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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  759 ratings  ·  128 reviews
A new employee’s first-day office tour includes descriptions of other workers’ most private thoughts and actions.
“Orientation” isa story from Daniel Orozco’s critically acclaimed collection of the same name, which leads the reader through the hidden lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. He reve
Kindle Edition, 9 pages
Published (first published May 24th 2011)
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La Petite Américaine
Update: 12/12/13: This book is so goddamn brilliant that I'm reading it again. I can't find either of my paper copies, which means I lost my signed copy :(, so I just downloaded it... It's good to spend money on amazing books.

As I was buying this book for one of my grad school classes, I didn't expect Orozco to be a good writer, and certainly not an exceptional one. I was more or less convinced that my purchase was to fund the writing career of someone who was likely a friend of the professor.
Ethel Rohan
I felt this thrilling sense as I read Daniel Orozco’s debut story story collection, Orientation, that Orozco was a rule-breaker, risk-taker, and rebel craftsman.

Orozco’s nine stories read respectively as: A new employee’s office orientation told in monologue; four portraits of insatiable hunger and strange desires; disturbing snapshots from the life of a long-distance runner; the last, horrific chronicles of The Presidente-in-Exile; a startling and moving police blotter report; a series of ill-f
I can certainly see the talent and value in this author, and I think that I probably would have liked these stories better if I'd read them individually--meaning, if I'd happened upon one in Story or Mid-American Review, I probably would have thought it clever and liked it. All together, though, they were just too much. Too clever. Too similar. Maybe too hip for me. When I saw that one of the pieces was published in McSweeney's, I should have known...(and that was the only story I didn't finish) ...more
This book faced an uphill battle in winning my affection, b/c of stupid, unfair resistance on my part formed on the notion its author had seemingly built an entire career off of a single short novelty story written 15 years ago. But it climbed all the way up that hill and gave me a good wallop in the face and brain for good measure. This is a really, really good collection of stories--the best I've read since David Means' 'The Spot' last year. The title story may be the one that people know, but ...more
It's a rare occasion to read a collection of stories as fine as all of these. Yes, all. Orozco's characters search for solace in their solitude, and find it where and if they can--sometimes not until the very last sentence of their stories.

Each story reminded me of jewelry--like small, beautiful pieces of enamelware, well-considered and carefully wrought--and I don't know if it's the strength of his writing, or the strength of his editing, but the efforts show. The metaphors, with the exception
3.5 i will give him. though that is probably blasphemy to his side. i mean it could be 5 stars, easily, but like i said to others, this is no Heathcock and HIS first collection Volt: Stories

or mike young's first collection Look! Look! Feathers
or lorrie moore Like Life
or the incredible 1st collection of julie orringer How to Breathe Underwater: Stories
but with all that said, there is a george saunders sadness and fuckeduppedness about Orozco's characters, and it's all about them; not wifey, not t
Taryn Hipp
I picked this up at the library because that cover caught my eye. I decided to check it out after seeing it was a collection of short stories, thinking maybe that would hold my interest longer than a novel. And it did, oh how it did! The writing in this book is magical & raw, at times shocking & sad. I absolutely loved it, even the parts I felt I hated because of the subject. It stirred something inside of me over & over. This is the first book I have read on 2013 & I feel like i ...more
Jenny Shank

Loneliness and Laughter: Daniel Orozco’s ‘Orientation”
In this long-awaited debut, characters are more tethered to their jobs than to other people.

By Jenny Shank, 6-06-11

Idaho-based writer Daniel Orozco‘s first book, Orientation and Other Stories (Faber and Faber, 162 pages, $23), journeys to so many different places—from life among the perpetual painters of the Golden Gate Bridge, to Paraguay, where the deposed president of a Latin-American country lives i
Peter Derk
Short stories can be a tough sell. Strangely, they feel harder to write, and they give you a good deal of variety, but most people seem less interested in short stories than longform works.

A lot of claims have to do with the fact that you're less invested in the story before it ends, which I get. But I would pose the theory that part of the problem with short story collections is that they tend to be a little uneven. Novels are equally so, but because they don't delineate sections as heavily it'
I almost just want to write this review for the title story. That story alone is worth 5 stars. The other stories are all good, really getting a finger under the normal surface of everyday life and probing the dark places, but the title story is just in a class on its own. This is some good writing, but the title story is an absolute must read.
Samantha Arroyo
“You get where you are by yourself. There's no regret in that. That's just the way it is.”

4.5 stars

Oh, what a pleasant surprise. I discovered this book here on Goodreads, when I finished Dan Chaon's collection of short stories. I marked it as to-read and forgot about it, as I do most random books I see on here, but then I came across it randomly the other day in my usual used bookstore and immediately picked it up. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did! Some of these stories were just so
Tanya Patrice
There were some stories I liked, and some that I didn't, but overall, while this book is an okay read - I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - it's very forgettable, and I just couldn't get an emotional connection to any of the characters or stories.
Paul Cockeram
Daniel Orozco writes about work, true, but what distinguishes this collection is the way he immerses himself into human beings and their occupations. The title story is an instant classic, widely and deservedly anthologized. Yet "The Bridge," "Officers Weep," "I Run Every Day," and "Temporary Stories" also examine characters surviving the workday, alive in the workplace. Orozco knows well how work brings together a captive, random assortment of different personalities and requires them to cooper ...more
Suad Shamma
I have been waiting a long time to read this book. In fact, it must have been on my list of to-reads for many years now, until I finally succumbed and ordered it online, losing all hope of ever finding it at a bookstore.

There's always the risk of losing interest half way through, when reading a short stories book. I usually try to avoid them, unless I know and have read previous works by the author. With this one though, the description intrigued me, the writer intrigued me, the title intrigued
I had been dying to read this collection of stories. In fact, I was ready to give it 5 stars before I even purchased it. The first story, the title story, was amazingly perfect. It's seriously the most mind-blowing 2nd person story you'll probably ever read. Its dark humor and deep understanding of work place environments is impressive. In fact, many of the stories deal with that nebulous cloud in which our work culture and our personal secrets intersect. My problem with the collection as a whol ...more
“The body was a temple, she said, and we could all benefit from sprucing up our temples” (46).
“In the dressing room, his fingers glide through a kelp of neckties…” (62).
“She burrows away, deep into the bedding. Body heat purls off her” (62).
“Dinorah had numerous names for him that ran the gamut of her moods: Big Bear, Big Bull, cabron pinche, cabron Cocksucker Dog, My Prince, My Light, My One True Love” (71).
“…the puling of a ship’s whistle on the river” (72).
“(For Cerbero and Paladino are neute
John Luiz
An impressive collection that displays the author's considerable talent because the stories are so diverse - both in their premises and in their technique, ranging from extended narrations (in "Orientation") to police reports ("Officers Weep") to a sweeping bird's eye view that pans over and across all the lives of the people affected by an earthquake ("Shakers"). The 9 stories in the collection are:

1. Orientation - 10 pp - In the form of an extended narration, an experienced employee gives an
Larry Hoffer
Two police officers who find themselves falling in love, documented in the pages of a police blotter. A group of bridge painters. A temporary worker who moves from long-term assignment to long-term assignment. An exiled dictator. A morbidly obese, housebound man. The characters that populate Daniel Orozco's great story collection, Orientation and Other Stories, aren't the usual characters around whom stories are based. And that makes each one all the more interesting and captivating.

I really enj
This dazzling collection of short stories impressed me more than any other I've read probably since I read Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a modern classic, a few years ago. I fear that without the weighty subject of Vietnam to carry it, Daniel Orozco's collection may not have the staying power O'Brien's does, and that Orientation will fall through the cracks. That would be a shame.

Each of these nine stories has something to offer, some off-kilter take on everyday life, a vivid re-imagini
If this book suffers from one thing, it's a lack of cohesion. Which maybe shouldn't be an issue with a story collection; others might praise its polyphony, its genre-bending whatever, its diversity. For me, it was tough to really dig in, to really hear what Orozco was trying to say.

The first story ("Orientation," published fifteen years ago in the Seattle Review) is the best. I love a successful second-person story; they're hard to come by, and this one works. The rest are sort of all over the p
After reading the first short story in this collection I thought I had the book pegged, funny stories with a bit of a sardonic edge to them. A host of slightly odd ducks in a world where things were not quite what they seemed. A little like George Saunders.

However, after the humorous first story things got a little darker. The stories were similar to Saunders in as much as they often had rather neurotic, introverted protagonists and often were set in a world that it just that tiny bit stranger t
You're a new worker at an unnamed corporation. You are being told company policy, the rules and regulations for employees. During orientation, you are also being told about the other workers.

Along with the instructions for use of the kitchenette, and the rest room, and the exact rule on breaks, we find out who is in love with whom, and who was and no longer is in love with whom. We also find out about who steals, and who "gorges himself at home on cold pizza and ice cream while watching adult vi
This is a pretty remarkable book of stories. I'm not a huge fan of every story here-- some, like the first/ title story isn't even much of a story as much as it is a trailer of sorts for the book-- but the collection itself, from that panoramic opener to the companion story, "Temporary Stories" or the last story, "Shakers," which really does complete a full strophe that also closes the book, reading this is pretty breathtaking.

Orozco's focus is pretty limited-- this is a collection that is very
one brilliant story, a couple excellent ones, a couple average ones, and a couple of duds. what impressed me about this collection though was the range that Orozco displayed in terms of form, style, and content. the stories did have recurring themes that tied them together (e.g. fat women eating ice cream and other desserts), but it could almost seem as if a handful of different authors were at work here, and that's rare in a story collection. part of the reason might be that while the collectio ...more
John Tormey
I read the title story way back when I was an undergrad and loved it, so I was already excited when I saw that, at long last, Mr Orozco was releasing a collection. Having finished the book, it turns out my excitement was well founded. This is hands down the best book I've read this year, and probably the best short story collection I've read since Drown by Junot Diaz. Mr Orozco writes inclusive, connected fiction. Even the most solitary characters in the collection are surrounded, repulsed, love ...more
Matt Leibel
I liked the formal innovation here, the sentence-level writing, and the emphasis on ordinary somewhat-downtrodden working folks. I guess what separates this from, say, collections by folks like Saunders and Murakami, for me, is that it almost feels too normal, somehow. Like, I wanted these stories to take me somewhere else, to be weirder and funnier or scarier or something. Instead they often ended feeling a bit, I don't know, sociological, even if its interesting sociology. Maybe it's because t ...more
Jessica Robinson
So far I've only read "Orientation", but I really enjoyed it.

It pretty much encompassed my feelings towards the busy, "cubicled" workplace.

I definitely recommend reading it out loud. It made it extremely fun and made me feel right in the story, with all of the information coming at me too fast to resonate. It is definitely meant to feel rushed, and I liked it.
As with all collections of short stories, some stories will stick with you more than others. Orozco's writing is sharp and on point, with just the right amount of dark humor and poignancy. This collection seems to examine small disruptions in daily tedium, disruptions that are either tragically taken into stride, swept out of mind in favor of routine, or simply makes the routine look even sadder in comparison. I feel like Orozco is more successful when he deals with more minute interactions, as ...more
I loved some of the stories. Some I liked. And some just bored me. The writing is always superb - and enough of a reason to keep reading and even to enjoy the less compelling stories.

Maybe the biggest problem is that the book opens with the strongest story - one of my favorite short stories ever - 'Orientation'. The pace of the story and the humor set it aside as an extremely pleasant read - but this is also one that you carry with yourself afterwards. I enjoyed this story so much that it was m
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Chaos Reading: Orientation by Daniel Orozco 4 16 Jul 18, 2014 04:44AM  
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Daniel Orozco's stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, as well as in publications such as Harpers Magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story, McSweeneys, Ecotone, and Story Quarterly. He was awarded a 2006 NEA fellowship in fiction, and was a finalist for a 2006 National Magazine Award in fiction. A former Ste ...more
More about Daniel Orozco...
The Bridge Temporary Stories Officers Weep Stymie Magazine, Spring & Summer 2010 On the Clock: Contemporary Short Stories of Work

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“I read books. I know who I am.” 6 likes
“You get where you are by yourself. There's no regret in that. That's just the way it is.” 6 likes
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