Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane” as Want to Read:
A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The book that put Barry Yourgrau on the literary map, A Man Jumps Out of an Airplaneis a circus of surreal, impish beauty, and a headstand of everyday reality.

Ever dreamed of strolling through a Dalí print? Or stepping into a fairy tale? Open A Man Jumps Out of an Airplaneand experience the rush of having reality yanked from underfoot.
This is Barry Yourgrau's debut book, t

Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 12th 1999 by Arcade Publishing (first published November 30th 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Man Jumps Out of an Airplane

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 203)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Oct 10, 2008 Chaz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Short story surreal fantasy fiction fans
This is truly a fun/carnivallike collection of short surreal stories -- between 500 and about 1000 words each. Anyone looking for an escape from reality or a tool to guide your own daydreams will really enjoy this compilation. I kept thinking of these stories as a swim inside a Dali painting, interwoven with Phish soundscapes, Sesame Street ish characters who have Playboy tendencies.

There's some really interesting scenarios; a man goes inside of a cow on a bet -- a guy with a last cigarette on e
A true masterpiece, this collection of flash fiction is like a smorgasbord of rich and exotic desserts, each sweeter and more colorful than the previous.

While absolutely absurdist in content, Mr. Yourgrau gives us a lot to ponder and analyze in this series of dream-like episodes. A true treasure that should be shared and savored.
Surreal short stories. And I mean short. Each one is anywhere from 1-4 pages long. But they go much deeper in their metaphors. A sampling of opening lines from the stories: "A man climbs into a cow on a bet." "It's snowing in the living room." "A man comes home and finds his wife in bed with a squirrel." "On the bus, I meet a guy who says his hobby is jails."

It's poetry and prose, fiction but more than fiction. It's a short, quick, trippy read. Though there's too many stories about naked girls t
I think these short short stories would make good songs. The Beatles could have used them for lyrics. Not sure they work so well as short short stories.

I did love "The Joke:" A mother and son both decide to wear disguises when they meet. And neither can understand why the other is looking so weird. It haunts their relationship forever.

Otherwise, I'd rather read something by Yourgrau that lasts a bit longer & develops into something substantial. This book wreaks of flippancy. Or maybe I'm ju
Nov 17, 2008 Maryka rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fiction
Barry Yourgrau writes down those dreams you forget when the alarm goes off. I love the
spareness of his style--most of these stories are a page to a page-and-a-half long--
and the weirdness of content. After reading a few, you easily slip into a slightly surreal dimension and its logic soon feels quite comfortable. It's the refreshing sorbet between
courses of standard fiction.
While these are all great stories, I think they would have appreciated more if I'd read them in college. Might have also stopped me from writing about 75% of what I wrote. I prefer his collection, The Sadness of Sex.
Dec 21, 2007 Hilary rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like weird things
OMG, SO weird. It's like every weird dream you've ever had written down in detail. People made of snowballs, frogs getting back at you. A fun, light read -- moderately creepy. :)
Kathryn Born
The greatest book of short stories I ever read. I used to study this book, reading it over and over, trying to figure out how to write like that.

Keith Davis
Yourgrau's minimalist stories read like transcribed dreams; like dreams they have their own internal logic while being completely surreal.
These stories remind me of snapshots that might be shared by Bukowski, if Bukowski was still twisted, but less of an asshole.
Emily Detrick
Yourgrau stories are like Jack Handy - only read one or two at a time or they lose their magic.
. hate to trash talk but this is a very lazy book.
Pretty good second book from Yourgrau, like candy.
When he's good he's very very good.
Tamhas marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
Kalina marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2014
L marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2014
Nicky marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2014
Skye Lee
Skye Lee marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2014
Sébastien Simard
Sébastien Simard marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2014
Obie added it
Sep 13, 2014
I Watts
I Watts marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Girl with Brown Fur: Tales and Stories
  • Nice Big American Baby
  • The Assignation
  • One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies
  • The Tormented Mirror
  • Sudden Fiction (Continued): 60 New Short-Short Stories
  • Letters to Wendy's
  • Yesterday I Was Talking to Myself...
  • Divorcer
  • Severance: Stories
  • Pee on Water
  • Oh Baby: Flash Fictions and Prose Poetry
  • Bats Out of Hell
  • Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories
  • Typical: Stories
  • Honeymoon: And Other Stories
  • The Wavering Knife
  • The Collected Fanzines
“I can never remember my dreams, so Barry Yourgrau’s stories are a pretty good substitute"
— David Byrne

Barry Yourgrau is a writer and multimedia performer. His books WEARING DAD'S HEAD and A MAN JUMPS OUT OF AN AIRPLANE are considered classics of short-short fiction. As performer he starred in the indie-film version of his book THE SADNESS OF SEX, has appeared variously on MTV, and workshopped
More about Barry Yourgrau...
The Sadness of Sex Wearing Dad's Head Nastybook Haunted Traveler: An Imaginary Memoir A Man Jumps Out of an Aeroplane & Wearing Dad's Head

Share This Book