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Four Decades: New and Selected Stories by…
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Four Decades: New and Selected Stories

by Gordon Weaver

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0826211135, Paperback)

A prolific, prize-winning author of seven short story collections, Gordon Weaver offers a new collection that culls a dozen pieces from four decades of distinguished writing. From sharply observed details, you can wring the characteristic poignancy from Weaver's writing. In "Getting Serious," the narrator recollects his youth and the celebration of a golden boy's return from the Army on a summery lake shore. Weaver renders the objects, the nonsequiturs, the cigarette smoke, and the drinking lovingly, as if to give us the tiniest, most seductive peek at the underlying truth of the story. But "these are not living details for me," the narrator says. "Rather, after thirty years, it is a kind of tableau, a group of people frozen in my memory like statues, like a memorial to the people, the place, the world war. I can look at it whenever I wish, but it does not live for me." Such an oblique approach to the story's central action makes you curious and compels you to read on. And read on you will.

Alcohol figures prominently in these stories. As it tangles with characters, wedding disappointment and disillusionment, dulling mind and senses, you realize that these authentic characters will never face the music. Youth's promise gives way to sodden regrets and enervated dreams. However, we're fortunate indeed to have this dark, often tender, and always keenly crafted retrospective.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:42 -0400)

Stories on a variety of subjects. The story, Whiskey, Whiskey, Gin, Gin, Gin, is on the destructive power of alcohol, Hog's Heart deals with the downward slide of a football coach, and The Parts of Speech is on the craft of writing.

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