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The Best American Short Stories 1998 (The Best American Short Stories)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Edited by beloved storyteller Garrison Keillor, this year's volume promises to be full of humor, surprises, and, as always, accomplished writing by new and familiar voices. The preeminent short fiction series since 1915, The Best American Short Stories is the only volume that annually offers the finest works chosen by a distinguished best-selling author.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 30th 1998 by Mariner Books
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Susan
Best American Short Stories of 1998 is a collection of short stories selected by Garrison Keillor.

Stories read in random order, as part of the 2014 Deal Me In! Short Story Reading Challenge (bibliophilica.wordpress.com/deal-me-i...).

Wayne in Love - by Padgett Powell
I hated this story of a man obsessed with sex who cheats on his wife and girlfriends. He’s crude and harshly critical of the women he treats as sex objects. “He thought about a shower. That might constitute a moving-in gesture-he did
...more
Jenneffer
Dec 29, 2008 Jenneffer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This compilation was fantastic. Some of the stories reminded me of good friends, old lovers, people I'd never met, situations I couldn't bear to endure, and of myself. Yet the commonality they share is their seamless connection with humanity. Certain phrases chilled me to the bone, others amused me, because of the direct tone each writer takes with the reader. In each story, the reader forgets she is an innocent bystander, and becomes immersed in the plot or particular character who comes to lif ...more
Sylvie
I picked this book up from the library a couple of weeks ago when I had a few extra minutes before work... so glad I did! I really enjoyed the stories in here and can see why Garrison Keilor made the choices he did. They are stories about love and loss, relationships, regrets, bittersweet moments.

There was at least one story I had to stop reading mid-way through, it was too painful to read. Not that it was a bad story at all, it was just too heatbreaking.

This book made me remember why I love s
...more
Jen
You may be wondering why I finally got around to reading a collection of stories from 1998. The easy answer is that I gave birth to my first son in 1998. But that doesn't explain why I didn't read it in, say, 1999 or 2004 or within a slightly more acceptable time frame.

Truly, I like short stories. I can finish one (sometimes) before I drift off to sleep. I can knock out a short story waiting to pick up a child from football practice when the coach just doesn't stop talking to them after practic
...more
Margie
Among my top two favorite collections from this series (the other being the Amy Tan collection). This one's a keeper.
ken
I think the problem was that I expected too much from Garrison Keillor (what with him being one of my favourite literary personalities) and I liked the stories in general. But only one really stuck out to me (John Updike's "My Father on the Verge of Disgrace".
SmarterLilac
I really, really like this one, even if Keillor threw a few odd ducks in with the swans. My favorites in here are 'Appetites,' 'United Front,' and 'People Like That Are The Only People Here.' Because of the number of hopeful stories Keillor included, ('Glory Goes and Gets Some') I've always gotten the impression that he was trying to say, 'Jesus, lighten up, readers,' which amuses me. When you think about it, the tone of the majority of the short fiction pieces in the other collections is pretty ...more
Ankayarkanni Prasad
A wonderful compilation that I happen to have in some forgotten nook of my shelf... Kept me hooked all this week with some really endearing characters and interesting situations...
Tamra
Favorites:
The Blue Devils of Blue River Avenue - Poe Ballantine
Body Language - Diane Schoemperlen
Cosmopolitan - Akhil Sharma
Every Night for a Thousand Years - Chris Adrian
Morphine - Doran Larson
Mr. Sweetly Indecent - Bliss Broyard
My Father on the Verge of Disgrace - John Updike
Penance - Matthew Crain
Unified Front - Antonya Nelson
Welding With Children - Tim Gautreaux
Would You Know It Wasn't Love - Hester Kaplan
Appetites - Kathryn Chetkovich
Chi
A fantastic choice for anyone who enjoys reading short stories like me. Another good thing is that this edition of 1998 was reviewed my Garrison Keillor - one of the writers I respect the most. Besides, all the stories have notes from their authors so that the readers can look them up to see how the plots were made and how the writers found their inspiration to create great works.
Dusty
Keillor announces in his introduction that he believes the best fiction is that which underlines the truths in our everyday lives. This, apparently, is the criteria he used to select stories for inclusion here, and while it yields some winners (the stories by Lorrie Moore & Annie Proulx are excellent), I found eventually that I was a little tired & bored of "everyday" stories. Meh.

Cathy
May 17, 2008 Cathy added it
Shelves: wishlist
Garrison Keillor Editor

The Blue Devils of Blue River Avenue Poe Ballantine
Body Language Diane Schoemperlen
Glory goes and gets some Emily Carter
Mr. Sweetly Indecent Bliss Broyard
People like that are the only people here Lorrie Moore
Tea at the house Meg Wolitzer
Wayne in love Padgett Powell

Lisa R.
Jun 11, 2008 Lisa R. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is the one that got me hooked on the Best American series. The Lorrie Moore story alone makes it worthwhile, but many of the stories are memorable to me, even 10 years later.
Catherine
Although the collection contained a few duds, almost every story had me hooked within a paragraph or two. Reading such varied, inventive and relatable stories was refreshing.
Armilie Mae
Here's something light to keep me sane after a disturbing trip around Highgate Cemetery (#HerFearfulSymmetry, the brilliant type of literature to me!)
Kaydence
I really like short stories and I especially liked this collection. It has some great material and some ok material, but overall it's a good read.
Mary Helene
I picked this up by accident and am totally enthralled. I may just go to reading ONLY short stories.
Adam
Garrison Keillor is not the best editor, but there are a handful of good stories in this one. Not the worst.
Mikal
One of the books I have been reading in when the spare moment appears. Interesting stories.
Camille
There were some good stories in this one, but mostly it just put me in a bad mood.
Rob
Jan 23, 2008 Rob added it
Nice and interesting collection of stories from Keillor.
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2014
Garrison Keillor (born Gary Edward Keillor on August 7, 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show "A Prairie Home Companion".

Keillor was born in Anoka, Minnesota, the son of Grace Ruth (née Denham) and John Philip Keillor, who was a carpenter and postal worker.
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