Same Place, Same Things: Stories
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Same Place, Same Things: Stories

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  201 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Set largely in rural Louisiana, Tim Gautreaux's masterful debut story collection follows men and women whose ordinary lives reach a point of rupture, a moment when convention gives way to crisis and everything changes: A drunken train engineer charges toward disaster, a father borrows and old airplane to chase down his daughter's kidnapper, a young man falls in love with a...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Picador (first published 1996)
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"I'm going to tell you about the last time I went to confession" begins Bobby Simoneaux of Grand Crapaud, Louisiana, former Cajun roustabout turned geriatric care assistant, eager to get something off his chest.

Simoneaux figures in 'Deputy Sid's Gift', the last story in this 1996 collection by Tim Gautreaux, and like most of the tales here, it starts off squarely focused on its subject but hinting at a multitude of potentialities. If there's a confession, might there also be a sin, say an adult...more
Mike R-w
I love reading short stories, except...most contemporary short stories are nihilistic, depressing and pointless. That's a good generalization, huh? Tim Gautreaux, on the other hand, writes meaningful, hopeful, poignant stories, even though they are often about sad and wounded people. Most of these stories are set in Louisiana with its special flavors and textures.
I first encountered Tim Gautreaux's wotk in an anthology of Southern Christmas stories that included "Deputy Sid's Gift," the last story in this collection. It's one of the best modern Christmas tales I've ever read. Not every story in this collection has the redemptive quality I found in "Deputy Sid's Gift," in fact, some are downright sad. But I didn't find one dud story in the whole book. This man can write; he has an ear for the way people talk that rivals [author: John Sayles}', and he writ...more
Patrick McCoy
I have to say that Same Place, Same Things, short stories by Tim Gatreaux, disappointed me. I was initially inspired to pick it up, because I had read a couple of good stories by him in Harper's magazine, one, "Deputy Sid's Gift," of which was included in this collection and was the best story. The stories are mostly about the working class denizens of Louisiana, a terrain that has been chronicled by the likes of Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus before him. I found that he is not up to their level...more
This is the first work I've read by Tim Gautreaux, and I will certainly seek out more. All of these stories are set in Louisiana, most in southern Louisiana, and the setting infuses the prose; it reads like weary poetry, not a word out of place. Mr. Gautreaux addresses themes of emptiness, loss, what it means to be good, the value of hard work well done. There is joy to be found in this book, but not much happiness. Mr. Gautreaux is often compared with Flannery O'Connor - both Southern, both Cat...more
A really good collection of stories set in the part of Louisiana that isn't New Orleans. All but one of the stories are tied in some way to the work that the characters do or don't do for a living. They are unremarkable people who end up in remarkable situations, or at least enjoy talking about other people who've had remarkable things happen to them. Gautreaux immerses the reader in his setting is such a way that proves that he's mastered the "show, don't tell" rule of writing. The characters o...more
Mark Folse
I don't know how I managed to live all these years in South Louisiana and not encounter Tim Gautreaux until now. This book kept me up last night and I know I'm going to have to read it again slowly and savor it. He is a master of the unhappy ending, and his stories hold you waiting for the inevitable but not quite foreseeable, even as you know he's going to nail his most sympathetic characters. A great book, and by the time I finish it I may have to bump this up to five stars.
Jaap Hoogenboezem
The first story I ever read by Tim Gautreaux was 'Welding with children', in one of the The Best American Short Stories (1999 or 2000). I liked it instantly. The slightly strange atmosphere, the unexpected turns, the calm, lazy atmosphere that still creates tension. The collection of stories in Same Place, Same Things is great, and has not disappointed me.
Such a treat to re-discover short stories through this collection. Gritty and real but with a glimmer of hope. When I finished each story, I would ponder for a few minutes, "What was the point of that?" And then it would come to me. They often focus on family members learning to appreciate each other. Especially fitting to read around Thanksgiving.
Enka-Candler Library
A satisfying collection of short stories for fans of Southern fiction and the genre.

Well-written and perfectly paced, the stories in this book are a testament to the craft of short story writing.

Perfect for those interested in the Deep South and moments of heartache and dark humor. Gautreaux doesn't disappoint.

Liz Musgrove
Another gem of a short story collection. Full of Louisiana backwoods charm with a touch of insight, transcendence of the mundane. Excellent storytelling. Favorites: title story, "Died and Gone to Vegas," "Returnings," and "The Courtship of Merlin LeBlanc."
John Parks
Feb 26, 2008 John Parks rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like short stories
Recommended to John by: Liz
Good short stories. I especially liked the one about the train conductor. Sometimes a bit too morbid to believe. Sometimes a bit too outlandish. The characters are strong: lively and distinct.
Liz Anne Flo
Until I read this book I had never appreciated or enjoyed short stories - these stories were wonderful , they didn't leave you hanging. I felt connected to the characters and sated by each story.
Gayle Moroney
Wasn't disappointed. Love his style and down home observations. I could really relate to some of them even though they are very "southern" in tone. Try him, you'll like him.
Gautreaux writes about people and every word rings true. His sense of place and voice shine out in every story.
I love this book.
Maggie Harrison
quiet and haunting. there's a real beautiful one in here about a helicopter landing on a woman's farm...can't stop thinking about it.
Drew Vankrevelen
Gautreaux has a very compelling writing style. This book of short stories grabs you and pulls you in.
A collection of short stories by this excellent author. Each one so full and complete. Just read them.
Often bleak and often beautiful - vaguely reminds me of Stewart O'Nan. Good atmosphere.
Rose Ann
Feb 26, 2008 Rose Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: short-stories
These are short stories by a writer from Louisiana. I enjoyed all of them.
Dixie Meeks
Brilliant characters, simple stories, writing like breathing.
Rex New
The stories get repetitive, but he knows what he's doing.
Great characters, an engaging collection of stories.
Interesting short stories- very well written.
One of my favorite short story collections.
Phil Houtz
Phil Houtz marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
Charlotte Hamrick
Charlotte Hamrick marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2014
Merete Aasen
Merete Aasen marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2014
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