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Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile…
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Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (2009)

by Maile Meloy

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5653027,184 (3.83)31
Presents a volume of eleven short works that explores the complexity of life in austere landscapes of the American West, from the tale of a ranch hand who falls for a reluctant newcomer to the story of a young father who is shocked by the reappearance ofhis late grandmother.

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
All but one of the stories left me stunned. That intrepid trek elsewhere, in this case Argentenia, proved to be the collection's sole misstep. I grow hoarse professing such, but I do not like stories. This was the exception which proves the rule. I didn't skip any selections and enjoyed the progression. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
These stories are either amazing (most are) or complete rubbish. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
The eleven stories collected here all have something to do with relationships, often frustrated, sometimes unrequited or worse, unwanted. Meloy moves easily between male and female protagonists, sometimes employing child narrators. Although most of the stories appear to be set in Montana, except for perhaps the first, “Travis, B.,” it doesn’t seem as though Montana is integral to the story. Rather, it is usually some aspect of the principal character, heightened by a recent event, that establishes the landscape of the story. It is an emotional landscape with wide vistas but also dark mountains and fast-flowing streams.

There are no weak stories here. Meloy knows her craft and chooses wisely. But there are always a few stories that stand out for any particular reader. For me, “Travis, B.,” “Spy vs. Spy,” and “Two-Step” are highlights. But even writing that I’m already thinking of others that I could have chosen. I like the tender, unrequited affection of “Travis, B.” The arch rivalry of “Spy vs. Spy” added a hint of the surreal, perhaps. And “Two-Step” just seemed both mature and sad, the way extra-marital relationships get more tenuous and probably unrealistic as the participants age. There are plenty of insightful observations amongst these tales and enough bon mots to raise a wry smile. Try “Liliana” for unexpected exuberance.

Well worth a read. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Sep 12, 2017 |
Well crafted stories focus on mostly predictable predator/prey, male/female relationships and confrontations.

Travis.B resonates strongly, while O. Tannenbaum best delivers on the title.

Red from Green seems to be missing something vital - did the father actually betray his daughter
to help his son's court case? or was that all in her mind?

Lovely Rita = uneasy.
Spy vs. Spy = Great title, but annoying contrived arguing.
Two Step = uncomfortably real.
The Girlfriend = horrible and hotel invite just too stupid.
Liliana = dumb, with requisite animal cruelty.
Nine = sad.
Augustin = who can possibly want to know about some jerk who wants to shoot elephants?
The children = ambivalent, but, like most of the others, lacks mystery. ( )
  m.belljackson | Jun 29, 2017 |
Lovely collection of short stories, themed around desire and its pushes and pulls. Extremely well written so as to be very accessible and yet draw you in with astute observations and lovely phrasing. She makes it look easy, which is the trick to doing anything difficult! Recommended. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | Jan 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
One cant
have it

both ways
and both

ways is
the only

way I
want it.

-A R Ammons
Dedication
For Geoffrey Wolff
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Canongate Books

An edition of this book was published by Canongate Books.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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