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You Private Person

4.47  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
"Considering how much I love Richard Chiem's writing, and given how its uncanny snare and sweep of life's especially agile, prompt, messed, lithe, sharp, and heartbreaking things leaves me stiffed of summarizing words, I think I'll just nominate his work for immortality."

- Dennis Cooper, author of The Marbled Swarm

"Richard Chiem writes of all the weirdness and ooziness and
Paperback, 139 pages
Published October 15th 2012 by Scrambler Books
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Nicholas Schwarzenberger
Dec 05, 2012 Nicholas Schwarzenberger rated it it was amazing
Ridiculously good. It reads like poetry, and the author's mastery of speed and cadence is spectacular. I particularly liked "What If, Wendy" and "Planet B Boy." Richard Chiem's style is really unique and his way of writing without simile is awesome, as he just links words and ideas and feelings with conjunctions. It reads like being propelled along by sentient water, because there's this sense of slowness without impediment. You're moving at a very deliberate pace through the stories, but the ra ...more
Tyler Crumrine
Nov 22, 2012 Tyler Crumrine rated it it was amazing
You Private Person is full of love. Of incredible closeness and insurmountable distances. Of repetition and the unexpected. Most of all though it is full of very good stories. It tells you that you too are a private person, and that that is not a good or a bad thing, that it's just a thing. These stories grow on you, and beckon rereading whether romance enters or exits your life. I really liked this book, and I highly recommend it.

Highlights: "sociopaths," "the first time or someone like me woul
Tom Bensley
Aug 22, 2014 Tom Bensley rated it really liked it
You Private Person – Richard Chiem

First of all, I need you to do something that you need to do for yourself. Read “How to Survive a Car Accident” here. Honestly, it’s one of the most captivating pieces of writing I’ve ever come across. It shows that Chiem is a master at picking the important details, because he knows the ones that put us there in the experience, with him/as him/as ourselves. In HtSaCA, the narrator is “You” and you are instructed on how to have that narrator’s experience, which
Feb 11, 2013 Natalie rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam Moss
Nov 26, 2012 Sam Moss rated it really liked it

This is Chiem's first
published book, he has two e-book's out and approximately one hundred
million short stories published online. He obviously went hard for You Private Person: it's heart is beating and it is drenched in sweat.

The organization of this book is nebulous, there are two major story lines which are formed by numerous connected shorts: sociopaths and animals. There are a number of short stories inserted which may or may not be related to the greater story lines. Potentially your
Feb 17, 2014 kate rated it it was amazing
fave bits:

"(1/2) are you working? there is a lot you can have by wanting. in the light i made a bargain. Envisioning a house where i never lived, you could not convince me we’d spent but
(2/2) one life together.

HER: are you awake? describe the house to me"


"cigarettes can levitate you and the bare weight you have very bored in your head and you have never known you were unhappy until the feeling leaves you like imagined geese from hills eager for migration. birds are so fun to imagine. this a
Aug 23, 2014 Albert added it
Shelves: haz
The writing style occasionally gets a little ponderous but the storm-bright arrivals made it worth it. Parts had me whirring with the moment conjured by well-wrought phrase and resonance across the stories.
Michael Seidlinger
Apr 18, 2013 Michael Seidlinger rated it it was amazing
"Love dreamy." Two words procured from You Private Person that fully encapsulate the texture of Chiem's writing.

Chiem has control of a curious literary trait - the ability to weigh in description and explicit detail as light and majestic as golden-age animated television shows; that is, to say, existential set-pieces given to fantasy and clever whimsy.

I dare say You Private Person is the acted out snapshot of the private life of a couple in love, playing along to their favorite movies and TV sh
Alexander Allison
Dec 24, 2012 Alexander Allison rated it it was amazing
In You Private Person, Richard Chiem tickles the underbelly of language: he probes what is tender, what is exposed. His operation is soft. He moves the reader softly through these stories. He tells them patiently. There is space here. Cool, clear space. The collection is full of allusions to popular culture; Richard makes no excuses for his contexts, but he does manage to show their beauty & if not that, then their potential for it. These stories are spells and I'm smitten. May he cast them ...more
Jackie Snow
Mar 05, 2014 Jackie Snow rated it really liked it
I like the one about the accident. The stories should be read aloud.
Philip Palios
May 07, 2016 Philip Palios rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
An excellent collection of short stories that can also be read as a novel. This was the first of Chiem's work I've read and believe it provides a great introduction to his literary prowess.

At first, I was disturbed and upset by the dark and obscene nature of many of the early stories in this collection. However, upon further reflection I realized that my disgust was truly a denial of the darkness that I believe exists within all of us, and certainly exists within me. I typically am the type of p
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Richard Chiem (b.1987) is the author of YOU PRIVATE PERSON, a collection of short stories published by Scrambler Books. His work has appeared in Thought Catalog, elimae, and Everyday Genius, among other places. In 2008, he survived a car accident. He is currently living in Seattle with his fiance and their loud cat.
More about Richard Chiem...

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