Fitting Ends
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Fitting Ends

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Fitting Ends is the first collection of fiction by the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist Among the Missing and now appears in this newly revised edition with two never before collected stories.

Written before Among the Missing and originally published by Northwestern University Press, Fitting Ends features thirteen stories detailing the almost panicked an...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Ballantine Books (first published 1995)
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This is a fine collection of stories by a young writer whose intuitive grasp of life's ambiguities combines with a well-developed storytelling ability to give the reader much to enjoy and ruminate on. Mostly set in a small town in western Nebraska, these stories have youthful protagonists who are often at a loss or are simply lost. Their lives have veered off course, somehow, or gone into a stall, and they're like the recovering young alcoholic in "Going Out," who is sober but bewildered, losing...more
I could only get through a few of these depressing stories. I love Dan Chaon and his other short fiction collection, Among the Missing. This earlier collection is not as effective as his later work.
First off, I just want to say that as a rule I don't like short stories. I'm a fairly quick reader and usually finish an average length (250 page or so) novel in about 48 hours. I find books of short stories annoying and unsatisfactory; every 15-30 minutes we have to start afresh with new characters/plot/etc. I mention this because part of my low rating is simply because this is a book of short stories and I am admitting my bias (I think even a great book of stories would probably only rank a 4...more
Bill Breedlove
This is a collection of "early" fiction by Dan Chaon, the version I have has a different cover and the title is "Fitting Ends and Other Stories" published by Triquarterly Books--an imprint of Northwestern University. These thirteen stories show Mr. Chaon as an already wonderful storyteller, who is coming into his stride as a master of the short story form. Each of these stories is extremely well done, and, as would be expected, the protagonists in many of them are younger folks than in his subse...more
Dan Chaon is so good that after reading his book I feel like I've met many people who I never want to see again.
Feb 25, 2008 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Barmaids; inn-keepers
Recommended to Josh by: Erik Campbell
Shelves: favourites
This is an amazing book of short stories. Chaon's prose has the quality of floating. I really don't know how else to describe it. Only a few feel uneven but the last three stories back such an emotional punch, it's hard to fault earlier parts of the book. "Fitting Ends" is one of the best stories I've read in a long time. I was at Barnes and Noble Saturday, reading it, and when I finished, I almost started crying, right then and there. Erik Campbell told me about this guy, and I'm so glad he did...more
Another great compilation of short stories by Dan Chaon. I was captivated at how the author could describe the angst, pure motion, and tragedy of a young generation in so little words. Many of his characters suffer in silence from broken and fragile relationships. After each story, I wanted to reach out to the character and say: "speak up and say what you need to say!" Although in retrospect, I wonder if speaking up would have made any difference. This is writing at its finest.
Nice collection of stories by Dan Chaon. Not as polished as his latest collection (Among the Missing) but still masterful insights into the human psyche. Commanding style. Chaon never seems to falter where language is concerned. The stories didn't get inside my head like the later collection- but enjoyable non the less. This collection of stories is reminiscent of Yates's short stories. The same sort of direct language and gritty no-nonsense feel.
I was very disappointed in this book; I am a big fan of Dan Chaon and could never find this book at the library, so ordered it online. His other short stories I enjoyed, but these to me were disjointed and ended too abruptly, leaving me thinking "what the heck was that all about and why?". Each story was just an ordinary day for an ordinary person, with no extra drama, no real storylines, etc. Again, disappointed.
Melissa Lee-tammeus
I am not one for short stories, however this book, filled with thought provoking snippets of people's lives, truly held my attention. I wish that each one could have gone on longer. A wonderful writer that sets the stage very quickly and drags you in to care, even against your will, - well, kudos to Chaon on that one. I have every intention of looking for his other works as soon as I push the submit button.
Terri Jacobson
This is a really good collection of short stories. They were written in 1995, so this is the author's earliest work. Many of the stories take place in either Chicago or a small town in Nebraska. The protagonists are often loners, trying to find some meaning in life. The title story is especially good. Chaon has become one of my favorite authors, and you can see sparks of ideas that will mature in his later works.
Chaon wrote those stories a couple years before the ones in Among the Missing. If I had read this book first, I probably would have liked them okay. Unfortunately, I read Among the Missing first, and since he was not as developed a writer for these earlier stories, I couldn't bear to read anything less from Chaon than I knew he was capable of.
Jeanie Zwick
I started out with Chaon's novel, "Await your Reply" and loved it, so I was thrilled to try out some of his short stories. However, I just couldn't get into the stories in this collection...the characters seemed very flat and one-dimensional compared to the ones he featured in his novel. Not what I was expecting.
More excellent short stories about the disappointments and unmet expectations involved in leaving your childhood home and becoming an adult. The portrayals of sibling relationships were particularly strong here. My favorite stories were My Sister's Honeymoon, Going Out, and Transformations.
I liked Await Your Reply, but I think Dan Chaon is really a master at short stories. Yes, they are a bit depressing, but I think that comes from the fact that they are also incredibly compassionate. It is remarkably easy to get sucked into the lives of his characters in just a few pages.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Dan Chaon is so good :-) My favorites are still Await Your Reply and Stay Awake. I still need to finish reading Among the Missing. This edition of Fitting Ends has a nice interview Q&A section that is very illuminating.
Short stories are like bite-size candy, just the right size for quick ingestion, whether traveling or before-bed reading. The best writers, like Dan Chaon, also deliver food for thought as well as entertainment.
Russ Miller
Primarily vignettes of the isolation within the bounds of family. Suffocating familiarity and expectation twisted in with nostalgia as lives grow and change. Very effective writing.
Although I love Chaon, I didn't find this short story collection as good as his other material. Still good depressing characters, but I wasn't as intrigued as with his other works.
This was Chaon's first collection of short stories and it shows. If you haven't read him, I'd recommend picking up "Among the Missing" first.
loved it. one of my favorite contemporary writers. stories stay with you a long time afterward.
Love Chaon's writing and sensibilities, writes short stories more consistently well than most.
As a dedicated Chaon fan, I read it, but it wasn't nearly as good as his other work.
Written by my former teacher, what's not to love?
Ok book -- some of the short stories were good.
Dannielle Kawamoto
One of my favorite books of short stories.
Anything by Dan Chaon is wonderful.
Very good short stories!
Claire Arbogast
Claire Arbogast marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2014
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Dan Chaon is the author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best Ame...more
More about Dan Chaon...
Await Your Reply You Remind Me of Me Among the Missing Stay Awake Big Me

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