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McSweeney's #29 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #29)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  209 ratings  ·  27 reviews
With our biggest line-up in quite a while – fifteen stories from writers like Yannick Murphy, Roddy Doyle, Ben Greenman, and Peter Orner – McSweeney's 29 offers everything a good book should: there is jungle warfare, there are boomerang factories, there are tragedies and romances and animals it might not have been wise to bring home. There is also art on every damn page, a
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Hardcover, 300 pages
Published December 23rd 2008 by McSweeney's (first published November 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 401)
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Sam Quixote
McSweeney's is always hit or miss but with a publication that puts out a mixed bag of writers with different approaches to writing that's going to be case. McSweeney's 29 is no different. Out of the 14 stories here I enjoyed 7 of them. They're the ones I'll write about briefly.

The book opens with Brian Baise's story "It's Nice When Someone is Excited to Hear From You" about a man who leaves his home town and close friends behind but who comes back after a few years, meets his best friend and re
...more
Sam Quixote
McSweeney's is always hit or miss but with a publication that puts out a mixed bag of writers with different approaches to writing that's going to be case. McSweeney's 29 is no different. Out of the 14 stories here I enjoyed 7 of them. They're the ones I'll write about briefly.

The book opens with Brian Baise's story "It's Nice When Someone is Excited to Hear From You" about a man who leaves his home town and close friends behind but who comes back after a few years, meets his best friend and re
...more
Nate D
Design: Eastern European matchbook covers. Hardbound.

Content: 14 stories. 3 that left a strong (positive) lasting impression. 6 that were decent, and 5 that I was fairly indifferent to.

The 3 standouts were a strange apocalyptic story from Nathaniel Minton, reading more like legend than story, an eerie sketch of misfortune and misplaced blame from Laura Hendrix, and a slight, formalist exercise from Joyce Carol Oates, effective despite its obvious, inevitable destination.

The decent examples in
...more
Joseph
Laura Hendrix's "A Record of Our Debts" is one of the best short stories that I've read that deals with "the other" and the feelings of suspicion that follow - a deceptively simple story with many layers and interpretations (I read it as a post 9/11 reaction).

Sweeney's "Augury" is a nice modern fable to dealing with excess and whims.

Orner's "Kosciuszko" is really good and adds some local Chicago flavor that I just gobbled up, but some of the language at the end seems gratuitious and changes the
...more
Clark
I don't know why this issue of McSweeney's felt so much more solid than usual. The stories were just as hit and miss. Sure, there were gems like "Following a Lifetime of Fabrication...", "The Painting", "The Govindan Ananthanarayanan Academy..." and "A Record of Our Debts", but there were also stories like "History Lesson" and "My Crush on Hilary Duff" that didn't work. Maybe it was the mid-level stuff was a notch higher. Maybe it was that the issue's design seemed even better than normal. Maybe ...more
Gretchen
So far I think this is one of the most compelling collections of short stories I have ever read. I was attracted to the cover art at a Border's store, so I brought it home and read it, and now I am interested in collecting the entire McSweeney's catalog. Beautiful, raw, imaginative works by a variety of talented artists.
Lisa
I feel bad giving this two stars. These always fascinate yet fail. Most stories are pretty great on their own, but once you compile them, the self-absorption and melancholy inherent in the hip-literary-journal short story becomes overwhelming.

I just renewed my subscription.
Matt
I continue to enjoy the Roddy Doyle stories that pop up in issues of McSweeney's considerably more than most of the magazine's other stories -- I think I should seek out writing by him. This issue was decent but not great, though its illustrations are cool old matchbook covers.
annie
favourite stories were without a doubt Laura Hendrix Record of Our Debts and Roddy Doyle's The Painting. Amazing stories. Love this issue.

Read full review on my blog
forgetting the time
Rosemary
Beautifully bound so it is a pleasure to hold book of short stories, all but one by an already published author. Startling, funny, disturbing, but all very good. Have enjoyed two issues of McSweeney's since I began subscribing. Great for a dip into before sleep.
Laura
I really liked the binding and the illustrations in this one, all taken from old Eastern European matchbooks. Some really great stories -- I especially enjoyed Roddy Doyle's "The Painting."
Matte
thank god that McSweeney's started publishing BOOK bound quarterlies instead of the gumbled mess of loose pages or multi-folding books that destroy themselves from shelvewear.
brain
Probably the best issue McSwy's has put out in a year or so. Maybe longer. I'm not sure what else I can tell you here. The stories are great. All of them.
Mackenzie M-B
One of the better McSweeney's I have read. There is a story about a man painting a picture that is worth the whole issue.
Tortla
Gritty and sad, with hollow and occasionally disturbed characters. Basically what I've come to expect from modern fiction.
T. J.
Nice... it is a McSweeney's Quarterly full o' short stories. Some are awesome -- Some Aren't.

There you go.
Hans Gerwitz
Fantastical stories, some of which are nice. The biggest gem is, interestingly, the only one without supernaturalism.
Erik
Not a single stinker... Definitely a nice "return" after being disappointed by #28, the "fable" issue.
Bill
I found 29 a little hard to get through. Not all the way boring, but a little long winded for my taste.
Sam
There's a real banger in this one -- Nathaniel Minton's "The Land of Our Enemies"
Chrissy
Good, bad, boring, and enthralling. I don't remember many of them now though...
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Pipe dream: to be on the McSweeney's magazine layout staff. Sigh.
Michael
The first piece alone is worth the price of this book.
Shana
Jan 05, 2012 Shana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Nathaniel Minton is in this issue--need I say more?
Matt
Tia just bought us a subscription. Thanks baby!
Chess via Email
It's too bad most journals aren't on here.
Caspergt
Caspergt marked it as to-read
Aug 01, 2015
Suzanne LeClair
Suzanne LeClair marked it as to-read
Jul 18, 2015
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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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