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Moon Deluxe

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  165 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Frederick Barthelme's wry and wonderful stories have given us a stunning, cautionary, funny, sometimes bleak, and often transcendent portrait of contemporary life in the sprawl of suburban America. Barthelme made his remarkable debut with these tender and affectionate stories, most of which were originally published in The New Yorker. Moon Deluxe received the high praise o ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1983)
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Mar 25, 2016 Rayroy rated it really liked it
Raymond Carver, Margaret Atwood and John Barth give “Moon Deluxe” high praise, and for good reason, the seventeen short stories that make up Frederick Barthelme’s collection are sublime and simple yet they speak at such a human level. These "Southern" stories take place in the 1980’s, among the back roads, coast highways,strip malls, apartment complex swimming pools, Shoney’s, Safeway’s, and diners of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. What they also have in common is each is about people bored or lone ...more
Amanda Rose
Feb 28, 2011 Amanda Rose rated it it was amazing
Love, love, a thousand times love. I read this on a roadtrip down the California coast, which is a highly preferential landscape for reading this. I've selected a few friends to attempt to coerce into reading this, only people that I thought would either truly enjoy it or at least give it an honest and open-minded review, but I've failed. I haven't met anyone personally who has read this. It's the kind of book where I would be hard-pressed to say that I "like" it. Is it enjoyable? I guess. I jus ...more
Ofelia Hunt
Oct 27, 2007 Ofelia Hunt rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people with the ability to read books
This book has stories that suddenly end and leave you confused which is good because all people should be confused as much as possible. If I'm at home and alone and I feel not-confused and like I understand things even when I look out the window and see other people walking around the grass-field or running in the gym or something then I read one of these stories so I can feel confused. Understanding things is delusional or something. Read this book and go Wal-Mart and walk around and you will e ...more
John Pappas
Jul 27, 2011 John Pappas rated it it was amazing
Strange, quirky and optimistic stories set in the neon-lit parking lots and motel courtyards of a 1980s America where microwaves were novelties and technology was increasing exponetially. These stories mostly feature strangers or neighbors (or both) discovering or rediscovering connection with another human being in the light of this encroaching technology. The stories thematically are sort of like anti-Raymond Carver, without the fear and despair, but very stylistically similar to his minimalis ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Tortla rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
I picked this up because I wanted a Donald Barthelme collection. I was disappointed. But I soldiered on.

He's fond of gimmicky/experimental narrative choices. Like writing in the second person. Which generally reads like this, to me: You are an adult male. You notice attractive women. Nothing much happens.

The inside of a refrigerator is described as "bright and precise" in the short story "Lumber." This was pretty much the highlight of any sentence in any story in this.
Apr 24, 2015 Lucynell rated it really liked it
A very peculiar collection depicting the aftermath of the battle of the sexes as it is played out in condominiums, malls, and bars across pre-Internet (and less-polarized) suburban America. Moral indecision, sexual cowardice, adultery and middle class loneliness, all the pretty things that make up that very American genre, ''dirty realism'' so attractive, are filling up the silence and drunk-like negotiations between the surviving warriors and the casualties-to-be. It's sometimes funny, sometime ...more
Aug 31, 2007 W.T. rated it it was amazing
There is no better writer of short fiction in America. And this book is just the tip. Read it all. Read it now.
Sean Taylor
Dec 29, 2014 Sean Taylor rated it it was amazing
Frederick is a master. His stories are commonplace incredible. I have no idea why I fall in love with his characters or why I even care about them or what they do next. Yet somehow again and again I have to know what happens and then when it isn't anything extraordinary I am filled with this sense of contentment for no good reason. Just ordered another book by him. Very excited to read it. If you love Carver, read Barthelme.
Jun 11, 2014 Karim rated it it was amazing
I can't believe it's not Ann Beattie!!!!!
sappy dirty realism:
"I told her I was ready for anything. I thought that sounded pretty good—wry and romantic, something from a modern movie full of wood-sided station wagons and blue-green pools, the kind of movie Hollywood started making in numbers about five or six years ago, in which ordinary life is made fun of and made mysterious and beautiful at the same time" (The Browns, 74.
Oct 03, 2008 David rated it really liked it
This book had two of the best short stories I have read in a long time. I took it back to the library, so I don't remember their titles, but one was about a man who follows a woman around a department store. It has a great scene about listening to hurricane reports on the radio that made me feel expansive and content.
Aug 29, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Frederick Barthelme. At times, this collection can get a little repetitive--hapless guy in over his head--but the writing is brilliant. I love his voice. Love his characters. Love him.
Sep 12, 2012 Benjamin rated it liked it
Legendary but defunct twitter feed @Apathyiscool once tweeted something re the potential pleasure that could be derived from Barthelme's fiction vs that derived from completely dismissing him.
Tom Bensley
Jul 13, 2014 Tom Bensley rated it really liked it
Seems like a sadder collection than the other Barthelme I've read, The Law of Averages, maybe, but magic all the same.
Jan 29, 2008 melissa rated it liked it
I wonder what ever happened to The old
Aug 30, 2014 Rand rated it really liked it
Very eighties. The one about the creepy guy in the mall was ace.
Apr 11, 2008 Ryan rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Mediocre Raymond Carver impostors, so they can feel proud of one of their own
This guy wants to be Raymond Carver. He doesn't succeed.
Lucas Miller
Feb 24, 2008 Lucas Miller rated it it was amazing
i like dirty realism, or whatever this is.
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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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