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Eleven Kinds of Loneliness
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Eleven Kinds of Loneliness

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,547 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
Richard Yates's unflinchingly realistic stories explore loneliness, but they don't neglect failure, cruelty, and heartbreak. Most of the stories feature men who have been disappointed, somehow, by their inability to fulfill the promise of their youth.

Contents

"Doctor Jack-o'-lantern"
"The Best of Everything"
"Jody Rolled The Bones"
"No Pain Whatsoever"
"A Glutton for Punis
...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published April 23rd 1989 by Vintage Contemporaries (first published 1962)
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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath1984 by George OrwellJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Books on Loneliness
81st out of 391 books — 453 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseySlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Best Books of the Decade: 1960's
301st out of 735 books — 1,027 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Glenn Russell
Mar 15, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing


There are eleven short stories in this collection published as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series. Since there are many other reviews either synopsizing or speaking to all eleven, in the spirit of freshness and what I hope is a unique way to share some of Richard Yates’ first-rate fiction, I will confine my review to one story I have always found incredibly insightful, a story about a man fired from his office job. Coincidentally, there are eleven markers or movements, eleven near-p
...more
Algernon
Jun 08, 2014 Algernon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again


Books about loneliness are often disturbing, depressing, sad, yet I find myself coming back to their silence and their closely shuttered windows (Hrabal, McCullers, Ebenezer le Page, Tarjei Vesaas, Charles Frazier - to name only a few recent lectures), like a glutton for punishment, as if I didn’t know already all there is to know about loneliness from my own past experiences. It may be because they are in their way more honest than
...more
Claudia
Feb 01, 2016 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Größe eines Menschen liegt in der Menschlichkeit, nicht in der Vortrefflichkeit (English Review follows)

Yates hat es einmal so formuliert: "Wenn meine Arbeit ein Thema hat, ist es vermutlich ein einfaches: dass die Menschen unentrinnbar allein sind, und darin liegt ihre Tragödie.
Je älter Yates wurde, umso mehr litt er selbst unter dieser Einsamkeit.

Zu den Geschichten. Mir hat "Alles, alles Gute" und "Baumeister " am besten gefallen. Auf diese möchte ich hier kurz eingehen.
In "Alles, alles G
...more
Glenn Sumi
Apr 15, 2015 Glenn Sumi rated it it was amazing
More like: Eleven Kinds Of Brilliance

What can I say? Each story in this book is a gem.

Richard Yates is best known for his debut 1961 novel Revolutionary Road, but his influence on decades of short story writers (especially those working in realism, like Tobias Wolff and Raymond Carver) is obvious.

The themes in these stories, published in magazines before RR but collected in book form and released the year after (1962), are timeless: ordinary people dissatisfied with relationships, family or wo
...more
Fewlas
Feb 22, 2014 Fewlas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: racconti, americana
Se questo libro fosse un film, non sarebbe proprio un film. Sarebbe il primo episodio di “New York Stories”, l’episodio “Lezioni di vero” diretto da Martin Scorsese. Un pittore solo che schizza colori sulla tela a ritmo di “A whiter shade of pale”. Un uomo scontroso e solo in quanto abita perpetuamente la fase dell’innamoramento e della delusione, della ricerca e dell’illusione e della sconfitta. (un assaggio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v_4SJ...)
Se questo libro fosse un fiore, non sarebbe p
...more
João Carlos

“Western Motel" (1957) de Edward Hopper

Em 2014 li dois romances do escritor norte-americano Richard Yates (1926 – 1992), “O Desfile da Primavera” (1976) – 5 estrelas e “Perto da Felicidade” (1986) – 4 estrelas.
Depois de ler na lindíssima capa da edição portuguesa de “Onze Tipos de Solidão” – quadro “Western Motel" (1957) de Edward Hopper - uma referência do escritor Kurt Vonnegut, designando que “Richard Yates é o melhor contador de histórias americano”, decidi iniciar a sua leitura.
“Onze Tipos
...more
nettebuecherkiste
Wie entsteht Einsamkeit in der Gesellschaft? Welche Folgen hat Einsamkeit und wie kann es sein, dass man sich ständig unter Menschen befindet und doch einsam ist? Mit solchen Fragen beschäftigt sich dieser Kurzgeschichtenband des renommierten amerikanischen Autors. Das Buch enthält wie der Titel es vermuten lässt elf Kurzgeschichten, in denen das Thema Einsamkeit im Mittelpunkt steht, sei es Einsamkeit aufgrund eines geringen sozialen Status, einer unklug geschlossenen Ehe, Krankheit oder mangel ...more
Sandra
May 15, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa
Ho ripreso familiarità con Yates lentamente, visto che è trascorso qualche anno dall’ultima volta che l’ho letto. Dopo un inizio guardingo, ancora sotto l’effetto dei racconti di Hemingway e dei suoi superuomini, sono entrata subito nel disagiato mondo di Yates, ho letto storie di falliti, buoni a nulla, uomini ma anche donne soli perché incompresi dagli altri, dalla famiglia, ma in primo luogo da sé stessi, incapaci di inseguire un qualsiasi sogno o illusione perché inadatti a crearselo. Grandi ...more
Gabriele
[dicembre 2012]
Carver, sei tu?
Yates sorprende, immagina personaggi, storie brevi, passa da un mondo all'altro; ci sono tracce di solitudine, persone che appaiono forti e pian piano si disgregano, crollano pagina dopo pagina, si fanno amare e poi ripudiare alla fine di ogni racconto. Undici racconti e Yates non sbaglia una virgola, andiamo dallo "stupendo" al "molto bello", 200-e-passa pagine che scorrono fra emozioni contrastanti, un compendio su come i racconti brevi dovrebbero essere, crudi e
...more
Cosimo
May 15, 2015 Cosimo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una voce inimitabile narra con energia e grazia la disperazione e l'emarginazione, la ribellione e la gioia. L'imperfezione dello stile si nutre di infinito talento e con sguardo penetrante attraversa la trasparenza e le lacrime, per giungere a un grado assoluto di tragica onestà e volontaria fatalità. I racconti di Yates, singolari in maniera irriducibile, costruiscono l'intimità con il lettore nel reciproco inganno che duplica piano biografico e letterario, mescola progetti inesistenti con ant ...more
Armin Hennig
Alles andere als brillant, aber gelungene Kontextarbeit hebt den Durchschnitt

Persönliche Befangenheitserklärung

Drei Sterne als Mittelwert für einen Erzählungsband, der zwar nichts Außerordentliches enthält, aber sein Konzept so weit ganz anständig durchzieht und damit eine bessere Bewertung an Land zieht, als es die Qualität der Einzelerzählungen rechtfertigen würde. Auf den ersten Blick war die Lektüre für mich ziemlich enttäuschend, da ich etliche Geschichten bereits kannte, auch wenn mir der
...more
Toby
Feb 24, 2013 Toby rated it really liked it
Loneliness is, in many ways, an elusive concept. The sense of ‘self’ implicit in such a concept seems to me to be what Richard Yates seeks to illuminate in “Eleven kinds of Loneliness”. Throughout, Yate’s characters – uniformly ‘average’ or otherwise unwitnessed lives – appear to yearn for company and companionship. However, the lesson they so often learn is that other people are not always the cure for loneliness – they are, more often than not, its cause.
Throughout, a thread of character’s in
...more
rahul
Mar 03, 2016 rahul rated it really liked it
Koi Yeh Kaise Bataaye Ke Wo Tanha Kyoon Hai,
Wo jo apna thaa wahi aur kisi ka kyoon hai

Yahi duniya hai to phir aisee ye duniya kyoon hai
Yahi hota hai to aakhir yahi hota kyoon hai

- Kaifi Azmi ( from the movie Arth)


How does one explain away his loneliness to another,
That which was once his now belonging to another...

If this how the world is , why is this world like that,
If this is what is supposed to happen,then why does it happen so...


Some days it feels like there are as many Kinds of Lo
...more
Conor
May 02, 2016 Conor rated it it was amazing
I gather that this book is often called New York's "Dubliners," but it seemed to be more "Winesburg, OH" than anything else: dark, sympathetic, and radiating lonely despair. I can't help but believe that Yates was probably a bitter old man, haunted as much by his mystifying failure to achieve success despite unalloyed critical acclaim for his writing as by the interpersonal catastrophes that must have provided at least partial material for his characteristic stories. Each of these regrets manife ...more
Eric
Mar 13, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficciones
The cover blurb of my edition calls it midcentury New York's 'Dubliners.' That's not really an overstatement. Yates shares Joyce's deft drawing of fluid movement and reasonant gesture. He can conjure bodies and situations with just one or two sharp details. Delicate domestic realism, sparely styled--for a while now the default mode of American short story writing--has no better exemplar. So elegant!
Nickie
Oct 29, 2012 Nickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this more than 5 stars I would. Or perhaps I should go and mark down all previous books a star to balance out.

Richard Yates is one of those writers who gets people. And he's got heart. He's like yer Updike and yer Roth in his beautiful prose style, and he's funny, but unlike yer Updike and yer Roth he gets women, because he can be bothered. He gets women just like he gets men. Not many can do that.

I want to hug this book up all the time, it's so bloody lovely. Short stories can
...more
Lucrezia
Aug 09, 2012 Lucrezia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Undici solitudini mi è piaciuto leggermente di più di Revolutionary Road , undici raccontini , ambientati a New york ognuno con la sua visuale... è bello passare da un punto di vista ad un altro sperando sempre in una rivalsa, che Yates puntualmente nega, credo di avere già detto che lo stile di Yates è sublime, ma i suoi personaggi un po' meno, e forse è per questo che non mi prende completamente, ma è bello seguirlo mentre con i volteggi della penna ti mostra tutta la frustrazione dell America ...more
Lulu
Nov 11, 2008 Lulu rated it it was amazing
This book or rather, collection of short stories, is superb! This was the third work of Yates that I have read and I think it may be my favorite. Each story was so rich with raw human emotion that I could feel the characters' pain in my stomach. Yates' ability to convey the human condition is uncanny. He is by far the best writer I have ever read. There may be other writers who have written more important or revolutionary works, who have crafted more intricate plots, but I have never encountere ...more
Alex
Mar 25, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Oh, it's Richard Yates alright. I had to take this book in little slices, over a span of a month. Otherwise, I might have committed suicide. Warning: when you see me reading a Yates novel, try not to talk to me afterwards...for at least a few hours. This book is sad, sad, sad...and lonely.

BUT SO GOOD. Honestly, I only enjoyed 4 out of the 11 stories (A Really Good Jazz Piano, A Glutton for Punishment, Out with the Old, Builders), but every story in here has characters that feel like humans, and
...more
Max
Aug 28, 2012 Max rated it really liked it
Shelves: 20th-century
Yates is true to form depicting people struggling to find their place in a society that is filled with people who are self-absorbed and who seek out and exploit the vulnerable. Yates himself and his relationships are woven into these stories as was the case with Revolutionary Road. The failed marriages, heavy drinking, time in the army, ghost writing and journalistic work are examples. His own life seemed to echo his stories, moving from place to place, never feeling successful. The Independent ...more
Terri Jacobson
Jun 05, 2015 Terri Jacobson rated it it was amazing
This collection of 11 short stories was my first exposure to Richard Yates, and I have to say I'm very impressed. The quality of writing is outstanding. Yates has the ability to craft very real and very different worlds. There are stories about a new child in a class of 4th graders in a New York City school, a couple with pre-wedding jitters the Friday night before the ceremony, young men discovering a jazz pianist in Paris, and the interactions among men in a TB ward. The stories were written b ...more
Matthew
Dec 09, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loneliness, as the title suggests, is present throughout all eleven of the stories in this collection. The author's thematic continuity feels deliberate (though I understand loneliness is present throughout many of his works) and ties the collection together very neatly. I prefer short story collections that have are unified by a theme rather than collections that rely on interconnection (whether it's characters or events). I find these interconnected stories often feel awkwardly forced together ...more
JAC
Dec 10, 2015 JAC rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, short-stories
Richard Yates (1926-1992) is perhaps best known for writingRevolutionary Road. I've yet to read it, but if his short stories are anything to go by, I really look forward to the experience. Throughout my reading of Eleven Kinds of Loneliness I couldn't help but detect a comparison to Joyce in the work; particularly with his collection Dubliners. Yates writes with the same fluid and honesty; he is not afraid to capture the mundane, depressing lives of these normal individuals working the banal job ...more
Elena
Apr 07, 2016 Elena rated it it was amazing
Brilliant storytelling. Flirting with loneliness, dancing with despair, standing on the edge of agony and failure. Eleven slices of humanity. They made me remember ( and want to watch again ) Kieślowski's Decalogue. This has been my first encounter with Yates, and a truly happy ( bad choice of word here, though) one.
Elena Benvenuti
Mar 13, 2014 Elena Benvenuti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Danza di frasi non dette, sguardi che non si sono incrociati, abbracci mancati. Fino al crollo.
Shirley
Jul 11, 2012 Shirley rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction, 2012
An outstanding writer, that Yates. I have to read everything he's written at some point.
Kirstie
Sep 14, 2008 Kirstie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in the human condition, NYC in 1940s
About five years ago, I randomly picked up Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates at Myopic used book store. Something about it caught my eye, which was the quote on the back cover: "The Great Gatsby of my time...One of the best books by a member of my generation."-Kurt Vonnegut. Well, how could I not buy it right? Revolutionary Road is a novel instead of vignettes or short stories but it has some similar themes...about being trapped in the middle of life and Revolutionary Road can easily become a ...more
Thais
Oct 09, 2012 Thais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non si tratta soltanto di undici solitudini: si tratta di un'unica, grande solitudine, quella derivante dall'essere umani.
I protagonisti di questi racconti, infatti, non sono tutti soli nel vero senso della parola: nella maggior parte dei casi hanno una famiglia, degli amici o almeno dei colleghi. Ma ognuno di loro, così come ognuno dei personaggi secondari all'interno di ogni racconto, prova una solitudine esistenziale che va molto al di là dell'essere o meno in compagnia.
I protagonisti sono pe
...more
Joanna
Aug 15, 2008 Joanna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Richard Yates is now officially my favorite author. His short stories are absolutely blowing me away. I will recommend this to anyone who loves literature. Yates is, I think I can safely say, the best writer I've read.

This book contains some of the best short stories I have ever read. "Doctor Jack-o'-Lantern," "The Best of Everything," "Jody Rolled the Bones," and "Fun With a Stranger" are especially golden. Try to get your hands on this, if only for those stories. He reads humanity with the mo
...more
Kaloyana
Aug 07, 2014 Kaloyana rated it really liked it
Звездичките не са пет, само защото историите са кратки - разкази. И въпреки, че тези са много хубави, аз обичам романите. И ужасно харесвам тези, на Ричард Йейтс. Голям майстор е и толкова искрено и простичко пише за сложните човешки взаимоотношения, живеещи в самота. Онази самота, сред другите. Самотата на надеждите и сложността на ежедневието. Борбата да си разбран и да се докажеш. Според мен Йейтс е пренебрегван в България. Надявам се да бъдат издадени още негови книги. Заслужава си всеки ред ...more
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A Short Story Worth a Read 1 12 Oct 07, 2013 02:25AM  
  • Beginners
  • Ten Stories about Smoking
  • A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates
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  • First Love and Other Sorrows: Stories
  • We're in Trouble
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  • Una cosa piccola che sta per esplodere
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  • The Floating Opera
  • Shiloh and Other Stories
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  • Rock Springs
  • La chimera
  • The Beautiful Indifference: Stories
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Richard Yates shone bright upon the publication of his first novel, Revolutionary Road, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. It drew unbridled praise and branded Yates an important, new writer. Kurt Vonnegut claimed that Revolutionary Road was The Great Gatsby of his time. William Styron described it as "A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic." Tennessee ...more
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