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The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories
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The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  463 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A timeless selection of brilliant short stories that won William Saroyan a position among the foremost, most widely popular writers of America when it first appeared in 1934.With the greatest of ease William Saroyan flew across the literary skies in 1934 with the publication of The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories. One of the first American writers...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published October 17th 1997 by New Directions (first published 1934)
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Núria
May 09, 2009 Núria rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Núria by: Bieiris
Si bien al libro 'El joven audaz sobre el trapecio volante' (magnífico título) le pongo cuatro estrellas, a William Saroyan como escritor le pondría cinco estrellas como cinco soles, a pesar de que éste es el primer libro que leo de él (aunque ya vendrán más). No sé si sabré explicar el por qué. No es sólo que William Saroyan sea uno de esos escritores que caen bien, a los que te hubiera encantado poder conocer en persona para poder charlar sobre libros y sobre la vida mientras de fondo sonaba j...more
Sam Mills
Part of a self-created syllabus: I'm studying the short story form, in particular the short-short. Reading The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, said writer Robert Fox (in Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories), "freed me. I no longer needed character, plot, conflict, resolution, and phallic symbolism. Saroyan's work made me less serious, as well. I enjoyed myself in a new way, improvising on ideas. ... I don't think Saroyan thought about form--what I learned from him was tone. Shor...more
Sarovar
Apr 10, 2007 Sarovar rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone especially writers
Wait, I take back what I said about Nine Stories. This is my favorite collection of short stories. They aren't really stories in a traditional sense, however. It seems like not many people read Saroyan anymore and I think they should. His plays are also brilliant. Wow, I really think you should read this book. Writers especially. What makes Saroyan stand out to me his unabashed sentimentality- that combined with wit, humor, and prodigious talent (I believe he wrote this when he was twenty three...more
Kelly
I already like William Saroyan before I read "The Daring Young Man..." and now I'm even more impressed. These stories are funny, sad, odd, and refreshingly singular. Saroyan keeps reminding us that he is there, the author himself, pounding out a string of words on his manual typewriter before he has to hawk it again or his fingers freeze. And we still manage to laugh with him.
Ned
it has been some time since i have read a voice with such clarity of character. saroyan is my new best friend.
Wagnerisraelcilioiii
all time favorite collection of short stories
Schuyler Porter
This is my favorite book of all time
Miguel Jiménez
William Saroyan, con una ligereza y descaro, traspasó como si nada -en este libro- lo establecido en la historia-escritura, considerando la historia ficticia como si fuera una situación real. Un elemento en relato mismo. Algo sencillo pero que impresiona. Esta es la mayor virtud que encontré en este libro de relatos y por la que Saroyan fue considerado como una revelación del cuento. Pero al leerlo, no me parecía estar ante una promesa sino ante un Maestro del Relato: rebasa y no solo domina el...more
Oscar
Después de leer 'La comedia humana', que me dejó tan buen sabor de boca, quería más Saroyan. Pero no me he encontrado lo que esperaba. El primer libro de Saroyan que leí fue 'Me llamo Aram', y, aunque no llega al nivel de La comedia, sí deja entrever en alguno de los cuentos que contiene ese germen que le hace especial. En 'El joven audaz sobre el trapecio volante', gran título por otra parte, hay que buscar bastante para encontrar esa magia. Encuentro que es un libro bien escrito, pero irregula...more
Vittorio Ducoli
Hopper con fiori e giardini

Molti di questi racconti sono stati pubblicati da Saroyan nel 1934, quindi in piena Grande Depressione. Narrano piccole, in genere intime storie di personaggi marginali, ragazzi indecisi sulla vita, scrittori che non pubblicheranno mai, immigrati che galleggiano nella grande città.
Emerge dai racconti l'amore dell'immigrato armeno nei confronti dell'America che lo ha accolto, e quasi mai, se non indirettamente, i personaggi di Saroyan si scontrano con le contraddizioni,...more
Anna Prejanò
Troppo sentimentale e bozzettistico per i miei gusti. San Francisco tra le due guerre, vitaccia squattrinata di scrittore, bordelli e corse dei cavalli, musica jazz, tutti temi che mi lasciano fredda. E maestro di John Fante, che francamente detesto. Promosso a pieni voti (solo) per il tocco leggiadro che gli permette a volte di fermare l'attimo bello.

Un'affermazione eterodossa da vero uomo di fede:
"Quando l'individuo si perde, per aggregarsi alla massa, Dio soffre fisicamente."

Una grande verit...more
El
William Saroyan's first collection of short stories published during the Great Depression details immigrants in the U.S. through a variety of characters (Armenian, Jewish, Polish, Irish). Many of the stories reflect the times, centering around characters concerned with money, starvation, integration, etc.

Not knowing anything about the author I wonder how many of the experiences the characters share are Saroyan's own. Several of his stories are told from the perspective of a writer, and many are...more
Terry
wow! Am I depressed! No, really, I was fascinated with this slice of life....interesting reading Saroyan at the same time as I'm depressing my way through Zola's works....
Alexis
I did not want it to end! Saroyan has become a favorite in just this one reading. His works will join Steinbeck and O'Conner on my keepers' shelf!
Jason
He was amazed at himself suddenly; it had occurred to him to let the snake flee, to let it glide away and be lost in the lowly worlds of its kind. Why should he allow it to escape?

He lifted a heavy boulder from the ground and thought: Now I shall bash your head and see you die. To destroy that evil grace, to mangle that sinful loveliness.

But it was very strange. He could not let the rock fall on the snake's head, and began suddenly to feel sorry for it. I am sorry, he said, dropping the boulder.
...more
Rob Lloyd
Somehow Saroyan managed to project humour, beauty and universal love of mankind in one of the most dire and divisive periods of the 20th century. These short stories exude a rare class, uncommon in many of his contemporaries.
InYourFaceNewYorker
Like the other books by Saroyan that I've read ("My Name is Aram" and "Fresno Stories") I really don't know what I'm supposed to be getting. Maybe I had to live in the time period. Some of the stories were interesting (such as the book's namesake) but others I really didn't get. A lot of it is stream of consciousness and it seems a little reminiscent of Schopenhauer. The funny thing is that Schopenhauer is mentioned in this book. Maybe not a coincidence? Anyway, if anybody could comment on this...more
Kelly McCubbin
Nov 20, 2007 Kelly McCubbin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Saroyan's short stories are a true American treasure. They read much like Joyce's "Dubliners" stories with a similar sense of lusty humanism and unforced epiphany.
This is also one of the best views of the Depression from the ground floor you'll ever see.
"Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell." - Saroyan
Erik
Apr 01, 2008 Erik added it

Hard to find, not read enough..

This is beautiful, hadji bakara hipped me to it...

Saroyan just got the nail on the head with the hammer here; simple totally unigue tales of a 1940s broke ass young writer in a little flat tapping away on his type writer... the beats totally copied this guys scene, only they had friends and a scene he seems not to have initially how could it be bad with a title like that
plus armenians are always great...
Jeremy
Sep 26, 2008 Jeremy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of literature, steinbeck afficianados
Recommended to Jeremy by: NPR - Terri Gross
Wow, Saroyan is a must read! This book has an eclectic mix of short stories with no apparent overarching theme. Not all of them are good, some of them aren't even really coherent. But then there are the stories that make you pay attention. His stories talk deeply about the plight of people in America around the time of the Depression. His stories are heartbreaking, zany and insightful, sometimes all within a few sentences.
Ashley
Apr 11, 2007 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the 1930s
I loved this book-- a dear friend gave it to me and I think I read the whole thing in about a day. Its language like butter, or something. This was my introduction to Saroyan and I've now started reading through as many as I can get my hands on.

I used a section of one of the stories as the reading at a friend's wedding, and my mother loved this book...
Elle
I read the preface, "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze," "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8", "Love, Death, Sacrifice, and So Forth," and "Seventy Thousand Assyrians." I want to read more because I found him a very different author. He explains some of his ideas about writing in the preface, which helped me understand and put in context the stories I read.
Troy Soos
In this collection of short stories (his first), Saroyan’s voice is exuberant, exploratory, and brash. Published in 1934, many of the stories provide stark, haunting impressions of life during the Great Depression. Overall, the writing is fresh and the perspectives are thoughtful. I’ll be looking for more of his work.
Mary
The fact that the young (elder) Saroyan can talk about the universal "man" as much as he does and still have me totally enamored is proof of how amazing these stories are. Short, sparse, and endless. Think early Beckett meets the great depression in SoCal. That is, if you dare.
Terence
Though I'm not a fan of Saroyan's novels, as a short-story author few can beat him.

For those of you who'd like to do a little arm-chair psychology -- my favorite story from this collection is "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8" because it describes my personal relationships to a T.
Kip Williams
Saroyan gave two pieces of writing advice in the preface to DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE.

The first was: "What difference does it make what you call it? Just so it breathes."

And the second was: "Learn to type as fast as Zane Grey."
Jordan Kramer
These stories are a bit hit or miss. What charmed me most is that they all take place in San Francisco. Here's the best line about the city, "Hardly anyone is aware of the seasons out here. We have all seasons all the year round."
Macdonald
Interesting stories. They seem from a different time - which they are! - but I had some trouble entering them imaginatively at times. Funny how some writing dates and some doesn't.
Jennifer Chin
Deeply personal, these are stories that make you ache with their longing - gems include the title story, the Snake, Laughter, Harry and A Cold Day. I also liked The Shepherd's Daughter.
Sinjinn
this one i picked up accidentally while looking for a jd salinger book. turns out this is holden cauldields opposite.

my favourite book of all time, so far
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William Saroyan was an American - Armenian author. The setting of many of his stories and plays was Fresno, California (sometimes under a fictional name), the center of Armenian-American life in California and where he grew up.
Saroyan was born in Fresno, California to Armenian immigrants from Bitlis, Turkey. At the age of three, after his father's death, Saroyan was placed in the orphanage in Oakl...more
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“This sense of being out of time has driven thousands of people from their homes into moving-picture theaters where new universes appear before them, with emphasis on man and his major problem: a thing called, conveniently, love. The Sunday midnight shows do a thriving business, and the people go back to their homes, sick with the sickness of frustration; it is this that makes the city so interesting at night: the people emerging from the theaters, smoking cigarettes and looking desperate, wanting much, the precision, the glory, all the loveliness of life: wanting what is finest and getting nothing. It is saddening to see them, but there is mockery in the heart: one walks among them, laughing at oneself and at them, their midnight staring.” 2 likes
“Ben bir öykücüyüm ve tek bir hikâyem var: insan. Bu basit hikâyeyi, güzel yazma kurallarını, kompozisyon numaralarını bir kenara bırakarak kendimce anlatmak istiyorum. Söyleyecek sözüm var ve Balzac gibi konuşmak arzusunda değilim. Ben sanatçı değilim; medeniyete de gerçekten inanmıyorum. İlerlemeye zerre kadar hevesli değilim. Büyük bir köprü yapıldığında sevinmiyorum, uçaklar Atlantik’i geçince, “Aman ne müthiş!” diye düşünmüyorum. Ulusların kaderiyle ilgilenmiyorum ve tarih beni sıkıyor. Tarihi yazanlar ve onlara inananlar, tarih derken neyi kastediyorlar? Nasıl olmuş da insan denen o mütevazı ve sevimli yaratık tiksindirici belgelerin maksatları doğrultusunda istismar edilmiş? Nasıl olmuş da insanın mahremiyeti yok edilmiş, dindarlık hisleri iğrenç bir cinayet ve yıkım kargaşasıyla birleştirilmiş? Ben ticarete de inanmıyorum. Bütün makineleri hurda yığını olarak görüyorum, hesap makinesini, otomobili, lokomotifi, uçağı ve evet bisikleti de. Yolculuğa, insanın bedenini alıp bir yerlere gitmesine inanmıyorum, şu ana kadar acaba kimse bir yere gitmiş mi merak ediyorum. Siz hiç kendinizi terk ettiniz mi? Zihnin bir insan ömrü boyunca yaptığı yolculuktan daha muazzam ve ilginç bir yolculuk var mı? Sonu ölüm kadar güzel başka bir yolculuk var mı?” 0 likes
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