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Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fictions from the Flyover
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Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fictions from the Flyover

3.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  17 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Do Midwesterners have a peculiar way of looking at the world? Is there something not quite right about the way they see things? For such a normal place, the heartland has produced some writers who take a most individual approach to storytelling. And the result--to the delight of readers everywhere--has been stories that reveal the mystery, joy, and enchantment in the most ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Indiana University Press (first published 2009)
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Apr 19, 2016 Harris rated it it was ok
This collection of "peculiar fictions from the Flyover" really showcases an interesting variety of short fiction, poetry, and even a few creative non-fiction pieces from writers from the various states that make up the American Midwest (whatever that is!). While most have at least an intriguing idea or style behind them, the sheer number of stories presented (33) tends to make the collection a bit too dense to easily get into, unfortunately. This is particularly the case in the stories that drag ...more
Tim Storm
Aug 05, 2010 Tim Storm rated it it was ok
My personal tastes run toward peculiarity of plot and character rather than story form. Martone's tastes seem to run a little more toward experiments with form. For me, too many of these stories were self-indulgent, too clever, and ultimately not that much fun to read or ponder. There were a few exceptions. I enjoyed Michael Wilkerson's "Luna Moth," George Saunders's "The Red Bow," Kellie Wells's "Secession, XX," Curtis White's "Metaphysics of the Midwest" (until the end), and a few others (by S ...more
Mar 19, 2013 Susanna rated it it was ok
Enjoyed a few of these pieces immensely (Jesse Lee Kercheval, Louise Erdrich, Ander Monson, others), though I already knew most of those authors and appreciate their work -- which might have affected how I was reading their pieces here (e.g with generosity, familiarity). Will admit that several of the pieces in this anthology seemed too self-aware as experimental prose. Trying just a *little* bit too hard. And the truth, too, is that I am a sucker for straight-forward narrative, albeit highly st ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Michelle rated it did not like it
These stories were too overwrought, like the authors gave themselves strange problems to solve. I gave up on it, because I lost interest in most of the storylines. Blech.
Jan 18, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
I read this book recently to do a review of it, and not to give too much away, but I loved it. An eclectic grouping on eclectic fiction.
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Michael A. Martone is a professor at the creative writing program at the University of Alabama, and is the author of several books. His most recent work, titled Michael Martone and originally written as a series of contributor's notes for various publications, is an investigation of form and autobiography.

A former student of John Barth, Martone's work is critically regarded as powerful and funny.
More about Michael Martone...

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