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Stories in an Almost Classical Mode

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  394 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
These 17 short stories represent the best of Brodkey's work over three decades.
Paperback, 608 pages
Published October 23rd 1989 by Vintage (first published 1988)
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Glenn Russell
Mar 23, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing

Harold Brodkey (1930 – 1996) is a major twentieth-century American writer of highly polished, highly poetic fiction first published in The New Yorker, Esquire and other magazines over a thirty years span, 1960s through the 1990s. Published as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series, this magnificent collection contains 18 stories, some short, some long, 5 pages to 50 pages, but all of these stories speak to the feeling tone of memory and are expressed in such lyrical, elegant language, t
...more
orsodimondo
Nov 18, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, racconti
RACCONTA UN SACCO DI BUGIE SE VUOI AVERE UNA VITA FELICE
Ho letto che Brodkey è considerato il Proust americano – poi ho letto che è l’anello mancante tra Proust e David Foster Wallace.
Adesso mi aspetto di leggere che lo si ama o lo si odia, tanto per restare nei commenti che non significano nulla, e niente aggiungono o spiegano.

Brodkey sceglie un altro titolo bello e perfetto: storie in modo quasi classico, dopo primo amore e altri affanni. Che meraviglia.

In queste pagine, ci sono bambini che c
...more
Geoff Wyss
May 18, 2014 Geoff Wyss rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, though I'm not sure I would recommend it to most readers. The pieces that seem to be Brodkey at his most essential aren't really stories (or so I think would be the common complaint). "A Story in an Almost Classical Mode," for example, is really a 50-page character sketch (transparently fictionalized) of his step-mother--brilliant stuff, but no plot to speak of. (Perhaps the most amazing thing is that the story was originally published in the New Yorker, which tells you how co ...more
Lauren Albert
Oct 28, 2009 Lauren Albert rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I gave this 4 stars remembering how I love it when I read it in the 80s. I can see a glimmer of what I liked about it at the beginning. By the time I got to the eponymous story at almost 300 pages, I was skimming. Then I was skipping. It seemed self-indulgent, pretentious. In those first few stories I could sense what I originally liked but it's lost its flavor for me.


First read 1989
Albert
Jul 30, 2013 Albert rated it liked it
I sampled ten stories from this collection and found them all to follow the same general motif: working through issues of childhood and adolescence in the present or retrospectively. An uneven collection that skews somewhat unrealistically towards the melancholy...at his best, Brodkey is illuminating, at his worst, his characters come across as mopey. All of the stories are about the emotional psychology of the characters. There is very little sense or place or historical context.
Anne Sanow
Feb 04, 2008 Anne Sanow rated it really liked it
One of my favorite stories of all time is the brief "Verona: A Young Woman Speaks," which is kind of just tucked in here amongst the longer and more autobiographically-based Brodkey stuff. Some of those get a bit blowhardy (you've got to be in the mood), even if they are good. Yes, Brodkey is a narcissist, but he is damn brilliant, too.
SCARABOOKS
Apr 30, 2013 SCARABOOKS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In questo periodo mi capita spesso di incontrare recensori che scovano scrittori neo-"proustiani". Checchè ne scrivano, non lo è, Brodkey. Anche se i ricordi, la memoria li maneggia con una capacità di ricostruire emozioni e flussi mentali veramente sorprendente.
La sua però, rispetto al tempo perduto, non è una ricerca. E' un dolorosissimo esorcismo. Il racconto sulla madre è splendido proprio perché è infarcito di una sofferenza asciutta, senza sbavature, che non cerca consolazione per se, nè c
...more
Ross
Dec 22, 2016 Ross rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a writer.

His Son, in His Arms, in Light, Aloft may be the single most beautiful short story I've read. And I do loathe hyperbole. Brodkey's writing succeeds in making me feel the weight, responsibility and intimacy of experiences I've never even had and didn't necessary realise I wanted.

Besides that story, this collection is filled with witty tales, tales about the elusive nature of other people's thoughts, and many of them unfold in strange, completely unexpected ways.

Brodkey can also
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Oct 11, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as to-read
Shelves: short-stories
"A Note on the Type

"The text of this book was set in a digitized version of Janson, a typeface long thought to have been made by the Dutchman Anton Janson, who was a practicing type founder in Leipzig during the years 1668-1687. However, it has been conclusively demonstrated that these types are actually the work of Nicholas Kis (1650-1702), a Hungarian, who most probably learned his trade from the master Dutch type founder Dirk Voskens. The type is an excellent example of the influential and st
...more
Peter
Feb 21, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: belletristik
19.03.2016 Diese lange Erzählung (Novelle?) ist harter Tobak. Brodkey erzählt die Kindheitsgeschichte eines Adoptivlings. Die Geschichte enthält viele autobiographische Momente und ist von seltener psychologischer Grausamkeit. Das Kind wird nach dem Tod der leiblichen Mutter vom Vater verkauft. Beide Adoptiveltern erkranken schwer, der Adoptivvater geht in ein Veteranenspital (kostenlose Behandlung) und die Adoptivmutter verbleibt mit dem Kind in der Wohnung. Das Drama spielt sich zwischen der k ...more
robert
May 02, 2010 robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the stars are only for the amazing story Verona: a young girl speaks. "innocence" was fascinating. the title story is interesting, boys on their bikes less so, and ceil was outright lousy. frankly, based only on the five stories i read, i do not recommend this acclaimed book. the egotism seems less fun than norman mailer's. it's like reading proust without the saving grace of genius.
Bruce Crown
Dec 26, 2015 Bruce Crown rated it liked it
Some of the stories are 4 and 5 stars but some lack that extra oomph. Given the volume and output of the work it's not far-fetched to thing the style is consistent and the themes are left to simmer in Brodkean fashion. Any fan or reader of short story would do well to venture into Brodkey's Classical Mode.
Conrad
Mar 24, 2007 Conrad rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Sometimes this seems like the same story over and over again. Fortunately, it's a really good story.
Aleksandra
Aleksandra rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2012
Heidi
Heidi rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2014
Jay Essman
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Blue
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May 20, 2012
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Aug 19, 2008
Nick Tabone
Nick Tabone rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2013
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Alina Stefanescu
Alina Stefanescu rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2015
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Ellie
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Benjamin
Benjamin rated it really liked it
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Hypocrite Lecteur
Oct 22, 2016 Hypocrite Lecteur rated it liked it
"occasional magenta flarings"
Abby
Abby rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2011
وليد عمر
وليد عمر rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2014
Rich Gamble
Rich Gamble rated it it was ok
Feb 22, 2012
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Harold Brodkey was born into a Mid-Western Jewish family, moving to New York and coming to prominence as a writer in the early 1950s. During the following four decades, he established himself as a modern master of short fiction. He contracted the AIDS virus and died in 1996. Some of his books were published posthumously.
More about Harold Brodkey...

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“My protagonists are my mother's voice and the mind I had when I was thirteen.” 6 likes
“The disparity between what people said life was and what I knew it to be unnerved me at times, but I swore that nothing would ever make me say life should be anything...” 3 likes
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