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Nothing Like an Ocean: Stories

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4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  22 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Jim Tomlinson's previous book of short stories, Things Kept, Things Left Behind, won the prestigious Iowa Short Fiction Award and received enthusiastic reviews. The New York Times compared the strong sense of place in Tomlinson's writing to that found in the works of Flannery O'Connor and Alice Munro. The stories in his new collection, Nothing Like An Ocean, also reflect T ...more
Hardcover, 163 pages
Published March 6th 2009 by University Press of Kentucky (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jim
Jan 12, 2009 Jim added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I love this book, but then I did write it. So maybe I really shouldn't give it stars.

Edited to add cover review by Chris Offutt:

"Jim Tomlinson writes with direct language about people who have lost direction in their lives. He knows the pressures of life in a small community, the love of land, the cost of loyalty to family, and the confines of geography. With a vast scope including wars in Vietnam and Iraq, car dealers and high school teachers, this book never wavers from its profound embrace of
...more
Ruth
Jan 12, 2009 Ruth rated it it was amazing
When I finished this book, I turned it over and read it again. I can’t say that I’ve done that with many books. I can say that I was enthralled by Spivey, Kentucky and its inhabitants. Sometimes we read because we love to revisit the familiar. Sometimes we read to be carried beyond our place in this world. And a short journey to a new place can be as absorbing as a trip around the world.

This all goes to say that I’m a Southern Californian, born and bred, daughter of a college professor, child of
...more
Katrina
Apr 13, 2009 Katrina rated it it was amazing
Jim Tomlinson’s stories in his collection Nothing Like an Ocean and the characters who inhabit them run as deep as the ocean. There’s something endearing about these people struggling to get by, get past, get closer. Tomlinson’s writing is smooth, his worlds easy to enter.

My favorites were the title story; Angel, His Rabbit, and Kyle McKell; Overburden; and A Male Influence in the House. Perhaps they stood out for me because Tomlinson does not shield his readers from the uncomfortable, or the
...more
Justine
May 07, 2009 Justine rated it it was amazing
Jim Tomlinson’s Nothing Like an Ocean is nothing less than brilliant. I read this collection of stories when I had the flu. No medicine that I know of could have made me feel better. It seemed like the author and I knew the same people, though I am sure neither of us has mutual acquaintances. As I read the story of each character, I saw truths revealed about people I know and have known in my life. This book is not filled with flowery description nor is it full of judgmental statements. It is a ...more
Katie Bliss
May 04, 2012 Katie Bliss rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Beautifully written short stories about inhabitants of a small town in Kentucky. Ranged from homosexuals to huffing gas, and everything in between. Some stories were just a pleasure to read, lush descriptions and all, then others left me wondering what the "meaning" was and what such-and-such was symbolic of, like I'd need to write an essay and read into it to figure it out, and that just requires too much from me at this stage in my life.
Barbara
Jan 24, 2009 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Jim Tomlinson is a master of the short story form. He creates little worlds within a few pages, sometimes more completely than other authors do in a novel. He writes from the point of view of the old, the young, male and female and the voice rings true each time.
Sidra
Feb 11, 2010 Sidra rated it liked it
Well written, mostly interesting. Too many religious themes and references for me to thoroughly enjoy. But despite that, I can appreciate that he is a good writer.
Pamela
Jan 14, 2009 Pamela rated it it was amazing
More terrific and versatile stories of families and communities from Jim Tomlinson (following upon the beautiful collection Things Kept, Things Left Behind_.
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Jim Tomlinson grew up in a small northern Illinois town and lived for many years in a small New England town. He lives now in rural Kentucky with his wife, fiber artist Gin Petty. His fiction and poetry have been published in The Pinch, Shenandoah, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere.

Jim's debut short story collection, Things Kept, Things Left Behind, won the 2006 Iowa Short Fiction Award. His
...more
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