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I Would Have Saved Them If I Could
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I Would Have Saved Them If I Could

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Paperback, 200 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 1975)
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There's a whole lot of five star stories here, and there are some that aren't so good, or maybe I'm just not getting them. There are some pretty brutal stories, and that's a good thing.
'Los habría salvado si hubiera podido’ fue el segundo recopilatorio de cuentos de Leonard Michaels y es muy parecido al primero (‘De aquí para allá’). Estos cuentos siguen siendo cuentos que uno tiene que masticar mucho, con paciencia y constancia, y ni aún así está asegurado que uno llegue a digerirlos bien. Son difíciles, herméticos, y muchas veces sin línea argumental, pero Michaels escribe tan bien que te hipnotiza, no importa que no acabes de saber qué cuenta la historia, porque entiendes p...more
8 Nov 2010: Really good. Definitely a product of its time, but Michaels is a really good sentence writer, and I enjoyed the humor. Sometimes I laugh out loud. Sometimes not-out-loud. This was really good.

21 Aug 2013: I started (re)reading this directly after Going Places, and it was a little too much Michaels. Put it down for a few months and came back to it. This is one author who actually can/should be described as "a force." Sometimes the structural whatever or the verbal fireworks get in the...more
Jun 23, 2007 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: murderers
Go to hell. Every day I open my door and there you are, looking guilty and itchy and squirmy. How am I supposed to be an effective egotist if YOU'RE the audience? I feel too implicated. Bother someone ugly instead.
May 07, 2010 Llopin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Challenging stories from Mr. Michaels. Reading this bunch of tales, I get the impression he was an alienated, sad man. Not exempt of humour, since many of the fictions displayed here are heavy on irony, but they're mostly dark fragments of sixties NY life. Some are more satisfactory than others: the opening "Murderers" and the closing "The Captain" are exemplary works. What lies between is more dubious and confusing, and it's evident Michaels did not succeed in some of his goals. "Hello Jack", f...more
I have the big Collected Stories book but I like the idea of reading the smaller collections one at a time. Even though I've read four of his other books, this is the first story collection I've read of his. I liked how the incisive character sketching and clipped, almost jumpy, narration style of his short nonfiction and journal writings is also present in a bunch of these stories. There were a couple of stories where Lenny seems to get too excited about academic posturing (a quoted letter from...more
Rachel Belloma
This is hard to track down but such a worthwhile read. He does a lot of what Philip Roth does but in a more meaningful, evocative way. "In The Fifties", "Murderers" and "Hello, Jack" are especially amazing.
Short stories from the 1970s. These have a slight Jewish bent, and plenty of dark humor, but nothing that I could get that excited about.
Derick Dupre
"touch these good things, i thought. let sublimation steel you. touch. let lech. love any hole that feels."
Leonard Michaels has always been one of my favorite writers and this book is one of his best.
Possibly the best collection of short stories I have read.
Oct 25, 2009 Ursula marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm in love with books written in the '70s.
Amanda Winfree
Beautiful collection of short stories
Jojo Li
brilliant short story writer.
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Leonard Michaels was an American writer of short stories, novels, and essays and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.

Going Places, his first book of short stories, made his reputation as one of the most brilliant of that era's fiction writers; the stories are urban, funny, and written in a private, hectic diction that gives them a remarkable edge. The follow-up, coming...more
More about Leonard Michaels...
The Collected Stories Sylvia The Men's Club Going Places The Essays of Leonard Michaels

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“Something Evil

I said, "Ikstein stands outside the door for a long time before he knocks. Did you suspect that? Did you suspect that he stands there listening to what we say before he knocks?" She said, "Did you know you're crazy?" I said, "I'm not crazy. The expression on his face, when I open the door, is giddy and squirmy. As if he'd been doing something evil, like listening outside our door before he knocked." She said, "That's Ikstein's expression. Why do you invite him here? Leave the door open. He won't be able to listen to us. You won't make yourself crazy imagining it." I said, "Brilliant, but he isn't due for an hour and I won't sit here with the door open." She said, "I hate to listen to you talk this way. I won't be involved in your lunatic friendships." She opened the door. Ikstein stood there, giddy and squirmy.”

I began two hundred hours of continuous reading in the twelve hours that remained before examinations. Melvin Bloom my roommate flipped the pages of his textbook in a sweet continuous trance. Reviewing the term's work was his pleasure. He went to sleep early. While he slept I bent into the night reading eating Benzedrine smoking cigarettes. Shrieking dwarfs charged across my notes. Crabs asked me questions. Melvin flipped a page blinked flipped another. He effected the same flipping and blinking with no textbook during examinations. For every question answers marched down his optical nerve neck arm and out onto his paper where they stopped in impeccable parade. I'd look at my paper oily scratched by ratlike misery and I'd think of Melvin Bloom. I would think Oh God what is going to happen to me.”
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