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Like Life (1990)

by Lorrie Moore

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7891319,418 (4.05)37
In this collection of short stories the author addresses herself to a contemporary emotional dilemma - the widening gulf between men and women and the simultaneous yearning for and fear of closeness.
  1. 00
    Bed by Tao Lin (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Tao Lin has acknowledged Like Life's influence on his story-collection Bed.

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» See also 37 mentions

English (12)  Danish (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Like Life by Lorrie Moore is a volume of short stories, each one about ordinary people living quiet lives of desperation. The characters are often trying to disguise their fears and weaknesses with plenty of sarcasm or poignancy. There are eight stories, all quite different, yet all paint pictures of the empty lives of unhappy, neurotic and at times quite bitter people.

I can’t say that I enjoyed reading these stories, yet I did find them all memorable which speaks to the quality of the writing. At times these bleak stories hit close to home with recognizable emotions and feelings as she details life’s trite experiences. Stories about trying to disguise an empty life, or attempting to stay true to one’s muse are delivered in a sharp, incisive and witty manner that emphasizes rather than disguises the characters’ disorganized lives.

Complicated, cruel and cynical, the stories in Like Life speak to all of our insecurities and make the reading of it a very personal experience. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Dec 20, 2019 |
Such a good mix of humour and pathos, the book is a good example of the author's compulsive penchant for wisecracks which fit awkwardly into the narrative, just like the absurd way her characters fit into their worlds.

Further reading: this Guardian review of Lorrie Moore's Collected Stories. ( )
  kitzyl | Dec 31, 2018 |
one of the funniest bits to me from the title story:

People with money would spend six dollars on a cocktail for themselves but not eighty cents toward a draft beer for a guy with a shirt like that. Rudy would return home with enough cash for one new brush, and with that new brush would paint a picture of a bunch of businessmen sodomizing farm animals. "The best thing about figure painting," he liked to say, "is deciding what everyone will wear." ( )
  viviennestrauss | Aug 31, 2015 |
A wonderful collection of short stories. The author captures so much of the uncertainty and absurdity of existence. The first trip to the vet in 'Joy' had me laughing out loud. Almost immediately afterwards, Ms Moore introduces a plot thread that foreshadows grief and lost innocence. Like Kafka, like life, she mixes the small pleasures with the struggles to make sense of the shape of life. All wrapped up in the most exquisite prose; metaphors fresh, appropriate and beautiful in every one of the eight stories in this collection. The oddity of the title story caught me by surprise at first. By the end, I was once more in love with Ms Moore's all too human characters. ( )
  ushibatake | Aug 10, 2014 |
I have read a few books by Lorrie Moore and I appreciate her writing style. Overall I enjoyed this collection but the stories did not resonate with me as much as other books I have read by her. However she is just such a good writer and addresses such unique and quirky aspects of life that you feel you just have to read her writings. I look forward to her next book. ( )
  nivramkoorb | May 21, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lorrie Mooreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Murillo Fort, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"It seemed very sad to see you going off in your new shoes alone." - Zelda Fitzgerald, in a letter to her husband, February 1932
For making the slow going less slow, the author wishes to thank the Corporation of Yaddo, the University of Wisconsin Graduate School, the Wisconsin Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
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For the first time in her life, Mary was seeing two boys at once. It involved extra laundry, an answering machine, and dark solo trips in taxicabs, which, in Cleveland, had to be summoned by phone, but she recommended it in postcards to friends.
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