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McSweeney's #47 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #47)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Each issue of the quarterly is completely redesigned. There have been hardcovers and paperbacks, an issue with two spines, an issue with a magnetic binding, an issue that looked like a bundle of junk mail, and an issue that looked like a sweaty human head. McSweeney’s has won multiple literary awards, including two National Magazine Awards for fiction, and has had numerous ...more
Pamphlets in sleeve, 185 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by McSweeney's (first published February 11th 2014)
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Robin Ryan
Dec 31, 2014 Robin Ryan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Presentation is lovely - a slipcover with individually presented stories. I was not a huge fan of many of the stories - maybe just a little too bleak to read during the holidays. I did love the 2 Shirley Jackson stories and how they were presented in their original typewritten and edited format.
Grant Reynolds
Nov 16, 2014 Grant Reynolds rated it really liked it
Another great issue of McSweeney's and the physical book itself is great with a nice leather bound shell filled with pamphlets. My favorite pieces in the collections were Shirley Jackson's 2 previously unpublished works along with a great little story by Bill Cotter called The Sea and the Glass.
Nov 18, 2014 A-ron rated it really liked it
Ok, I'll start with some negative stuff. This issue was too short and for the price, I felt like I did not get my money's worth, especially since I live abroad and have to pay for shipping on top of the price. It was less than 200 pages, including the title pages on each of the ten stories. Two of the "stories" were glorified advertisements for recently released McSweeney's books (in previous issues, these teasers were often in bonus pamphlets, not a part of the journal itself). I love Bob ...more
Timons Esaias
Aug 12, 2016 Timons Esaias rated it really liked it
McSweeney's 47 is a slipcase with ten stapled pamphlets inside. One of the pamphlets is a Letters section, one has two typescripts of previously unprinted Shirley Jackson stories (which are one of the prizes); another contains various humor bits from a book of Bob Odenkirk's, another is eight flash fictions from Josephine Rowe. According to the Web site, the story "Fingerprints" is to appear in the 2015 edition of The Best American Short Stories.

The front covers of the booklets, if laid out side
Pia Baur
Feb 10, 2016 Pia Baur rated it liked it
This was a real "hit or miss" selection of stories. I found the unifying theme of unfinished business from traumatic childhood very compelling. Lynn Coady and Josephine Rowe's stories were terrific but Bob Odenkirk was a severe disappointment. I heard a little "whomp whomp" in my head every time I got to what was supposed to be a punchline that didn't make me laugh. The letters were amazing and the printing of Shirley Jackson's stories in their vintage typewriter format was great (though sadly ...more
Heather Pagano
Jan 18, 2015 Heather Pagano rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
The Shirley Jackson stories were fantastic. Most of the other stories were consistently good, but not great. The theme of the issue was memories of childhood trauma, which didn't make for the most fun issue. Also the format of this issue with all the little pamphlets contained in a box wasn't great for me. I had to keep sorting through booklets to remember what I had and hadn't already read, and eventually started chucking the pamphlets in the recycle bin the moment I'd finished one. Maybe the ...more
Jim Lang
Jan 25, 2015 Jim Lang rated it really liked it
As always with McSweeney's, the aesthetics of the book are as important as the content. This selection of ten small booklets in a leather-covered slipcase is another beautiful addition to my collection.

There's some very good stuff inside here too. I liked the Shirley Jackson stories (I've never really read her - not even The Lottery), and the pieces by Kawai Strong Washburn, Justin Bigos, and Josephine Rowe the most. I've also learned that there is no point in reading Bob Odenkirk's new book - t
Apr 13, 2015 Christopher rated it liked it
Nothing here really spoke to me. The Justin Bigos story was good. The Bill Cotter selection was also pretty good. I also liked the letters, for me they were probably the best part. My overall impression, unfortunately, was that this collection as a whole was forgettable. Not worth the price of admission. Generally a high quality publication; don't judge them on this one. Can't all be home-runs. 2.5/5
Jun 07, 2015 Mark rated it it was ok
an unfortunately slight volume from the mcsweeney's quarterly, with a double handful of individually bound stories/collections with connected artwork in a pretty slipcase. the stories largely revolve around the flaws and fixations of childhood, but few stand out and too large a fraction serve as teaser snippets from other mcsweeney's publications. the shirley jackson stories do not compel, and bob odenkirk was unfortunately unfunny, too.
Feb 15, 2015 D'Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Most of the stories in #47 were okay. The selections from Bob Odenkirk were pretty lame. His spoof Martin Luther King Jr. speech felt like something a white undergrad who didn't know much about MLK Jr. would be unjustifiably super proud to turn in to a creative writing class. But Lynn Coady's short story "Mr. Hope" was great. Definitely made me want to read more from her.
Tomas Ramanauskas
Dec 31, 2014 Tomas Ramanauskas rated it really liked it
One of the stronger collections of McS in recent memory and how could it be not when Shirley Jackson is featured in it. Apparently, she's a titan.

Also, a very elegant piece on serious family matters by Justin Bigos, titled "Fingerprints". Lynn Coady shines as well with coming of age experience in "Mr Hope".

Nov 18, 2014 Sean rated it it was amazing
A particularly enjoyable selection of stories. Nice to have an Australian writer in there too. The pamphlets were slightly fiddle reading on the tram, but generally fun to read with and gave you a nice sense of progress through the issue.
Brandon Forsyth
Mar 25, 2015 Brandon Forsyth rated it really liked it
A lot of stories in this issue of the quarterly revolve around childhood memories, which I'm usually a sucker for. Standouts from Lynn Coady, Mona Simpson, and Shirley Jackson, whose work is reproduced from her typewritten originals. McSweeney's once again delivers the cool.
Ryan Roth
Jan 03, 2015 Ryan Roth rated it liked it
Shelves: in-the-q
Once again an uneven collection. Several of the short stories here were excellent. Several were average. One was, well, not the best. The art work on the covers of each story were beautiful though.
Jan 28, 2015 Harrison rated it liked it
liked the bill cotter story (the sea and the glass) and lynn coady story (mr hope), and the letters.
Troy Ketch
Nov 06, 2014 Troy Ketch rated it really liked it
This is a lovely collection of stories. The magazine itself is a charming design. Well worth reading.
Dec 25, 2015 Christopher rated it liked it
Another good selection, although seemed shorter overall. The format was cool though, which was the trade off I'm guessing. Strange to have such a theme of sexual abuse and/or fathers throughout too?
Oct 31, 2014 Tony rated it it was amazing
All the stories were fresh and satisfying. The pamphlet format for each one turned out to be really convenient.
Jennifer Royan
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Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly ...more
More about Dave Eggers...

Other Books in the Series

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern (1 - 10 of 50 books)
  • McSweeney's #1
  • McSweeney's #2
  • McSweeney's #3
  • McSweeney's #4
  • McSweeney's #5
  • McSweeney's #6
  • McSweeney's #7
  • McSweeney's #8
  • McSweeney's #9
  • McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (McSweeney's #10)

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