Some Fun: Stories and a Novella
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Some Fun: Stories and a Novella

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  148 ratings  ·  25 reviews
One of the most award-winning, critically acclaimed story writers working today, Antonya Nelson has a list of accolades that is astonishing for any writer, but especially for one as young as she. With her newest collection, Nelson once again proves herself worthy of her stellar reputation, delivering seven taut, striking stories and a brilliant novella, all exploring the t...more
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Scribner Book Company
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Antonya Nelson's writing is wise, lyrical and honest. I think she does her best with troubled adolescents and teens. The troubled adult stoires with all the adultry and such are good, but not as terrific as her look into the world of troubled youth. She just nails it there. The problem with the adultry stories is probably me, because I have read so many of them, and while she offers her usual wit and complex take on affairs of the heart and mind, at times they can be a bit too ponderous. I wonde...more
Antonya Nelson. Some Fun. New York: Scribner, 2006.

Nelson’s stories have characters that are similar. Many are heavy drinkers, who are happiest when they are drunk. Most of the main characters are women and they too are drinkers, who cheat on their husbands and shoplifted successfully when they were young. Curious, huh? They also have flawed, working class brothers who protect them and drink with them. Nelson writes about sad, incomplete women and the tension among social classes. (See page 13,...more
I've admired Nelson's writing for some time--usually as part of "best of" short story collections. The effect is different when her stories are grouped together. I feel like she is exploring certain themes and hasn't reached closure on this exploration yet. Here they are:
* Family member (sometimes the narrator) with a drinking/drug problem
* Family members helping other family members with drinking/drug problems
* Adultery
* Pregnant women drinking
* Motherhood

This is vastly oversimplifying her work...more
Oh my god! Being a short story fanatic, I cannot believe that I am just now finding Antonya Nelson. Her themes seem to be the difficulties inherent in navigating adolescence and in maintaining connections with other people (particularly family). She reminds me a little of Roxana Robinson, but with more alcohol.
Great stuff but I found it just a little bit samey – even the novella was of a piece thematically with the short stories – not that that's a bad thing in this situation, since Nelson writes very well, all of the stories are nuanced, packed with interesting details and fantastic characters, and memorable. 'Flesh Tone' stood out as particularly fine - a little bit dark and interesting but also subdued. I suppose all the stories herein could be called subdued, with emphasis on realism, on the emoti...more
i finally finished a book. the puppy makes my attention span about th--
I read Antonya Nelson’s short story collection “Female Troubles” five or so years ago and was immediately enraptured. Part of this had something to do with the title, which I thought incredibly clever. And then there was her distinct narrative voice. It has a decidedly female tone to it, as well as an edge that is unmistakably Southwestern. The people she uncovers in her stories and the manner in which she does so, is particular to their location.

Her collection and novella from 2006, “Some Fun,...more
Increasingly I would say Antonya Nelson is one of my favorite short story writers. I thought this book was her best yet. The stories, most of which are about female characters about to self-destruct, have this dark and lyrical and incantatory (if that's not a word I just invented it) quality that reminds me weirdly of the best of Denis Johnson. But they also are so character-driven and create entire worlds, like a dysfunctional and substance-abusing Alice Munro. My favorites in this collection w...more
I discovered Antonya Nelson in a recent fiction piece in The New Yorker. When I saw good reviews from Raymond Carver, Dave Eggers, and Michael Chabon, on the book jacket I knew I was in for a treat. I would almost give it four stars because I think her prose is stunningly sharp and her characters' insights so real you can feel them exactly as you might yourself, but often the stories ended with an odd feeling(sometimes a really interesting odd feeling, but often a sense of, "and then...?"). Yes,...more
An often dark but honest look at contemporary life of those drifting toward the edge or negotiating their way along. Emphasis on the young, middle to late teenage years as characters leave childhood behind and begin to participate in or understand the adult choices and consequences around them. And their own possibilities and still unwritten futures. Not sentimental but not cynical.
Bookmarks Magazine

Nelson's fifth collection of fiction finds a little light around the corner. Though she's not a writer who offers tidy solutions, instead preferring the weight and texture of complex emotions, she has at least opened the window to air these stories out with hope. Reviewers praise her way with metaphor, her rich characterizations, and, most prominently, her avoidance of clich_

Angie Taylor
Another book for school. I don't like the content or subject matter of her stories, but from a craft point of view Antonya Nelson is a masterful short story writer. (2 star rating purely based on my own moral standards against profanity, sleezy, unadmireable -is that a word?- characters.)
Tightly constructed, keenly observed, and slightly unsettling stories of family life. I have enjoyed Nelson's stories in The New Yorker very much, but I found the title novella less effective than the shorter, more forceful stories.
To read my review from Time Out New York, please click on this link:

This book was so dark that I had to put it down for two weeks in the middle of the concluding novella. I enjoyed the writing, but found the entire collection unrelentingly bleak.
Some wonderful stories here. Often painful, but oh, can Nelson capture the conversation and inner life of contemporary parents and children.
The writing in the short stories superb; the people stay with you long after the book is closed.
Read part of it - it was very good but I somehow wasn't in the mood. Put aside for now.
JoAnn Hornak
Gorgeous prose. Reading this felt like eavesdropping on the lives of real people.
All the stories were excellent especially the novella. Thanks for the book, Mary!
The title novella is on par with Dubus' "Molly" and "Rose." Seriously.
Sarahc Caflisch
Well-written? Yes. Fun? No.
This is good.
3.5 stars
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Antonya Nelson is the author of nine books of fiction, including Nothing Right and the novels Talking in Bed, Nobody’s Girl, and Living to Tell. Nelson’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and The Best American Short Stories. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA...more
More about Antonya Nelson...
Bound Nothing Right Female Trouble: Stories Living to Tell Nobody's Girl

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