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Crash Diet

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  253 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Here, from the remarkable novelist who wrote Ferris Beach, Tending to Virginia, July 7th, and The Cheer Leader, is Jill McCorkle's first book of short fiction. These eleven sparkling, uninhibited stories address her favorite subject: women who take matters into their own hands. McCorkle has yet again produced irrepressibly frank and funny portraits of remarkable characters ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by A Shannon Ravenel Book
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Great Books of Southern Fiction
133rd out of 172 books — 333 voters
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Quirky Southern Fiction
465th out of 593 books — 1,485 voters

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Community Reviews

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Eleven short stores about Southern women who don't wait for events to carry them along in life. Instead, they try to take matters into their own hands and seize opportunities whatever the consequences. The women range in age from high school students to those widowed and retired and each is involved in conflicted and troubled relationships. McCorkle is able to capture the personalities of each woman in such a way that readers are reminded of episodes and emotions in their own lives. While the st ...more
As far as I'm concerned, Jill McCorkle can do no wrong. She is particularly good at writing in the first-person voice of a teenager.
Crash Diet is McCorkle's first collection of stories, originally published in 1992 (she's since published three more, along with five novels). She tells stories of Southern women—some old, some young, some happy, some sad. The situations are relatable without being too generic, the emotions are raw and real, and the voices ooze honesty.

My three favorite stories in this collection—"Gold Mine," "Departures," and "Waiting for Hard Times to End"—I deem absolute perfection. "Gold Mine" tells the stor
Chris Bundrick
A really wonderful collection of short stories by a writer whose sense of the wonder and absurdity of existence leads to a deeply moving series of observations about the value and danger of change. The title story follows its narrator as she plunges into a hysterically suburban depression after her husband leaves her for a younger (and thinner) woman. Over the course of a monumentally impressive bout of crazies, the narrator eventually sheds so much weight that she has to be hospitalized, but th ...more
"Crash Diet" (the first and title story) is brilliantly funny, and "Waiting for Hard Times to End" hits you hard right where it's aiming. The New York Times Book Review called the collection (in apocalyptic prose) an indictment of the "shoddiness of the pleasures" of the world--to which I would say, um well sort of...--still, I agree with them that readers everywhere will pick up the book and cry, 'That's just how it is!' in the best way possible. When a book has me wondering why I keep buying t ...more
Stephanie Holcomb
I quite liked this.

Ms. McCorkle has a very good writing style, and these short stories show you how careful she is in her characterizations (something I abhor in many authors) and how many people she can 'step' into. I will seek out her other books.

One story in particular had a protagonist that reminded me of myself--Maureen in First Union Blues, and the ending of the last story, Carnival Lights, I thought would end differently. So many good stories, just enough to wet your appetite but leave yo
Brenda Jernigan
What wonderful, wonderful characters in fully told stories.
I read this when it was published, but that was a LONG time ago, so I just re-read it for late summer. Eleven stories, eleven distinctive female narrators. You'll pull for all of them. The title story is magnificent, hilarious & hopeful. Give it 20 minutes of your life and you'll want to give Jill McCorkle a lot more. What has she been up to lately?
Short stories by McCorkle who writes wonderful stories.
I really love this little collection. Beautiful writing, and McCorkle tackles some original stuff in these pieces (like the one with the male protagonist who is insecure about never having gone to college.)
Loved it! The author definitely captures the South in both description and voice. Every story's protagonist was quirky, yet still very believable. Will have to check out more of Ms. McCorkle's books.
Jun 30, 2008 sab rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sab by: from my sis, Pamela
Ya know, I liked a few, others not so much, hence my 2 star rating average.
Personal favs from the collection: "Gold Mine" and "Departures."
Martie Nees Record
Short stories on southern women filled with humor and grief. "Waiting for the Hard Times to End" nearly broke my heart.
McCorkle's narrators are lovable Southern women. My favorite stories: "Gold Mine" and "Waiting for the Hard Times to End".
Lisa Gurganus
Great short stories about the lives of southern women. Living in real time through hardships and fun/ great times.
a collection of short stories which did not grab my interest and I did not find the characters believable or compelling
This is a great book of shorts. The title story was a very funny story of revenge. Quick reads.
Vicky Skinner
McCorkle has an amazing way of telling stories. She is funny and creates compelling characters!
My favorite story was the last one, Carnival Lights.
I think we grew up in the same neighborhood.
Sue M
great short stories
So good.
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Five of Jill McCorkle's seven previous books have been named New York Times Notables. Winner of the New England Booksellers Award, the Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature, she has taught writing at the University of North Carolina, Bennington College, Tufts University, and Harvard. She lives near Boston with her husband, their two children, se ...more
More about Jill McCorkle...
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