money, this is the ultimate vacation, read-anywhere, pick-up-and-put-down book. It also has a nearly universal appeal, so it's also the ultimate gift book. Many of these very short, true stories have Twilight Zone-like eeriness to them, and every story gives you something unexpected, whether that is a gut-wrenching poignancy or an episode of laugh-out-loud humor. - Adam
  stephencrowe | Nov 11, 2015 |
The stories are as varied as the regions that make up the United States, though they do share the sugary sentimentality of the typical Weekend All Things Considered radio story. You can hear the archives here: www.npr.org/programs/wesat/ and www.npr.org/programs/wesun/ and you can listen live online via a variety websites. I listen to: http://www.kqed.org. ( )
  pussreboots | Oct 22, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Austerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reifler, NellyAssistant editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312421001, Paperback)

When the call went out to listeners of National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered to submit stories about their personal experiences, the results were overwhelming. I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project contains editor Paul Auster's pick of the best submissions. The stories, whether fact or fiction, all exhibit a heartfelt earnestness to be heard, and share similar themes of bizarre coincidences, otherworldly intervention, love and loss, life-changing experiences, and mundane pleasures. Some are deeply moving, most are not. But it is uplifting and well worth the time to sift through these brief snapshots of our collective human experience.

To give the book shape, Auster has done his best to categorize the material by subject, such as Animals, Families, War, Love, Dreams, and the like. These categories hold true to the submission criteria: "[I was most interested in] stories that defied our expectations about the world, anecdotes that revealed the mysterious and unknowable forces at work in our lives, in our family histories, in our minds and bodies, in our souls.... I was hoping to put together ... a museum of American reality." I Thought My Father Was God is a testament that, despite what on a bad day we may think is a drab existence, we all have a few good stories in us. --Michael Ferch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:11 -0400)

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A collection of 180 personal, true-life accounts from NPR's National Story Project reflects the work of men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life and is accompanied by a look at the role of storytelling in our lives.

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