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The Collected Stories

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  1,887 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Richard Yates was acclaimed as one of the most powerful, compassionate and accomplished writers of America's post-war generation. Whether addressing the smothered desire of suburban housewives, the white-collar despair of Manhattan office workers or the heartbreak of a single mother with artistic pretensions, Yates ruthlessly examines the hopes and disappointments of ordin ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 3rd 2002 by Picador (first published May 3rd 2001)
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This book kicked my ass. I was reading it while it was cold, and several of the stories use cold as part of the feeling, and I was reading it during some serious emotional turmoil, and much of the book deals with emotional turmoil, but usually subdued, quiet turmoil, boiling beneath the surface and coming out in the stupid little ways it usually does in real life. This guy knew how to capture the embarrassing feelings of futility and shame and hyper self-awareness that I'm scared of and hate fee ...more
Philippe Malzieu
I did not know Richard Yates before finding this book in a bookseller in Provence. This short novels are a true happiness. Mad Men athmosphere with frigid blonde women and neurotic men.
It is perfectly written. For a lover of American literature it is the missing link between Tennessee William and Raymond Carver. A true discovery.
Yates makes my soul weep.
Richard Yates was a man of my Dad's generation, a group of anxious men too young to qualify for the Greatest Generation and too old to be hippies. And damn could he write about that generation. Yates' world is full of rich, humane portraits of whole classes of people I've never met, drunk World War II vets and blue collar Jersey housewives in the '40s and Depression-era New York street kids.

And yet, unlike his contemporary Updike, Yates was never a flashy writer. His turns of phrase aren't espec
Kimberly Faith
I identify so deeply with the writing of Richard Yates and am ashamed to just now read his collected stories. Sure, I've read many of them in anthologies and of course Easter Parade and Revolutionary Road. To read the stories is to admit that Yates drew the bulk of his material from his life experience: World War II, tuberculosis, Hollywood screenwriting, failed marriages, and a dash of current events.

"Oh, Joseph, I'm So Tired" remains one of my favorite stories of all time with it's frustrated
Bojan Gacic
The short comment only regards ''The Uncollected Stories''

Returning to Yates is both pleasure and a privilege. A collection of nine stories, discovered at James Madison University, bears no novelties, but reaffirm why we enjoy the painful exactness of his prose. As the most stifled and hidden American novelist he further establishes himself as a supreme chronicler of human disappointment.
“The Collected Stories of Richard Yates”—A staggering and wonderful story collection about what it means to be human in postwar 1950s suburbia and beyond. The first segment, selections from Yates’s “Eleven Kinds of Loneliness" are the highlights. His stories are cleanly written, without any pretenses, and quite honestly unflinching about the human condition’s desire to be happy; though unhappiness and misery are always going to be in existence. His characters from the “Eleven Kinds of Loneliness ...more
Story: This book brings together stories that were published in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love, as well as several previously unpublished stories. Almost without an exception, each of these stories features one of the following: struggling writers, tuberculosis, the army, siblings, and cheating husbands and wives.

Opinion: I find it hard to say anything meaningful about Yates, because anything I do say will never live up to what this man has written. If you've read Revolutionary Roa
Angela Meyer
*Adapted from a 2010 review on my blog

When a man is fired from his job in the story ‘A Glutton for Punishment’, he realises he has enjoyed the failures in his life. The character in this – like many of the other characters in Richard Yates’ Collected Stories – runs over a conversation in his head, with his wife, before the actual conversation takes place. Reading this book is having a conversation with failure – your own projected shortcomings (gone over in your head
Revisiting this and good gracious and lord have mercy help my day over the fence, man, these stories are full of sentences packing a bevy of emotion and clarity and pulse. Yates had a rhythm. Sad as hell, but he writes like someone that's alive and knows what it sounds like when people actually talk to one another. Check out The B.A.R. Man and pay close attention to the first few paragraphs and what you learn about the man in question. Algren's short stories somehow led me, back in the day, to t ...more
This book contains the collections 'Eleven Kinds of Loneliness' and 'Liars in Love', and also some uncollected stories. The titles of both those collections are impeccably well chosen and accurate. It occurs to me that a technique for writing short fiction might be to think of the title of a collection before thinking of any individual story.

Richard Yates is possibly the best value for money short story writer I have ever come across. There is not a single poor or unengaging story in the book. T
Scott Snyder
i love yates' novels, and taken alone, the stories can be inspiring, but all together, the effect is diminishing. too many similarities, too many stories that feel unsure of themselves.
Richard Yates really does the whole mid century anxiety thing really well. His stories reminded me of John Cheever (to which I found out that Cheever was inspired by Yates- makes sense now) and a little bit of Updike. He obviously writes what he knows- military life, failed communication in relationships, and disconnection in general. I don't think this whole collection really struck me, just certain stories. But those stories are so good they make up for the rest. If you are looking for a joyfu ...more
Richard Yates chronicles the delusions, lost dreams and disappointments of everyday people. The addictive thing about these stories is how he zeroes in on the dreadful details -- the things we want to forget - the sad, sorry moments and chapters of our lives - yet Yates hits them with such dead accurracy he makes you relish the telling of it. There are no happy endings here. I guess the most uplifting thing Yates hopes for his characters is that they will finally wake up and experience something ...more
Only three stars for The Collected Stories of Richard Yates? Really? Really? My reservations regarding the largely arbitrary assignment of stars aside, three stars does seem like an uncommonly harsh review of a book that I really enjoyed, from an author who I really love. But three makes sense, I promise.

Three stars because the quality of the first collection contained in this printing, 1962’s Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, is simply nowhere near the fine work that followed it or the gangbusters Re
Discovered Richard Yates through Richard Russo (Empire Falls- Mohawk- The Risk Pool- etc). I like Russo because he writes about working class people from mostly defunct working class industrial/mill towns. Stuff I can relate to having grown up right next door to Collinsville- a genuine defunct New England industrial town. Russo's stories are mildly dark. They take a close look at ordinary lives- including all the painful struggles people leading those lives go through. Russo and Yates stories bo ...more
Todd Martin
Though not particularly successful as a writer when he was alive, Richard Yates’ work has universally received high praise from critics – including the fact that his novel Revolutionary Road was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. It’s hard to say why his work is not more widely read, but it may have to do with the themes of his stories, which without exception deal with loneliness, disappointment and failure. Those who revel in ‘happy ...more
I love Richard Yates but I found these stories hard to get through. His characters are bleak and reading one right after the other was a bit of a downer. That said, they were different than I thought they would be. Short stories can often be zingers and I didn't find these to be so. It's like he shone a spotlight on someone's life for a brief moment and you know it's going to continue on in the same way after as it did before. He's a fantastic writer, but his dark side really came through in thi ...more
His settings are VA TB wards, dreary publishing offices inhabited by failed novelists, and awful relationships...He's at his best in the small ticks of people trying to live their lives, descriptions of hair and eyes and the way an angry wife turns away from her husband, or vice his worst when you realize that you've just finished 460 pgs of beautifully written, relentlessly sad and mostly unredeemed people...

I'd place him a rung or two below Andre Dubus--they both write realistic sto
some of the uncollected ones are very weak except 'Evening on the Cote d'Azur' and the best one 'A Convalescent Ego'. Otherwise all of those included in the two collections are good or very good (like Doctor Jack-o'-Lantern, The Best of Everything, A Glutton for Punishment or Builders)

Liked most of the stories. Real downers. Was recommended this as a fan of Raymond Carver. Still prefer Carver but was surprised by how much I enjoyed Yates' stories too. They have similarities. Usually about working class people dealing with issues that aren't necessarily resolved throughout the story but rather the characters finding themselves in a situation where they have to learn to live with these unresolved issues.
Neil Griffin
There is not much light in this book. This is about the desperate lonely lives after WW2 whether it's in a TB hospital or a New York suburb or, for a few stories, in France. I wasn't terribly surprised that the About The Author page read like a Yates short story. There was the war service, the TB ward for two years, the hard drinking, the white-collar '50s job, the divorce, etc. He took this hard life and turned it into some of the more poetic and haunting short stories I've read. These are all ...more
Sandra Barron
Yates is up there with Cheever and Updike and Fitzgerald. Adultery, addiction, social dysfunction, hard-life men back from the war. He's got some of the most beautiful lines I've ever read. I stopped about 3/4 into the book feeling I'd had enough for a while. I'll go back and read the rest in a few years. It's so rich, no need to gulp it down anyway. I have never minded the retro feel, it all applies to people today. I highly recommend this book--I mean if you're reading Yates you know what you' ...more
just sarah
Oct 05, 2008 just sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anneke, Sue
Recommended to just sarah by: Brandon Gentry
Fans of Richard Yates, this collection of short stories does not disappoint. Despite common themes throughout, each story is unique and an equally exceptional example of the craft. It is Yates at his best, as high caliber as Revolutionary Road and The Easter Parade I enjoyed every page of this awesome collection.
Magnificently heartbreaking. Some of these stories are just classic Yates.
Dan Vinson
A still-unsung hero of American short fiction. Try "A Wrestler With Sharks."
So, the thing is, short stories don't really do it for me. They are too short to really invest in and I often reach the end and feel like I missed something.
That being said, the 'not super into this' rating is more because of that, I suspect, than Yates' ability, since I think he is fantastic. And as it happened there were one or two short stories in here that I totally loved. But for the most part there were a lot of brief, sad snippets about people not getting what they want or even knowing wh
Gretchen Achilles
These were thoroughly enjoyable. I must admit that Yates writes about what he knows, Greenwich Village in the 40s and 50s, life in 40s and 50s NY suburbs, divorce, TB hospitals and military service. Each of these themes are mixed up in various ways to create the stories in the collection, and can sometimes be repetitive, but I enjoyed each story--they are each wonderful snapshots, glimpses into lives drawn beautifully.
This is an exceptional collection so far (I'm about half way through it), and I have been surprised to find that the stories get better as they progress. I was also surprised that the stories so far, taken from his collection Liars In Love, which was published in the '80's, which was late in his career, are even more powerful than the earlier ones. If you read and liked Revolutionary Road, I highly recommend this collection.
These stories seem very simple--and maybe a little "standard"--but I loved them for those reasons. They were almost always satisfying, even when the "drama" of the story was something as subtle and seemingly mundane as a mean teacher's Christmas gift, or a sad kid writing graffiti on a wall. Most of them are funny too, until they're sad, and loneliness is brought alive here in ways I don't remember seeing before.
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  • The Stories of Richard Bausch
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  • The Collected Stories
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Richard Yates shone bright upon the publication of his first novel, Revolutionary Road, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. It drew unbridled praise and branded Yates an important, new writer. Kurt Vonnegut claimed that Revolutionary Road was The Great Gatsby of his time. William Styron described it as "A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic." Tennessee ...more
More about Richard Yates...
Revolutionary Road The Easter Parade Eleven Kinds of Loneliness Disturbing the Peace Young Hearts Crying

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