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The Stories of Richard Bausch

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  428 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews

A 2004 PEN/Malamud Award winner, this collection celebrates the work of American artist Richard Bausch -- a writer the New York Times calls "a master of the short story." By turns tender, raw, heartbreaking, and riotously funny, the many voices of this definitive forty-two-story collection (seven of which appear here for the first time) defy expectation, attest to Bausch's

Paperback, 672 pages
Published November 9th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published 2003)
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Ryan Williams
Feb 08, 2013 Ryan Williams rated it really liked it
Fans of Raymond Carver may well enjoy the work of Richard Bausch, who has yet to catch on here in Britain. Some of my favourites include 'Par', 'Riches' (a grimly comic tale about winning the lottery) and the moving 'The Fireman's Wife'.

So far as I know, he is the only American author to take up James Kelman's technique for using a row of three dots to indicate a silence during conversation, and it pays a dividend of hilarity in a story about a phone sex provider and her client.

His novel Peace
Nicole Gadbois
This guy is a great writer, and an interesting man. I had the opportunity to meet him at college. He taught me something valuable about writing. He said that most writers make the mistake of only writing about their experiences. He said it is important to take the feeling of those experiences that have defined your life and write a million stories from those feelings.
Melanie  Hilliard
Jul 08, 2009 Melanie Hilliard rated it it was amazing

I happened upon this book at a used bookstore, not sure why it called out to me, but somehow it did. And boy am I glad. By far one of the best short story collections I have ever read. Truly on par with the likes of John Cheever. The truth is that most people are not heroes, they simply are people.
LaTanya McQueen
Jan 30, 2010 LaTanya McQueen rated it it was amazing
Every writer should read the stories in this collection. I've never read his novels, but Bausch is a master of the short story form.
May 22, 2008 Siri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I enjoyed the stories in this collection, but honestly, I think it is perhaps best to not read through this as one would a novel. This being a library book, I felt obligated to get it read and attempt to return it by the due date. These stories all deal with sad or emotional moments and I felt a little relieved dropping it in the return slot in the library. On to happier stories.
I will definitely read more by Bausch though. Even in the shorter stories he had a way of pulling me in after the fir
Apr 27, 2009 Noah rated it liked it
Bausch can be hit or miss, as this volume amply demonstrates. I'd recommend his two best individual collections, "The Fireman's Wife" and "Rare & Endangered Species," over this one. You'll have fewer weak stories to wade through.
Dec 04, 2014 Neyly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short stories

Richard Bausch - "whom the Washington Post Book World calls 'a virtuoso of language and literary grace'" - deserves this 5-star rating ... even though not one happy relationship can be found in any of the short stories. (I mean, really, not one. Come on.)

Some of the stories though ... I can't put into words how good I find them. The O'Henry Award-winning "What Feels Like the World" renders my 5-star rating so inadequate.

Other favorites:
"The Man Who Knew Belle Starr"
"Old Wes
May 29, 2012 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories hold up because of an underlying generosity of the creator. I didn't read every story, but found some interesting favorites. Unfortunately, the most publicized includes a wedding cake placed in the middle of a road and anyone who has built or delivered a wedding cake would know it would have to be an unrecognizable clump of cake and frosting after the series of adventures it would surely not survive. but other than that, the characterization of Tandolfo is convincing. After all, he i ...more
Jan 07, 2008 scott added it
The stories collected here were written over some twenty years, and so reading them together made for a fun comparison. Some of the stories are riskier than others, and some of the stories are more straight- forward ("Someone to Watch Over Me" at one end and "The Fireman's Wife" at the other). With one exception, all of them are ambitous and beautifully made ("Old West" didn't work for me, but 43/44 stories is pretty impressive)
Jun 27, 2008 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers
Recommended to Jeremy by: Dick Bausch
This guy is a great writer. He's like a gentile Roth, in a sense. Moderately and accessibly American, in a way that other excellent writers (Barry Hannah, Brady Udall...) are not, because of their particularized intensity (not because Bausch lacks intensity--he doesn't at all, or because these others are not beautiful).

Bausch is a "southern" writer who writes about the rest of us too.
May 09, 2009 Will marked it as to-read
Shelves: short-story
I've read Richard Bausch's "Valor" elsewhere, and this seems like something I'd enjoy. I noticed he had a penchant for being able to communicate the difficulty in communicating. That is, um, a hard road to hoe.
Jul 09, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was ok
I didn't actually finish this book of short stories. Each story was very well-written and I wanted all of them to be novels instead. Somewhere along the way I lost interest. Maybe it was during the move? I've never been a big fan of short stories.
Nov 14, 2008 Lucia rated it really liked it
Wonderful stories. RB can make resignation seem like a noble and positive thing. When so much art is about expansive limitlessness, it's nice to read something artful, but grounded within the mundane and everyday-ness of real life.
Cody VC
Jul 10, 2011 Cody VC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cody by: Mom
Closer to 3.5; quite good. His style didn't completely work for me, unfortunately, though I could tell he is a very fine writer. The stories I found most effective were 'Glass Meadow', 'Someone to Watch Over Me', 'What Feels Like the World', 'Old West' and assorted others.
Donna Stein
Jun 16, 2014 Donna Stein rated it it was amazing
A master of story-telling.
Oct 29, 2008 Ms. is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A very gifted short story writer...more to come after I finish!
Sandra Novack
Jun 20, 2007 Sandra Novack rated it it was amazing
Raymond Carver reincarnated. Great dialogue that advances plot and deepens character. Good pacing.
Jan 08, 2014 McNatty rated it really liked it
these stories are about people and relationships, not really what I generally go for but they were deeply moving..almost upsetting at times
May 09, 2008 Drew rated it really liked it
"Immediately upon finishing the collection, Drew found himself wondering why he left all of his Raymond Carver in America. Then he remembered."
Apr 12, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
I really love his writing. Most of these stories will really stay with you.
Josh Ang
Jan 27, 2011 Josh Ang rated it it was amazing
Best collection of short stories I've read in the past 2 years...
Sea Stachura
Dec 02, 2007 Sea Stachura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of my favorites: "Someone to Watch Over Me" "Nobody in Hollywood""what Feels Like the World" "1-900"
Ronald Wise
Jun 16, 2013 Ronald Wise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of 42 stories – all of which I enjoyed to some extent, and a handful of which were so emotionally engaging that I was almost afraid to read on at times. Those with most impact were “Weight”, “Old West” and “Guatemala”.

Short fiction is not my favorite format and I often find myself disappointed with how many short-story writers deal with its limitations. After reading four or five from this collection, however, I was soon puzzling over how Bausch’s skill at drawing me into situations
Feb 27, 2016 G rated it really liked it
For those of you raptly following my reading lists of the past several months (and I say that in full knowledge that no one is actually paying any attention to any of this) you might say to yourself, “Self, he’s certainly on a short story collection tear right now,” and you’d be right. Lydia Davis, Alice Munro, Luchia Berlin, Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus are in the rearview mirror and Richard Yates, more Munro and Chekov (what…seriously?) are on the horizon.

This collection by Mr. Richard Bausc
Denise Mullins
Aug 04, 2016 Denise Mullins rated it really liked it
What a pleasure to find an author who knows how to masterfully craft and develop a short story! Bausch's characters typically try to maintain intense emotions that are screaming to be aired and the resulting tension makes for some pretty compelling reading. I also found it particularly interesting to see how he developed certain characters over several stories; their maturity and changing attitudes with the passage of time offered a poignant perspective of how we often become that which we most ...more
LouAnne Johnson
Nov 12, 2016 LouAnne Johnson rated it it was amazing
Bausch is an intelligent writer with a plethora of plots and characters. He is a master of the craft as well as a good storyteller. Too many times, writers are good at plot and not so good at developing characters. Bausch does both. One of my favorites. As soon as you start reading, you realize you are in the hands of a pro -- or rather, you have the work of a pro in your hands.
Apr 24, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Although the book is hefty, it is worth the effort. RB captures the vulnerability, humor, and autonomy of experience we humans face. The stories reminded me of Raymond Carver in their insight but are not as bleak. I plan to read more by the author.
Jan 31, 2017 Nicole added it
Shelves: english-ba, crwr200
(only read 'Aren't You Happy For Me?' and it probably heightened my caffeine-induced anxiety cos Bausch is so good at building tension through dialogue)
Jul 25, 2016 Heather rated it liked it
My favorite story from this collection was "What Feels Like The World".
Mar 14, 2008 Amity rated it really liked it
i give this a 4 entirely for the story "letter to the lady of the house".
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An acknowledged master of the short story form, Richard Bausch's work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, The New Yorker, Narrative, Gentleman's Quarterly. Playboy, The Southern Review, New Stories From the South, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize Stories; and they have been widely anthologized, including The Granta Book of the Ame ...more
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