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Damage Control: Stories

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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A luminous collection of short stories focusing on privilege and entitlement, from the bestselling author of The Starboard Sea

Damage Control displays Amber Dermont's remarkable gift for portraying characters at crossroads. In "Lyndon," a daughter visits presidential landmarks following the death of her father. In "Damage Control," a young man works at an etiquette school w
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published March 19th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 720)
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Larry Hoffer
Apr 19, 2013 Larry Hoffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the hands of a talented writer, short stories can have almost a transcendent quality, an ability to transport you into the minds of unique characters and memorable situations. I was a huge fan of Amber Dermont's debut novel, The Starboard Sea (in fact, it was one of my favorite books I read last year), so I was excited to read her new short story collection, Damage Control. And after reading the 14 stories in this collection, I was pleased to see that her writing ability continues to grow, an ...more
Rebecca
Apr 11, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
When I heard that this was a book about "privilege and entitlement" I wasn't sure I would relate, but the characters, while all associated with upper crust society, are also down to earth. Wealth and privilege are a theme in each story but it's not all stuffy, Emily Gilmore-esque nonsense. Amber Dermont has created fictional people that are just as faulty, quirky, interesting and fallible as people I know.

The great thing about short story collections is that if I don't like one of the stories I
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Ava Butzu
Nov 28, 2013 Ava Butzu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Dermont is at her finest when she write about heartbreak and loss, themes that are often maudlin or overly-dramatic in the hands of lesser contemporary authors. In stories like "Sorry, You Are Not a Winner," "Number One Tuna," and the title story, the protagonists feel every bit of pain that the loss of a beloved father, a lover, and even the loss of a life of privilege realistically inflict upon us, but the pain is wrapped in cotton, more of a low throb than a heart-wrenching life-stopper. ...more
Chelsey
Apr 14, 2013 Chelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reviews
This is a Goodreads giveaway.

From the first page, these stories captured my interest and imagination. There is so much natural tension between the characters and their appointed foe that it seems tangible. Amber Dermont has a way of portraying exactly what the character feels and works towards without telling it. These stories show family ties and values at their best and what people are willing to do to keep up the appearance to those that they love.

This is a a highly recommended book.
Terrence McClintock
May 09, 2013 Terrence McClintock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terrence by: Wall Street Journal review
Dermont's stories are consistently entertaining. Personally, I liked the bizarre elements in each story and I thought Dermont did a good job of making them believable. Without the odd pairings of people and situations, her stories would lose a lot of the allure for me. She packs her stories full of so much detail that I felt "short" is something of a misnomer given her ability to stretch my imagination and introduce me to novel situations.
Jen
Aug 14, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

These stories are everything— smart, entertaining, funny, generous, plausible, fantastic, horrifying, well-written. They are stories about abduction and grief, they are about family and identity, they are about aging before your time, they are about not giving up on what it is that you want most. Amber Dermont is brilliant and I recommend her books to everyone.
Merrie
Apr 25, 2013 Merrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never been one to enjoy short stories, I generally prefer full length novels. So when I won a free copy of this book on the Goodreads giveaways I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did because I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. The characters were well developed and each story had its own unique way of drawing the reader in.
Kim
May 29, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well written stories - great relationships and characters. a book of short stories is harder to stick with than a novel because you aren't trying to get back to an ongoing story and finish it up. i think i've had my fill with three this year. All were very good, but would be interested to read a novel from these authors.
Maureen Flatley
May 26, 2013 Maureen Flatley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As much as I loved The Starboard Sea I loved this book even more. Tightly written stories beautifully crafted and often funny the narratives just pull you along from one story to the next. Possibly my favorite collection of short stories since T. Correghasan Boyle's hilarious If The River Was Whiskey.
George Ilsley
This is a collection which should be read slowly, preferably over several years. If you read them all at once, they somehow start to cancel each other out, and become less interesting. Had to skip one of them, about pain. The last one, Camp, left me feeling more upbeat about this collection.
Ed
Jun 05, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading glowing NY Times review I waited a weeks for my library hold to come up. Worth the wait. I'm not generally a fan of short story collections, but this was thoroughly involving, and instead of reading a story from time to time I read it cover to cover in two days.
Mary
Jan 21, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating collection of stories, not unlike George Saunders' Tenth of December. Some really rewarding, some a little distasteful, but all reflecting the author's creative mind and considerable talent.
Nancy
Jun 26, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed these short stories, especially after reading her new novel, The Starboard Sea last year. She is a great writer.
Casey
Mar 14, 2013 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more I think about these stories, the more I think I like them.
Especially a few of the longer stories near the end.
Amanda Nan Dillon
Jul 25, 2013 Amanda Nan Dillon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has changed my opinion on short stories. Absolutely loved Dermont's stories and different styles of writing.
Amy Long
May 07, 2013 Amy Long rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Discombobulated stories lacking theme. The fantastic characters and outrageous story lines fell flat and felt forced.
Alex
May 29, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An admirably diverse collection of stories. I am humble before Amber Dermont.
Sam Grosby
Apr 29, 2013 Sam Grosby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-upped it from the library. Really good short story collection.
Patricia Geller
May 31, 2013 Patricia Geller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written stories. Went in search of her earlier books.
Lynn W
May 25, 2013 Lynn W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She is two for two with me! Please write faster
Anna DunLany
Mar 29, 2013 Anna DunLany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Will update with a review soon.
Kim
Aug 23, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing writer.
Frances
Jul 15, 2014 Frances rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is the deathless adage that a writer should write what she knows. Shelves of books rely on continuity of place and the strength that provides. “I Want to Show You More” by Jamie Quatro was a compilation of stories that did this particularly well; I relished the southern quirks of her Lookout Mountain. In her collection “Damage Control,” Amber Dermont rebels. From one story to the next it was a mystery as to where I would be taken. The changing ground was noticeable but not pronounced and t ...more
Kayla
May 11, 2014 Kayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damage Control is a collection of fourteen short stories. Some of the short stories seem to be about the coming of age of a female character such as in Lyndon, Afternoons in the Museum of Childhood and Notes Toward an Anatomy of Pain. Others are about older women who are discovering what they desire from life with some drama along the way. A few of the stories deal with male lead characters who are also searching for a purpose in their life. All of these stories seem to deal with some shocking a ...more
Hilary
Apr 22, 2013 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copy received through Goodreads’ First Reads program.

Perhaps the most notable thing about Amber Dermont’s first collection of stories is its diversity, as Dermont manages to capture an impressive range of characters, settings and themes in these fourteen stories. Although you’d expect diversity in short story collections (since the stories are typically written over many years and published in different magazines), there are almost always repeated motifs throughout the stories. For example, Jun
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Diem Shepard
I enjoyed this collection. Dermont makes good use of the first person point of view to create compelling characters. The thematic element of lapsed-Catholicism is interesting. A couple of the stories do suffer from a kind of look-at-me-writing-a-story artifice, but I would recommend this to fans of the form.
Emily
I loved each story and wanted more. Wanted resolution. Wanted the rest. So I don't know what to rate it. They were great short stories that made me mad because I didn't know the outcome!
Rachel Hunt
I was a bit disappointed with this collection. Many of the stories came off a bit juvenile, like something written in a college creative writing course. However, there were a couple stand out stories that I enjoyed, especially the one about the religious cult leader that kidnaps a young girl. Yet many of the stories could have been cut out of the collection and it would have improved the overall read. I struggled I make it to the end.
Carole
Apr 12, 2013 Carole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I loved Amber Dermont’s debut novel, The Starboard Sea, but this collection of short stories just didn’t do it for me. Perhaps it’s the genre, not a favorite, or perhaps the decidedly bizarre element in each story, but despite Dermont’s very obvious creative talent and her outstanding ability to present characters with personalities that resound, I have to conclude that pre-ordering was a mistake. Caveat emptor.
Amber B
Extremely twisted and entertaining.
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2015 Reading Chal...: Damage Control: Stories by Amber Dermont 3 14 Feb 09, 2015 08:22PM  
  • Safe as Houses
  • I Want to Show You More
  • Sweet Nothing: Stories
  • The Miniature Wife and Other Stories
  • The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories
  • Middle Men: Stories
  • Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
  • Every Kiss a War
  • Ecstatic Cahoots: Fifty Short Stories
  • The Fun Parts
  • The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories
  • Ladies and Gentlemen
  • The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China
  • Don't Kiss Me: Stories
  • Starting Over: Stories
  • Voodoo Heart
  • Girl Trouble: Stories
  • Circus

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