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McSweeney's #27 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #27)

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Plunging straight into the grayish, faintly understood area of the art world that involves oddly drawn objects coupled with uncertainly spelled text, McSweeney's Issue 27 brings together a previously uncategorized cadre of pithy draftsmen, genius doodlers, and fine-artistic cartoonists, and buffets them with articles examining just what it is that these people are doing an ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 28th 2008 by McSweeney's
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 371)
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MJ Nicholls
Tight Like That: A fast-talking tale of a gang member who impresses a librarian with his penis. Pretty implausible, but oddly entertaining.

Classical Scenes of Farewell: An unsettling and dark tale of clerics gone mad, set in the 1400s. Almost unreadable at times, but not without a certain (car-crash) interest.

Bird Feed: One of those stories about a strong Southern woman feeling depressed and superior in her hick town. Entertaining enough, but left me feeling piqued.

Sod Turned Spring: McSweeney's
...more
Tim
I liked a few of the stories in here. Jim Shepherd's story stands out. Tight Like That was just weird. The Crack was quite good. I couldn't stop reading Stephen King's novella, though at times I wanted to. It was very long, too long in fact, but still very readable. Do not read this story if you have a weak stomach. It is not your typical horror material, but it will churn things up. There was one story that I just couldn't read. I started but after a page I decided that it made no sense to me, ...more
Sam Quixote
McSweeney's 27 is three paperbacks enclosed within a hardback case. The first book is a sketchbook of Art Spiegelman's who drew it during March - May 2007. It has some funny doodles in it and shows a talented artist even in these brief drawings. It's a very enjoyable, well produced book.

There's also another illustration themed book focused around drawings/paintings with some text accompanying them. Everyone from Goya to Shel Silverstein is represented here and has some great pics throughout tha
...more
Ian
My first foray into the world of McSweeney's has me totally sold. This issue comes with three parts.

1.) Art Spiegelman's notebook of sketches he used to keep himself drawing with no intent of publishing. It's a fun, quick read and a charming look at something private from someone I love.

2.) A small booklet of "funny" art that includes art with text in it. The intro is really full of itself, since it's written by Dave Eggers. C'est la Eggers.

3.) Short stories, which are mostly mind-blowing. Steph
...more
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Jun 20, 2008 Adrianne Mathiowetz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Maus fans, Richard Stine fans, trapped people
You know what surprised me the most about this collection? Stephen King. I read his story in the waiting room to get blood drawn, and I waited in that room for nearly an hour, but every time the nurse came out to call a name, I prayed "please, don't let it be me, just one more paragraph." And that's saying something, considering it's a really, really gross story. Lots of poop involved. Cockroaches. Flies. Vomit. Who wants to read about that?

I do!

The graphic components were also really stellar: t
...more
David S.
Jul 10, 2008 David S. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: comic fans and anyone wondering what death by suffocation in a tipped over port-a-potty is like.
Shelves: recommended
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nate D
This, my first McSweeney's as a subscriber, was an odd little collection of three items in a single case.

1. A sketchbook from Art Spiegelman. This is predictably a treat. He doesn't even usually keep a sketchbook, or at least doesn't show anyone his drawings, from what I understand, so it's a pretty nice surprise.

2. The catalog from a recent art show of pieces including: a drawing, some words, and a sense of humor. I saw the original show a few months back, which was lovely, and this captures it
...more
Joel Neff
Aug 11, 2008 Joel Neff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Lit. Fic.
McSweeney's Issue 27 is purposely uncategorized by the editors, instead leaving the reader to pick out any unifying themes he or she chooses to see. And while this results in a collection of varying quality (Larry Smith's "Tight Like That" is excellent, Stephen King's "A Very Tight Place" less so.) it makes it hard to read as a whole.

Indeed, for me, the two supplementary volumes Art Spiegleman's "Autophobia" and the collection "Lots of Things Like This" from the apexart Gallery are much more int
...more
Perez Malone
I liked a few of the stories in here. Jim Shepherd's story stands out. Tight Like That was just weird. The Crack was quite good. I couldn't stop reading Stephen King's novella, though at times I wanted to. It was very long, too long in fact, but still very readable. Do not read this story if you have a weak stomach. It is not your typical horror material, but it will churn things up. There was one story that I just couldn't read. I started but after a page I decided that it made no sense to me, ...more
John
I forgot my book yesterday and had to get something for the bus ride home. I rarely read McSweeney's, and this is a neat collection in a small slipcase (Biltmore Hotel, apparently), with a journal of drawings from Art Spiegelman and other neat stuff.

Art Spiegelman's sketchbook alone make this issue worth buying. The six stories in the main issue are an interesting mix, all dealing with personal transformation in one fashion or another. The stories include the confession of a 15th Century Frenchm
...more
Steven Tomcavage
Not as good as other McSweeney's collections. The Stephen King story, in particular, was disappointing. I was hoping for a much more involved turn-around at the end of that story, instead it just petered out. "Sod Turned Spring" was good after a few read-throughs. It felt more like prose poetry for the amount of effort involved to piece the story together. "The Crack" was the stand-out story of this volume, and what a fantastic story it is. The stories in this volume deal in one way or another w ...more
Dave Jones
Very interesting grouping of short stories, but this is to be expected by McSweeney's. The stories in Issue 27 did not group well with each other but each story was very interesting. Stephen Kings' story, which happend to be the last in the book, was a page turner. It evoked a gag reflex in me when he described a scene in which the main character is inside a Port-O-John. Is this a must read? Probably not. But if you are interested in reading something NOT on a bestsellers list then by all means ...more
Alex
This issue came from my library without a slip cover and I had the damnedest time actually finding out what it was. On the whole, though, it was worth solving the mystery. The themes of this issue are varied, particular highlights being a story of intense pedophilia and murder (with an amazingly expressed ending) by Jim Shepard and a surprisingly sensitive story about a gay man trying not to die in a portable toilet by Stephen King.

Brief and worthy for the most part, I'll probably get another o
...more
brain
Oh, pretty good. The accompaniments were a joyous hodge-podge of pictures and doodles. Bird Feed and The Crack are wonderful stories. I suppose I should mention how it was odd or something that Stephen King had a story in McSwy's, but it was a more or less what you'd expect if you like King's non-horror (well, non-supernatural, anyway - it certainly got high scores on the yuck-o-meter) stories, which I do. That is, it was difficult to stop reading because it was interesting. It's ok for you to a ...more
Yuliya
I have never read S. King before, but his story in this collection was basically the only one that left some impression. Though it would be better if there is more dramatism added. Notebooks with drawings are quite funny (i also realized it is a lot more difficult to read a comic for me. I tend to look at it as a sort of art and searching for meaningful details. It makes me tired (or bored) faster than plain text). Therefore, notebooks are still waiting!
Adam
The Jim Shepard and Mikel Jollett stories are the stand-outs. Just finished the 70-page Stephen King shitshow* and I'm not sure what I think.


*The suburban girls standing next to us on the BU Bridge lastnight and watching the fireworks called everything a "shitshow" or a "crapshow." And then some unruly dog got in one of their faces. Man, those were some good fireworks.
Nicole Nixon
So I suppose, I'm kinda cheating by marking this as read. I really only just finished ready "The Crack" by Mikel Jollett. But, now I am intruiged to read this whole collection. The crack I really enjoyed. It reminded me a little of Chuck Palahniuk, only way better. I guess I'll have more to say when I read the rest of the collection.
Ashley
Aug 27, 2008 Ashley rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: artists, creative people
While I'm in between novels, I'm on a short story kick, and I loved McSweeney's 27 for "Autophobia" and "Lots of Things Like This" while making my way through the meat of the issue. Although I didn't finish all the stories, they all seemed to be really, well, violent or twisted in some way. Not badly told, but an interesting combo.
Matt
The Spiegelman sketchbook is interesting, as is the art-show catalog...The long Stephen King story was riveting and kind of stomach-churning...I assume that's how most of his stuff is. That's why I choose not to read his novels -- I don't really seek that kind of stomach-churning emotion out -- but the man sure is a terrific craftsman.
Erik
Spieglemans's sketchbook rocked and the demon story was severe and well crafted. This issue is well worth its price tag, even with the Stephen King novella (which, I'm sorry to say, I don't think was as mind blowing as other folks here thought it was. IMO, it was merely okay. He's done MUCH better work).
Joseph
May 29, 2008 Joseph rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Joseph by: McSwnys
Shelves: quarterlies
Thought this one was pretty weak as far as McSwny's go. The Stephen King story is pretty disgusting but doesn't really do anything for me with its message of revenge and poop jokes. The art sections are pretty weak and didn't really feel like a finished product.
Matt
My favorite stories were Stephen King's "A Very Tight Place," Jim Shepard's "Classical Scenes of Farewell" (historical fiction about the fascinating and strange and depraved Gilles de Rais), Ashlee Adams's "Bird Feed" and Mikel Jollett's "The Crack."
Clark
Read this on a red-eye back to Florida for Christmas. A short, but excellent quarterly. Particularly enjoyed Classical Scenes of Farewell and The Crack. The cover artwork and overall packaging were delightful as usual. Stephen King needs an editor.
Monica
This was my first venture into the world of McSweeney's Quarterlies and I really enjoyed it. "Classical Scenes of Farewell" (story #2) and "Bird Feed" (story #3) were refreshingly written (and seriously haunting). Highly recommended.
Lisa
I haven't read any Stephen King, so I was pleasantly surprised by the King story in this. Also, I loved this issue's design and the Spiegelman sketches. Whatever, I never like Everything in a McSweeney's. That's just how it is.
Jen
I bought this because it has an awesome collection of illustrations by Art Spiegelman (Maus). Other then that, Steven King's "A Very Tight Place" is the best story out of the collection making it worth buying.
Matt
The best part of this were the exhibition catalogue and Art Spiegelman's notebook, some of the short stories were good, some were very good, but I could not get into the one by Stephen King.
Maggie
Only one story worth reading, and be prepared, that story is one of the most painful and raw reads you'll ever have. I almost threw up on the train. It's #2. Skip the rest.
sean
started off well, but the middle stories were pretty vacuous. i give it a strong sell just cause it's mcsweeney's and it pushes a few boundaries of taste here.
Frank Dahai
One of the stronger ones. Larry Smith, Jim Shepard and Stephen King have particularly strong pieces here.
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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...

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