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The Law of Averages: New and Selected Stories

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
The landscape of networking has changed so that network services have now become one of the most important factors to the success of many third generation networks. It has become a feature of the designer's job to define the problems that exist in his network, choose and analyse several optimization parameters during the analysis process, and then prioritize and evaluate t ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 22nd 2001 by Counterpoint (first published October 28th 2000)
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Tom Bensley
Frederick Barthelme is the good stuff. Reading his fiction is like smoking a fat joint with good friends, or having a few beers on a hot early evening, or a sleep-in after five days of early mornings. His prose is simple and his characters are usually of average intelligence or lack insight, but he manages somehow to see the infinite complexity in all this, in the modern-suburban life, in the beauty of an empty car-park late at night, in the law of averages, I guess.

The stories in this collectio
Dec 31, 2009 Joseph rated it liked it
I finished the second and third story last night.I found the second one,"Pool Lights," unbelieavably boring, while I enjoyed the third,"Domestic," a lot.So far Barthelme is batting .333; good for baseball player's, but not so good for writers.

From what I've heard and read about Barthelme, his notoriety comes from his decision to write about the mundane; kind of like a literary Seinfeld,with its focus on "nothing." I loved Seinfeld,but I find that kind of literature hopelessly boring. I think a
John Pappas
Jul 27, 2011 John Pappas rated it it was amazing
There's something strange and magical about these simple stories. Like an optimistic Raymond Carver, Barthelme spins tales and characters out of simple, raw material, attempting to chronicle the weirdness, the passivity and the gorgeousness of our bizaare time. Nothing at all like the more experimental Donald B. (his brother), his sincere and insightful chronicles of the emotional life of postmodern men and women at crossroads of various types really resonates.
these stories taken from 'not my idea' ; nobody left to tell' ; 'students of history' ; 'talking with others' ; 'cut on the bias'. as noted above, there is a lazer quality to barthelme writing and style, economy, focused. i'd also say they are modern, sexy, smart. too.
Steven Mankin
Oct 25, 2010 Steven Mankin rated it did not like it
This is why philistines should not be allowed to give books as gifts...
Jun 22, 2007 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: modern
Too modern for me.
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Barthelme's works are known for their focus on the landscape of the New South. Along with his reputation as a minimalist, together with writers Raymond Carver, Ann Beattie, Amy Hempel, and Mary Robison, Barthelme's work has also been described by terms such as "dirty realism" and "K-mart realism."He published his first short story in The New Yorker,and has claimed that a rotisserie chicken helped ...more
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