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The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  581 Ratings  ·  40 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, 272 pages
Published October 17th 1997 by New Directions (first published 1934)
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Jan 09, 2010 Ned rated it it was amazing
it has been some time since i have read a voice with such clarity of character. saroyan is my new best friend.
May 09, 2009 Núria rated it really liked it
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
Apr 10, 2007 Sarovar rated it it was amazing
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
Sam Mills
Nov 04, 2010 Sam Mills rated it really liked it
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
Jan 26, 2016 julieta rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-americans
Saroyan reminds me of some great writers like John Fante, or J.D Salinger, maybe because of his view of the world. His thoughts on love, peace, war, humanity, politics, are a celebration of the human spirit. He has humor, sadness, compassion, and he's sassy too.
Oct 01, 2007 El rated it liked it
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
May 22, 2016 Travelin rated it liked it
I find the stories simultaneously too tidy (e.g. true) or too depressing, but I admire the breakfast-length story formats. Extra star for the 5 star title story, but then, I didn't read them all...
Jan 05, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing
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.
Divya Kesaraju
Nov 17, 2015 Divya Kesaraju rated it it was amazing
Saroyan is known for his free style writing. All of his works are very autobiographical. Very raw,unpolished and ungroomed are his writings. There is an intricate prose. There is comedy. I never expected comedy from some one who see’s life so tragically. These short stories are to be read alone and out loud. I often felt that someone was talking to me.His tone is amazing. Very innocent. Saroyan has a command on the craft of writing that seems lost in today's works. Short and a sweet read. This b ...more
Dec 30, 2008 Wagnerisraelcilioiii rated it it was amazing
all time favorite collection of short stories
Schuyler Porter
Oct 04, 2009 Schuyler Porter rated it it was amazing
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
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,
Anna Prejanò
Aug 09, 2012 Anna Prejanò rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelly McCubbin
Dec 19, 2015 Kelly McCubbin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
"I am out here in the far West, in San Francisco, in a small room on Carl Street, writing a letter to common people, telling them in simple language what they already know."
For a while I thought of "Five Star" books as the ones that must simply be perfect, but then you have to have room for writers like William Saroyan. Loud, brash, sometimes messy, 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 unf
Oct 18, 2014 Terry rated it really liked it
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....
Mar 21, 2014 Alexis rated it it was amazing
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!
Apr 24, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: explosions
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.
Rob Lloyd
May 14, 2014 Rob Lloyd rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 02, 2012 InYourFaceNewYorker rated it liked it
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
Felonious Punk
Oct 13, 2014 Felonious Punk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe the best book of fiction I've ever read! It bleeds with emotion and desire to strike a chord of compassion. And all the while it's funny! It's Salinger before Salinger. Kerouac before Kerouac. I mean it! When you read this, chances are you will understand that those voices you read in Salinger and Kerouac didn't just materialize out of thin air, they came from this genius with a type-writer.

It's a book of short stories, but they all feel like the same 1st-person character narrating similar
Sep 26, 2008 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 11, 2007 Ashley rated it it was amazing
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...
Mar 20, 2013 Elle rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
Dec 31, 2008 Troy Soos rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
Jan 08, 2009 Mary rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 26, 2008 Terence rated it really liked it
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
Feb 29, 2008 Kip Williams rated it it was amazing
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
May 12, 2013 Jordan Kramer rated it liked it
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."
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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 about William Saroyan...

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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.” 4 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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