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McSweeney's Issue 22 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #22)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  260 ratings  ·  25 reviews
McSweeney's Issue 22 is a three-part exercise in inspired restriction — of author, of content, and of form. In section one, poets (yes — poets!) including Mary Karr, Denis Johnson, C. D. Wright, and D. C. Berman initiate poet-chains, picking a poem of their own and one by another poet. The next poet will then do the same, and then again, and again, and so on. In section tw ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published January 24th 2007 by McSweeney's
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Nate D
Feb 23, 2011 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ovine live-in pole-arms
Recommended to Nate D by: proline lines opine on pining ondines
Three books, magnetically bound together in one hardcover (brilliant, more books should be bound this way), of varying personal interest:

1. Unwritten fragments of ideas from F. Scott Fitzgerald, given life by current writers.
Pretty mediocre. I guess most aren't given enough life beyond bland exercise, or lack life to be given. I just don't care about all these "a girl and a giraffe" bits. Oh well.

2. Poets picking poets.
Neat, except I'm a bad reader of poetry (maybe inexplicably given my love of
...more
Craig New
Three books held together by magnets. If you're going to give credit to McSweeney's for nothing else, their design is always innovative. The collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald ideas was like the few other McSweeney's volumes I've read - hit and miss, but at least engaging. I find with many of the writers they select that I can at least appreciate why they've been selected, even if I don't really connect with their story. My favourite by far was Salvador Plascencia's Returned. The image of a botto ...more
Sam Quixote
McSweeney's 22 presentation is a hardcover case with a magnetic strip on the inside spine with 3 paperbacks each with magnetic strips on their spine attached. Books held together with magnets, those guys...

The first book takes the ideas F Scott Fitzgerald had for potential stories and has a different writer realise each one. Some are just a few words "Girl and Giraffe" and others more detailed but it's a great idea done so well. Miriam Toews' "The Misstep" is a small play based on an office wor
...more
Stephen Theaker
This issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern contains three entirely separate books, bound into one magnetic cover by the metal strips in their spines. Police officers may take a dim view of literary types who go out into the night looking for trouble with one of these books concealed in their sleeves; prison librarians, especially, should ensure that this McSweeney's is absent from their collections...

The idea behind From the Notebook: the Unwritten Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald is a brilliant
...more
Eileen
In three paperbacks attached by magnets, encased by a leather hardback, McSweeney's revitalizes the reading experience. One section called, From the Notebook is an anthology of 32 short stories by 32 different writers, fleshing out 32 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's ideas for his own short stories, which were only a few enigmatic words apiece. I liked "A Gift from the Gods" and "The Misstep" best. Another section is called, The Poetry Chains of Dominic Luxford, where the editors chose a poem, that poet ...more
Cait
Usually I am not a huge fan of McSweeney's - I got a subscription because I like the whole 826 idea and sometimes there's fun stuff on the website, but I invariably have found the actual writing kind of disappointing. THIS issue, however, is pretty awesome. It has 3 separate books, and each one is great (so far).
One is based on the notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He had pages and pages of ideas for stories that he never wrote, so they doled out the ideas to a bunch of writers and then compiled
...more
Sally
This issue of McSweeneys is much too clever for the likes of me! Delightfully bound in Readers Digest like leather are three magnetic spined books. The first being a tribute of sorts to F Scott Fitzgerald whose work I have not read and therefore am unable to fully appreciate the tribute. The second is a collection of writing that demonstrates different methods of applying mathematical principles to literature (very interesting but much of it made my head spin) and the third book is poetry which ...more
Erin
Oct 05, 2008 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patient people who can endure short stories and poetry
I am constantly battling with the idea of having a subscription to McSweeney's because they always take so long to get through (ahem, I, uh, just started this one about...6 months ago). However, they always offer something engaging and enlightening, and when you finally get to finishing them, you have discovered a few new writers who you may have never run across. So, I have to say I am glad McSweeney's exists (though I'm not sure I can say the same for Dave Eggers' most recent undertakings. Is ...more
Vanessa
only completed 2/3 of this 3 book set. the last one was all poems which i have a hard time sitting down and reading.
one supposedly used a notebook of F. Scott Fitzgerald's which included many stories ideas, prompts, that were never realized. Authors took those phrases and expanded them into real stories. Disturbing, sad, serious, mildly humorous...most made me think and all made me a little confused (in a good way!).
the second book was experimental writings whose concepts took precedence over co
...more
A Rye
Jan 12, 2008 A Rye rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like having odd and surprising things on their bookshelves / Die-hard Mcsweeneys fans
Shelves: fiction
I havent finished this entire ordeal yet; however, I've found it so far - while possessing a wonderful anesthetic - a bit bizarre in content.
I dig the whole "three books-in-one" thing...I guess sometimes, Mcsweeneys is a little too strange, even for me.
I tried reading the book of Oulipo works, and while entertaining, the effect wore off after twenty or so pages.
The poetry ordeal, I dig.
Haven't picked up the Unwritten Fitzgerald piece yet.
I'll give it this: it looks really cool on your shelf.
I'l
...more
Jaina
Jun 30, 2008 Jaina added it
Since the goodreads listing doesn't give very much information, read more about the issue here http://store.mcsweeneys.net/index.cfm...

The first book of three features story premises from F. Scott Fitzgerald as fleshed out by various authors. There's a contribution from Salvador Plascencia that's just wonderful.
brain
Jun 12, 2007 brain rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prisoners, people with lots of time on their hands, ladybugs, insurgents, molecular biologists
The Fitzgerald prompts were just fine (and I think an old Fiction teacher I had wrote one of the stories, but her name's kinda common, so), but Oulipo generally only interests me in concept and not so much in execution. And, not to be "that guy," but if I wanted to read poetry, I probably wouldn't have subscribed to McSwy's.
The magnets, however, were pretty cool. Five stars to the magnets, f'sh'.
Wade
Jul 14, 2009 Wade added it
Shelves: oulipo, compilation
A decent compendium of work from present-day OuLiPo-ians, but nothing phenomenal. Some works I'd swear I'd seen before, and some were just 'nothing much' in terms of the constraint (such as the 'choose your own adventure' story). Perhaps because the entire works weren't always present? I'm not sure. I'd recommend the OuLiPo Compendium or OuLiPo Primer over this.
Perez Malone
I originally gave this four stars. I downgraded it after I read "The State of Constraint". I loved the poetry and the Fitzgerald stories. Hell, I even liked the choose your own adventure story. The rest of "The State of Constraint" was sorta boring. The prisoner story was neat. Other than that I didn't see much point. They were all cute in their own way.
Tim
I originally gave this four stars. I downgraded it after I read "The State of Constraint". I loved the poetry and the Fitzgerald stories. Hell, I even liked the choose your own adventure story. The rest of "The State of Constraint" was sorta boring. The prisoner story was neat. Other than that I didn't see much point. They were all cute in their own way.
Grant
This one had sat on my shelf for ~5 years and for good reason. I'm not a poetry fan, and now I'm not a fan of Oulipo either. French experimental literature held by mathematical constraints? No thank you sir. The Fitzgerald portion was ok, but the other two books in this three book set were not my cup of tea.
Josh
Had to put this one back on the shelf. McSweeney's books tend to be good for a couple of good moments, but don't really sustain me enough to finish, much less finish three books. The design is so nice though, it only makes me wish that the content was a little more interesting. I'll try it again later.
Patrick
Jul 17, 2008 Patrick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patrick by: Chad A.
Liked the F. Scott Fitzgerald stories the best. The Oulipo part wasn't as good as I thought it would be. The poem chains were the part that was really difficult to read. Pretty good overall.
Jacob
I enjoyed the Fitzgerald story ideas and some of the Oulipo stuff, but wasn't overwhelmed by the poetry section of this issue. Then again, I'm not the biggest poetry fan.
MJ Nicholls
Excellent bumper-packed issue showcasing new work from the Oulipo, consistently excellent short stories, and poetry that doesn't make me want to self-harm. Excellent.
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Loved the Fitzgerald-inspired stories. Have always been frustrated and generally concerned about most of the Oulipo writers.
Helen
I'm a nerd for well packaged books and McSweeney's never fails to impress!
Tiah Keever
well, I haven't read ALL of it yet, but I read some of it and I liked it.
Tom Steele
Of course I would like Oulipo.
Will
Dec 07, 2007 Will added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: eggheads & human boners & other friends & family
Shelves: hangin-around
doot doot doot
Vanessa
Vanessa marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2015
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Dave Eggers is the author of seven previous books, including his most recent, The Circle, a captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism that soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco th
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More about Dave Eggers...

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius What is the What Zeitoun The Circle You Shall Know Our Velocity!

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