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Happy Trails to You: Stories
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Happy Trails to You: Stories

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  22 reviews
When Julie Hecht's stories first appeared in "The New Yorker," her unnamed photographer-narrator became an instant literary icon. Chronicles of her strategies for surviving civilization's decline -- herbal remedies, macrobiotics, a bit of Xanax -- have established her as one of the most captivating and eagerly read voices in modern literature. In this new collection of sto ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2008)
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This hilarious take on modern life contains stories in which a vegan, hyper-paranoid, misanthropic, anxiety-ridden woman tries and fails to come to grips with the world around her. The reader at once feels for her and wants to throttle her (our protagonist) for her holier than thou goody two shoes attitude.
Long before Sedaris, there was Hecht. 'Nuff said. So delightful to read her sardonic, neurotic, slouchy prose again....
Kasey Jueds
I have Julie Hecht's first collection of stories, Do The Windows Open?, about five times, and each time I end up laughing out loud; this volume is just as funny and quirky, though a little bit darker and sadder, since the heroine (an incredibly neurotic woman who sometimes, embarrassingly, reminds me of myself) is older and seems more isolated, and lonelier, than she did in DTWO. Julie Hecht's sense of humor is of the "love it or hate it" variety, I think; I happen to love it, but have shared th ...more
Wonderful, hilarious, oddly appealing short stories. Can't explain why I love her work so much, but I do.
If I could eat this book, I would.
Jan 07, 2014 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anxious vegan photographers
Recommended to Kate by: Harper's
Shelves: short-stories
"I'd recently heard a Ukrainian or Russian--a big, Soviet-looking expert--explaining how the poisoned Prime Minister of the Ukraine could have eaten soup without tasting the dioxin that almost killed him and did disfigure his face. 'It was thick borscht--with garlic, onions, cabbage, turnips, kale,' the expert said in his thick accent, which made the soup sound even thicker. The explanation was that with all these healthful, strong flavors of vegetables, with spices, too, the Prime Minister migh ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Becky rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Becky by: browsing library
Bizarre. That would be the one word that I would use to describe this book. The randomness, the paranoia, the self-righteousness - it all threw me for a loop. I just can't believe that at some points I actually was identifying with the main character because she is such a liberal freak of nature. The nameless character has anxiety attacks because the whole nation found out about good ol' Bill Clinton's scandal. And by the sound of it our nation is hopelessly and irrevocably becoming less intelli ...more
i LOVED do the windows open but this book left me feeling like julie hecht was doing a julie hecht imitation. many said they found the character irritating in her previous book, but i actually found her funny & "relatable" (whatever that says about me.) but in this book, i found her grating and offensive. maybe it's me who's changed. but there was a big difference to me in someone talking about their anxiety about the LIE - oh, boy, can i relate - and someone talking about their annoyance th ...more
Alex Templeton
I had a very hard time connecting to this collection of short stories until the very end. I found them meandering and without an emotional core that I could find (except a sense of the loneliness and isolation, which was present throughout the book but only really apparent to me in the last two stories in the collection). These are not poorly written stories, however, just...airy in the reading.
Good writing, but I'd recommend reading the other books first, the narrator doesn't seem quite as neurotically quirky here. Also, it helps to be familiar with Nantucket (where I am writing this review as it turns out).
I would not compare Hecht to Sedaris. This book was okay but slow. Quirky, yes, but not funny, more sad. But not sad enough...a little was fine, the whole book of stories with the same character tired me.
I found it hard to rate this book... on one hand I really like the writing style of the author. On the other hand she can often come off very self righteous and annoying at times.
Oct 21, 2008 Kelly marked it as to-read
Picked this up at hte library too. It's always nice to have a book of short stories sitting around....easy to pick it up and read one at a time, here and there. This looked promising.
Susan Merrell
Dry and funny, and surprisingly disturbing, the narrator of these stories becomes more interesting with each turn of the page.
The stories all struck the same note--a good note, a lingering note--but I'd have liked a bit more variety.
She's one of my fave writers, but this book is a mediocre imitation of "Do The Windows Open?"
More short stories from Julie Hecht about her protagonist in Do the Windows Open?
I think Julie Hecht's neurotic narrator is one of the funniest voices in fiction.
to be clear, she does not get points with me for being a mysophobe
Nov 29, 2009 Nora added it
Major mixed feelings about this one. Can't really rate it.
more weird funny truths and neuroses
I liked the book.
Biba marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Camilla marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Celeste Finn
Celeste Finn marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
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Julie Hecht is a contemporary American fiction writer specializing in interlacing short stories. She is best known for her book "Do the Windows Open?," a series of short stories some of which first appeared independently in The New Yorker.
More about Julie Hecht...
Do the Windows Open? Was This Man a Genius?: Talks With Andy Kaufman The Unprofessionals

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