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Midair: Stories

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  94 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The title story in this collection narrates the lifelong effects on a son of the trauma experienced when his psychotic father threatens to drop him from a fifth-floor window. A common thread running through the eight stories is a man's growing awareness of the world around him.
Paperback, 149 pages
Published November 4th 1986 by Penguin Books (first published September 27th 1985)
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Zombieaps
"Midair," "Gossip," and "The Sense of the Meeting" are all potent and powerful. What Conroy does is to collapse time. He takes from pivotal childhood memories, long lost love affairs, and the sagas of fatherhood and shifts to the end, to the men who become from those beginnings. He is never trapped by the possible limitations of a given story, but manages to maneuver himself into the future and out of the past with the grace of an athlete on the court. His dialogue comes off true and natural, co ...more
Robert
Nov 28, 2008 Robert rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Stop-Time
Midair is a collection of eight short stories by Frank Conroy (Stop-Time) that opens with a tour-de-force, the title story "Midair," and proceeds in fits and starts thereafter. Some sentences and perceptions in this collection are breathtaking, some sentences and perceptions are more or less narrative filler. The fundamental ethos of Conroy's writing--when I say this I include Stop-Time--seems to be the contradiction between nostaligic, youthful idealism (how things ought to be in a reasonably d ...more
Readitnweep
A collection of eight stories ranging between brilliant and okay. Each story (and the author's novel Body & Soul) are or brush with nostalgia.

Midair The story that made me want to read Conroy who conveys so much with so little. This is one of the best short stories I've ever read. About a man who, as a child, was held outside the window, several floors up by his desperate, insane father.

Celestial Events Also brilliant. About a man dealing with the death of his mother. I liked this nearly as
...more
robert
I became infatuated with Frank Conroy after reading his marvelous 25 page essay on Steve McQueen for Esquire magazine, an essay he later disowned. Intrigued I read his memoir Stop Time and found it ordinary - wordy without conveying intensity or showing why his life was unusual and worth reading about. His novel Body and Soul felt overextended, sentimental and slack, and the attacks on Schoenberg seemed simpleminded. I loved Midair, but rereading the collection discovered that the story I once f ...more
Ryan
The first story, the title story of the collection, is excellent. Well-written, moving, surprising and, oddly enough, messy in all the right ways. I'd give the book as a whole five stars, except four of the stories in the collection are only good, not great. The other four are masterpieces and make this one worth picking up if you like literary fiction.
Steven
"Celestial Events” is one of my all-time favorite stories. I love the way he uses the racquetball game to show the emotional state of the character. “Midair” is the most well-known and anthologized story from this collection, and it has those great contrasting scenes on the balcony and elevator, although it has always seemed to me a weakness of the story that the sister, who is so prominent at the beginning of the story is absent at the end (unless that is just supposed to be another symbol of l ...more
Ryan Williams
This slim volume was a long time coming - 18 years after his debut, the clear and powerful memoir Stop-Time.

With the exception of the rambling 'Gossip', the remaining tales are excellent. The title story is popular with the anthologies, but the story 'Car Dreams' is my favourite: a potent fable about being careful what you wish for.

The crisp, supple style is enviable too - as is his essay collection Dogs Bark, But The Caravan Rolls On. (His first and only novel, Body & Soul, is a dud, howeve
...more
Michael
Jul 07, 2007 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: short story and cheever fans
Shelves: dead
feels like stories about the children of cheever's characters. some are told to a shrink. there was a year in my early 20s when I couldn't stop reading the story in here called "Roses" which might be a bad hallmark for a story, but more likely for the younger me.
Colleen
Nov 13, 2010 Colleen added it
Shelves: adult-fiction
A child's terror a the power of his insane father reverberates as the child becomes a man aand father, finally to escape the ghost with which he has unknowingly been struggling all his life.
Peter Zuppardo
"Gossip" is in my top three favorite stories of all time. Sadly the rest of the collection is pretty uneven.
Jonathan
Good writers should avoid becoming writer-workshop professors. Stop-Time is much better.
L a n c e
gossip is one of the most memorable stories i've ever read.
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Frank Conroy was an American author, born in New York, New York to an American father and a Danish mother. He published five books, including the highly acclaimed memoir Stop-Time, published in 1967, which ultimately made Conroy a noted figure in the literary world. The book was nominated for the National Book Award.
Conroy graduated from Haverford College, and was director of the influential Iowa
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More about Frank Conroy...
Body and Soul Stop-Time Time and Tide: A Walk Through Nantucket The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from Iowa Writers' Workshop Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Rolls On: Observations Then and Now

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