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Secrets & Surprises

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  191 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
These fifteen stories by Ann Beattie garnered universal critical acclaim on their first publication, earning Beattie the reputation as the most celebrated new voice in American fiction. Today these stories -- "A Vintage Thunderbird;" "The Lawn Party, " " La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans," to name a few -- seem even more powerful, and are read and studied as classics of t ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 7th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1978)
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Jun 28, 2010 Myfanwy rated it it was amazing
Can't believe I never read this before as she is one of my faves. Though the stories are 30+ years old, they all feel shockingly relevant to today.
Peter Zuppardo
Apr 09, 2012 Peter Zuppardo rated it it was amazing
Probably the most perfect collection of stories I can think of. "Distant Music" should, if you're a decent person, make you cry.
Rita O'Connell
Sep 11, 2016 Rita O'Connell rated it it was ok
The stories are about boring characters. I couldn't really feel any of them. They seem to always be white people with pointless existences.
Oct 17, 2007 J.P. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: literary fiction fans
They say Raymond Carver was the master of the 'minimalist' short story. I love Carver's work---but I believe Beattie gives him a run for his money in regards to the title of "master".

This is classic, in the best sense of the term---and also illustrates why 'minimalist' stories are anything but spare in terms of characterization, plot and theme.
Mar 04, 2008 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
Beattie perfected that flat, New-Yorker style of writing - which can sometimes be an annoying cliche - but her best stories are poignant snapshots of non-communication and crisis, and a number of them are here.
Jan 07, 2014 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
what a great collection of short stories. Beattie's writing is similar to that of Updike's but her characters aren't as petty.
Carrie Schindele Cupples
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Jul 29, 2009
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Christine Pacyk rated it it was amazing
Oct 19, 2010
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Feb 03, 2015
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Jun 06, 2011
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Jul 30, 2007
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Mar 14, 2012 Connie Sandlin rated it did not like it
Boring and pointless. Not really short stories, just depressing vignettes mostly. Blech!
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Ann Beattie (born September 8, 1947) is an American short story writer and novelist. She has received an award for excellence from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a PEN/Bernard Malamud Award for excellence in the short story form. Her work has been compared to that of Alice Adams, J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, and John Updike. She holds an undergraduate degree from Americ ...more
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