The Peaceable Kingdom: Stories
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The Peaceable Kingdom: Stories

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The inhabitants of Prose's Peaceable Kingdom are getting the surprises of their lives: a young woman on her honeymoon suddenly realizes that her ecologist husband will have to save the world without her; a child on a class trip recognizes in an Egyptian tomb the inevitable and tragic procession of her life to come; a young puppeteer works a party in the house of a wealthy...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published September 1st 1993)
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Prose defines perfect short-story writing for me: little glimpses of a life from which the whole can be pretty fairly guessed, leaving the voyeur feeling a lot more uncomfortable than satisfied.
Prose has assembled here a collection of her stories which dissect at seemingly functional lives, for what an outsider would take as such. In the tradition of Cheever, she allows us to see into the nagging conscious of a character to see what is probably true of all our lives, nothing is certain, nothing is easy and no heart is wholly at peace. Well written, momentarily evocative but, sadly, not lasting. I am still trying to figure out exactly why Hawthorne's minister is wearing a black veil and...more
How I felt about these 11 stories fluctuated strongly with my mood. Mostly, the book annoyed me, with its plotless anhedonia. When I was feeling tired or moody, however, I let down my cynical guard enough to be moved by some of the stories.

The weaknesses include: Nothing much happens. None of the characters have any empathy, motivation or self-awareness.
The scenes are set in a vaguely-sketched Northeast that lacks an adequate sense of place, and seems to be built upon assumption rather than desc...more
Ever a fan of Francine Prose and ever a short fiction lover, I suspected that this collection would win me over. And it did.
Quirky, unexpected, nuanced, and always 'whole', these stories provide more than simple diversion; they summon insight.
And Prose crafts them in clear, perfectly cadenced, and often slyly witty language.
If you too favor the genre of short fiction, I suggest you try this collection. You'll likely like it.
Jude Malta
I feel so-so about these short stories. I will admit they are better than most that I have read lately. Francine Prose does tend to base most of her stories on interpersonal relationships with ex's. Prose's characters' sentiments are pleasingly written so that the reader can fully comprehend their emotions; but, they aren't so strong that I will break down and cry with her characters.
I told myself at the beginning of every story, "THIS is going to be the one that I LOVE!" I didn't love any of them. I didn't even kind of LIKE any of them. The writing was very good though- reminded me of O'Connor's style a little bit.
Jul 03, 2008 Shaindel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shaindel by: Rebecca Collins, book goddess :-)
I read two Francine Prose short story collections back-to-back when I lived in Florida, so I don't remember exactly which stories were in which, but I remember being entranced and wishing I could write like that. Wow!
reads like a beginners guide to short stories. I felt like it closed everything up to neatly without letting me figure things out for myself.
Emily Crouch
I picked it up on the street because the title reminded me of Hauerwas. The writing is tight. The stories are bizarre, really bizarre.
Nov 17, 2008 Kim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kim by:
I liked it, all of the stories were interesting, but at the same time they almost seemed too random and I had a hard time with that.
Apr 15, 2008 Ellen added it
Shelves: want-to-read
Recommended by Riese.
One or two stories are really outstanding, the others are fine pieces of work.
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne marked it as to-read
The Peaceable Kingdom: Stories by Francine Prose (2005)
I don't like short stories.
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Francine Prose (born in 1947 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American novelist. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1968, and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. She has sat on the board of judges for the PEN/Newman's Own Award, and her novel Blue Angel, a satire about sexual harassment on college campuses, was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is now teaching at Bard College.

More about Francine Prose...
Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them Blue Angel Goldengrove After Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife

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