Sorry Please Thank You: Stories
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his...more
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have...more
By “craft” in this case, I mean the ability to tell a story that draws in readers with character, plot and some substance. “Art,” in its most esoteric form, can delight even without such bourgeois affectations, though the most successful forms of art, at least to me, are those that are solidly based in a mastery of craft.
Almost all of the books reviewed here are clearly in the category of craft, and primarily...more
The book is divided up into sections—"Sorry," "Please" and "Thank You," obviously—but there didn't seem...more
(Warning! There are possible spoilers ahead.)
Standard Loneliness Package: A company has developed a technology for transferring emotional experiences .. and they outsource all the unpleasant experiences (funerals, sickness, losing your job) to a help center in India, where the main character works and falls in love with a fema...more
The stories are similar to George Saunders' in that Yu takes society as it is and spins it around, often creating worlds/situations that are satirical and hilarious. Most of his stories have a more sci-fi flavor to them than...more
I have been here before. A regular client.
I am holding a pen.
I have just written something on a notepad in front of me.
My husband is gone.
He died years ago.
Today is the tenth anniversary of his death.
I have Alzheimer’s, I think.
A memory of my husband surfaces, like a white-hot August afternoon, resurfacing in the cool water of November.
I tear off the sheet of paper.
I read it to myself.
It is a suicide note.
I raise a glass to my mouth, swallow a pill. Catch a glance of my note to...more
Out There on the Edge is a very very good place to be: reaching to that space is stretching, is moving arthritic thought processes, is growth, and a number of the stories in this book will encourage you, like a really good yoga teacher, on that path. plus, the stories can be very funny in places. in this...more
Even though the title suggests a bland and polite collection of pleasantness, Yu’s tales crackle with wild,...more
Unfortunately, the stories were hit o...more
Most of Charles Yu's characters have lives that are, in some way, unreal. Technically, I guess that's true of any fictional character, but these characters are aware that their lives are unreal.
My favorite stories in this collection are Standard Loneliness Package (a touching story about an unusual call center), First Person Shooter (an...more
Yu's stories take a mix of sci-fi or philosophical premises and play...more
Mr. Yu’s style goes beyond post-modernism (open endings, undef...more
This is the first book by Charles Yu that I have read. He is fairly well known for his debut novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, which received accolades from respectable places, peoples, and institutions. I know nothing about this first book, but I hear The New York Times and Wired magazine seemed to like it.
Sorry Please Thank You: Stories is a different kind of animal. This is a book you'll either love or hate or feel absolutely nothing while reading. The individual st...more
Little did I know that those stories were in the first section and the rest just would not be up to par.
The "Sorry"section is full of stories that are unique, intriguing, and attractive to anyone who likes sci-fi. I quickly read the whole section when I meant to only read one sorry.
"Please"starts out with a good pen and...more
Most of these stories seem to be riffing off the same chords: living in reality, mediated and/or sanitized experiences. I feel like, in writing the first story "Standard Loneliness Package," Yu has said pretty much everything, and the rest of the...more
One of the most celebrated emerging writers of literary science fiction of our time, Charles Yu’s magnificent “Sorry Please Thank You” is yet another remarkable literary achievement, demonstrating both the ample originality and vitality of his writing. Yu has breathed astonishingly new life into such time-honored fantasy, science fiction and horror tropes as zombies, space opera and Artificial Intelligence into his latest short story collection;...more
I wasn't sure how I'd like a book of short stories, but I'm glad I read this book. The author takes the reader into various zany impossible situations or alternate realities that mostly were pretty humorous and thought provoking. There are zombies that are no match for the fear of asking a coworker out, a guilt & emotion transfer consultant taking the place of people in their tricky ordeals, the trials and choices of a video...more
The jacket compares Yu's writing to Douglas Adams and Philip Dick, but I think the better comparison is to a less fluid Ted Chiang- I think that as Yu gains more experience, he will really grow into into a fantastic writer.
Many of his stories play with traditional story structure, and most succeed (eg "troubleshooting"), b...more
The best stories illustrate the adverse effects of conflating corporate speak and marketing lingo with actual human lives and emotions (this works especially well in the...more
He has received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award for his story collection Third Class Superhero, and he has also received the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award. His work has been published in the Harvard Review, The Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review, and Mid-American Review, am...more