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We're Flying

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Following the publication of the widely acclaimed novel Seven Years comes a trove of stories from the Swiss master Peter Stamm. They all possess the traits that have built Stamm’s reputation: the directness of the prose, the deceptive surface simplicity of the narratives, and deep psychological insight into the existential dilemmas of contemporary life. Stamm does not wast ...more
ebook, 154 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Other Press (first published 2008)
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Miriam Bridenne
Apr 04, 2014 Miriam Bridenne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We’re Flying by Peter Stamm is wonderful news for all lovers of short stories. With 5 novels and 3 collections of stories behind him, Stamm counts amid the most haunting and successful voices of today’s international literature.
We’re Flying offers a wonderful occasion to enjoy the wide range of his many literary talents. This volume gathers two collections –We’re Flying and The Ridge (originally published in Germany in respectively 2008 and 2011) – and it showcases the remarkable evocative powe
Aug 27, 2012 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pine Trees and Snow

This is a fine collection of stories. They are dark and often leave you hanging yet for all that they’re satisfying in large part because they’re so well done. They’re heavily laden with teachers and educational settings but disgruntled students aren’t the focus…the teachers are in the forefront. This book is about adults and for adults. Stamm explores obsession, dissatisfaction, inappropriate behavior sometimes bordering on being dangerous, and fatalism just to name a few of
El tema principal de este libro es la soledad, sobre lo difícil que es encontrar personas que te entiendan y a las que entender; es decir, sobre la alienación del ser humano. Peter Stamm lo expresa así en uno de sus cuentos:

"Cuando estaba con otras personas, Lukas siempre tenía la sensación de que se le cerraban los poros, se sentía pequeño y era casi dolorosamente consciente de su cuerpo. Estaba encerrado en ese cuerpo, y sólo por eso se sentía un ser humano. Cuando estaba solo, se olvidaba de
Roger Brunyate
May 27, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Innocence and Experience

Swiss author Peter Stamm has made a career of psychologically evocative books in which very little actually happens. And so it is with this marvelous collection of understated stories. Just look at the first four. In "Expectations," a woman of uncertain age begins a relationship with the younger man upstairs, but it doesn't turn out as she had expected. In "A Foreign Body," a speleologist meets a couple who challenge him to take them into an unexplored cave, but he refuse
Full Stop

Review by Michael Schapira

We’re Flying, an excellent new collection of short stories by the Swiss writer Peter Stamm, is the author’s eighth book to appear in English. As with Stamm’s previous works, it is the poet and essayist Michael Hofmann who handles the translation, a task I imagine to be both more complex and more straightforward than Hofmann’s other translation projects (Franz Kafka, Joseph Roth, Thomas Bernhard). This is because Stamm is one of th
Steve Petherbridge
This is a treasure trove of short story writing. The book never feels like a translation - Stamm is Swiss, which owes both to the writer for the quality of his original prose and the translator, Michael Hofmann, for his own skill at capturing in English the essence of that original quality.

This is a psychologically evocative set of narratives in which very little appears to actually happen, but, it is this daily life of each character that creates a page-turner with this great collection of unde
World Literature Today
"While revealing the limits of our existence, knowledge, and language, the stories are simultaneously haunting and uplifting. A master storyteller, Stamm succeeds in stripping away layers of superficiality to uncover the complicated daily psychological struggle of the average person." - Gregory H. Wolf, North Central College

This book was reviewed in the May 2013 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our site:
Dec 03, 2015 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lieben Sie denn die Landschaften nicht, die Sie malen?
Ich liebe meine Bilder. Die Landschaften sind mir einerlei.

Du liebst diese Dörfer, die Landschaften, aber wenn du sie malst, müssen sie dir einerlei sein. Du hättest es im Scherz gesagt, aber es ist wahr: Du arbeitest aus einer leidenschaftlichen Gleichgültigkeit heraus.
Es ist schwer zu erklären und schwer zu verstehen. Du malst, was du siehst, mit der größtmöglichen Genauigkeit, aber es geht dir nicht um die Genauigkeit der Abbildung. Du v
Nov 12, 2012 Tuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europa, short-stories
some unevenness, or a least blase treatments of infidelity and going crazy, but then others ("seven sleepers") that contain the whole world in 20 some pages. in two parts that i don't really understand the difference, but part one "we're flying" and part two "the ridge". a classic for canon.
Michael Riess
Well written, Peter Stamm is obviously a talented writer. However, I found most of the story lines in this collection uninteresting bordering on pointless.............maybe that's the point.(??)
Aug 21, 2012 Tatiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We're Flying is out in English. Marvelous short story collection.
Nov 15, 2014 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled into Stamm's stories via the New Yorker Fiction podcast, when Tim Parks read "Sweet Dreams." I listened to the reading twice, and then bought the book and immediately read the story a third time. In "Sweet Dreams" (and multiple times throughout the rest of this collection), Stamm spins gold from the pedestrian details of ordinary lives. In this story, it's the way Lara's boyfriend's comment about towel threadcount signals the inevitable end of the relationship. In "Three Sisters" we f ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Issicratea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m enthused by this book. I don’t normally get on too well with short stories, being a fully paid-up narrative junkie. I like to get lost in books, and it’s difficult to get lost in ten pages. I had a feeling, however, that Peter Stamm would work well in the short form, having read his novel Seven Years. I was quite impressed by his crisp, deadpan, faintly creepy style and his unusual take on human psychology and sexuality, but I wasn’t sure that it worked across the course of an entire novel ( ...more
Bill Breedlove
Jan 26, 2013 Bill Breedlove rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting collection of stories with a unique voice. The style is spare and (for want of a better word) blase enough to be enjoyably odd and memorable. The lead-off story, "Expectations" perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the collection. In it, a lonely (and sorta strange) woman becomes romantically involved--after a fashion--with her upstairs neighbor, a much younger (and definitely strange) man. Certainly, the authors explores the opportunity for one person listening carefully to ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Gerard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not everything was 5 stars, in fact a few were pretty trite, but Stamm has a lot of range and this big collection shows it. I like his seeming concern for characters who often clearly don't deserve it. He never diminishes "lostness" by writing from a position beyond it. Terribly ordinary situations are always cracking open and revealing mysteries as big as the lives that contain them seem small. I'm no connoisseur of the short story, but these are my kind of thing.
Dec 05, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting short stories, some just sketches, and some with a touch of madness.
Reasonable read with often interesting twists but mostly forgettable.
Aug 26, 2014 Nadine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting - very European perspective on life. Quite a few of the stories I wanted to know more and have them fleshed out into a novel. It's the kind of book you could keep on reading night after night, like 1001 nights but then a modern version
Jun 21, 2015 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Written so very well, but so freaking bleak it was too much 'reality' for me.
Dec 15, 2012 Mariah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that I read a collection of short stories cover to cover, but I did so with We're Flying. I would like to give it 3.5 stars because it's much better than all the books I gave 3 stars, but it wasn't quite a 4 because I felt something was missing. However, I think that's also why I liked the book as much as I did. The stories echo in my head and I keep turning them over, waiting for a solution to pop up. But there is no solution, and that's the beauty of it. Great writing that leaves a b ...more
Oct 20, 2016 AD LAND rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
When does it start?
Jan 08, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book of short stories I've read in a very long time.
Iria D.
Apr 14, 2015 Iria D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish
It surprised me, I approched it as an easy reading and although the book is easy to read, do not expect light, nice stories, but real, modern life.
Mar 27, 2013 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good collection of stories about very common folk going through the motions of life. Stark. Realistic. Very insightful and intuitive is Peter Stamm. If you enjoy short stories then I recommend this collection. It's universal, the condition of being human and sometimes the conditions we find ourselves up against might be (ever so) slightly recognizable in one or two of these gems put before us by this writer.
Nov 20, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read short stories but decided to give this a try after reading a review on The Rumpus.

And I'm glad I did.

The stories are beautiful, haunting and moving, and are organized in a seamless fashion, enabling the reader to move from one to the next elegantly. The final story, Coney Island, is the perfect close to the collection.

Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Frank Brinkley
Jan 06, 2014 Frank Brinkley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The craft in what Peter Stamm is doing is masterful - I couldn't be more emphatic. His stories are told with precision and minimal brushstrokes, and resonate so very deeply.
Egor Ogorodnikow
Ein tolles Buch zum Bettlesen!:)
Jun 21, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The majority of these stories were really good. Very realistic
and as such don't always come with neat resolutions. That only
makes them more interesting, though with the occasional story
you feel like you might have missed something.
Kae Cheatham
These are very well-written stories that I'm sure will appeal to many people...but not to me.
Characters didn't hold my interest. I'm sure it's a very personal thing, as reading any book would be.

Courtney Carlson
Gorgeous, spare, keen. I'm more than a little obsessed with Stamm right now, not to mention the worlds his contemporary Europeans inhabit. Totally brilliant collection.
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Peter Stamm grew up in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau the son of an accountant. After completing primary and secondary school he spent three years as an apprentice accountant and then 5 as an accountant. He then chose to go back to school at the University of Zurich taking courses in a variety of fields including English studies, Business informatics, Psychology, and Psychopathology. During t ...more
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