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The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, ... Else in the World Since 1953

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  343 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
For a half-century, The Paris Review has published writing and interviews from the world's most brilliant authors. To commemorate the anniversary, a breathtakingly diverse and illuminating anthology has been assembled. The greatest writers here write and speak upon the greatest subjects of our time:
*Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver on "Heartbreak"
*Vladimir Nabokov on SEX
Paperback, 928 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Picador (first published May 3rd 2003)
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Jun 27, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it
This is a huge book, and I picked around in it, not reading every story and not reading much of any of the poems or essays. However, the stories I stuck with and read included a few real standouts. I think I've figured out the kind of story the Paris Review likes, and it can be summed up pretty well in one word---confusing. They don't like straightforward writing, although that's not to say the stories all are written in flowery or sophisticated language. But they all make you think---they all h ...more
Easton Smith
Oct 12, 2016 Easton Smith rated it liked it
Some of the stories, interviews and poems in this book deserve fives. These include the opening story "Terrific Mother," by Lorrie Moore. Also: "Snakes" by Susan Power, "You must relax!" by Joanna Scott.

As a rule, the best stories and interviews are by women, and the men, especially the BIG names, write misogynistic, uncreative dribble. The exception to this rule is Franzen, who writes a typically Franzen-esque and not too bad story about a middle class white family, and Jeffrey Eugenides, whos
Jul 31, 2011 Shoshanna rated it it was amazing
This made me excited about fiction again after being turned off of it for awhile. Such a good collection. Everything is different but you get a lot of recurring themes: tongue-in-cheek humor, obsession, intellectuals pondering intellectualism (but not in a revolting way). It's nice because you can offhandedly pick it up and read a few pages when you're passing time, yet still get something substantial. Low commitment, high payoff. I got this years ago, read some stories, got excited, forgot abou ...more
Grant Reynolds
Sep 02, 2011 Grant Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Now this is an anthology! Weighing in at 890 pages it included stories from absolute legends in the literary world covering all the topics listed in the insanely long title. I've been reading this off and on since the beginning of September as I was mixing it in between other things. I started to write my favorite stories but there were way too many of them and I started to bore myself. So what I'll say instead is that literally every piece is fantastic, some I didn't connect with as much as oth ...more
Aug 04, 2008 Dustin rated it liked it
Some of the essays are perfect. Some of the fiction is wonderful. But there is an excess of interviews passed off as writers' opinions of Love!, Sex!, Death!, etc., when really it's just Nabokov talking about Humbert being misunderstood in an uninteresting way, or, on Drinking!, Faulkner says his tools for writng are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky. That's the interview. It's like the last episode of Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld more than I care for seventy percent of my family members, b ...more
Jul 16, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it
If not quite the indispensable tome it claims to be, this is an amazing compilation of literature and writerly insights. Not surprisingly, the Death section received the most dogeared pages, but other highlights include David Foster Wallace's "Little Expressionless Animals," Nicholas Christopher's "Terminus," and Borges' "Funes the Memorious." Great for a long trip, preferably to Paris, I'd guess.
Tally Ho
Sep 05, 2016 Tally Ho rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. A variety of unique voices and grouped into the big themes, except for baseball. What is it with white literary dudes and baseball. But the love and madess and sex and intoxication and whimsy make me remember why I love the short story form. You could be raised in a giant test tube and read this book to know what a lot of what being around earth as a human feels like.

Aug 18, 2012 Aleatha rated it it was amazing
Amazing. This was a huge anthology so of course some of the stories had completely different tones, lengths etc but I loved them all. Well the majority of them. For me, this book is more of a reference tome, or something to keep by my bed to refer to when I need it.
P.S. I feel in love with Lorrie Moore
Jaime Leah
Oct 10, 2007 Jaime Leah rated it it was amazing
it seems like i've been reading this book forever, which makes sense because it spans so many topics and is like, a million pages long. but i'm not devouring. more like savoring. i read one or two stories/chapters/essays/poems per night - just enough to get me thinking but then lull me to the other world.
Feb 05, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Its a collection, and shouldn't expect it all to be terrific - but the Phillip Roth piece was great, and the very first story really moved me.
I just find it hard to push myself through a collection like this - it was library book so I was on a deadline. WOuld have preferred to spend more time thinking and re-reading that just trying to get through it.
Aug 18, 2008 Carol rated it liked it
This is great stuff, especially for someone with insomnia. But you might want to avoid the Heartbreak genre of stories if you are already having trouble sleeping. This is a great compendium featuring all the contemporary greats. Included are David Foster Wallace on love, Denis Johnson on intoxication,Larry Brown on God, and Jeffery Eugenides on death.
b bb bbbb bbbbbbbb
How could you go wrong with a title like that?A large collection of short fiction and poetry selected from 50 years of the Paris eview magazine. Lots of great writers, plenty of good fiction. Found several new writers I'd like to read more of.
Holly Interlandi
Jul 07, 2007 Holly Interlandi rated it it was amazing
I haven't even gotten through all the stories and this is already a five-star collection. Despite a few weak entries (the Raymand Carver story is curiously cold), the majority of the selections are downright BIZARRE in a fabulously witty way.
Maria C
Nov 14, 2013 Maria C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, great collection of even greater authors. This book made me fall in love with fiction again. I don't have a lot of spare time, so its really convenient cause you can actually take a few minutes before bedtime a read several stories.
Jan 07, 2008 Ken rated it it was amazing
I've used this collection as the central textbook for many of the creative writing / fiction classes I've taught. So many good examples of clear and focused storytelling, right alongside some of the strangest and most compelling oddball stories one could ask for. Essential and challenging.
The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953 by The Paris Review (2003)
Wednesday Green
May 11, 2010 Wednesday Green rated it liked it
Lot of wonderful avant-garde shit here. I like the mix of genres, the topic is varied - just a jumble of wonderful. It can be tedious though so many ideas popping at you. I had to read the whole thing through, pick and I choose I say. A good book to own, probably pick up a copy again sometime.
Nov 07, 2011 Alwa rated it liked it
I almost feel like you can't even really rate anthologies...but I liked this one less than I thought I would, so a 3 it is.
Jan 04, 2008 Elise rated it liked it
I'm not going to lie, I didn't read most of the poetry, or the Paul Auster story.
Sarah Romero
Jul 28, 2011 Sarah Romero marked it as to-read
So many great authors! I'm reading "Careful" by Raymond Carver. I loved "The Swimmer" and can already see myself loving this one, too.
Molly Morrow
Mar 23, 2016 Molly Morrow rated it it was amazing
Consistently good enough to bring into the bath with me. Too big to hold comfortably but too fascinating to mind all the same.
Nov 04, 2007 De'Shawn rated it it was amazing
Stright up CLASSIC!!!!!
Emily H.
Dec 11, 2007 Emily H. rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
These are short stories categorized by theme. The short stories are really good. The poems don't grab me as much.
Aug 09, 2009 Val added it
Shelves: unfinished
I got too busy/distracted to continue this anthology. I'll come back to it later.
Nov 29, 2011 Autumn added it
Shelves: reference
I need to pick this back up again but where did I put it?
m raye
Mar 16, 2008 m raye rated it liked it
"You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations."- Spaceships Have Landed by Alice Munro
Kaeleigh Forsyth
Mar 15, 2011 Kaeleigh Forsyth rated it liked it
hooo boy...
May 11, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Heartbreakingly wonderful. It is the book I return to again and again to remind me of the Art of writing. The stories move me, take my breath away and remind me that I am not alone.
Feb 19, 2010 Andy rated it liked it
Margaret Atwood take on writing on sex was amazing.
Dec 18, 2012 Renee rated it it was amazing
Notes scribbled in my book journal from December 2004 - "FABULOUS"!
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Founded in Paris by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton in 1953, The Paris Review began with a simple editorial mission: “Dear reader,” William Styron wrote in a letter in the inaugural issue, “The Paris Review hopes to emphasize creative work—fiction and poetry—not to the exclusion of criticism, but with the aim in mind of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it ...more
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