The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, ... Else in the World Since 1953
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The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, ... Else in the World Since 1953

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  37 reviews
For a half-century, The Paris Review has published writing and interviews from the world's most brilliant authors. To commemorate the anniversary, a breathtakingly diverse and illuminating anthology has been assembled. The greatest writers here write and speak upon the greatest subjects of our time:*Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver on "Heartbreak"*Vladimir Nabokov on SEX*Ku...more
Kindle Edition, 932 pages
Published 2010 by Picador (first published May 3rd 2003)
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Suzanne
This is a huge book, and I picked around in it, not reading every story and not reading much of any of the poems or essays. However, the stories I stuck with and read included a few real standouts. I think I've figured out the kind of story the Paris Review likes, and it can be summed up pretty well in one word---confusing. They don't like straightforward writing, although that's not to say the stories all are written in flowery or sophisticated language. But they all make you think---they all h...more
Shoshanna
This made me excited about fiction again after being turned off of it for awhile. Such a good collection. Everything is different but you get a lot of recurring themes: tongue-in-cheek humor, obsession, intellectuals pondering intellectualism (but not in a revolting way). It's nice because you can offhandedly pick it up and read a few pages when you're passing time, yet still get something substantial. Low commitment, high payoff. I got this years ago, read some stories, got excited, forgot abou...more
Grant Reynolds
Now this is an anthology! Weighing in at 890 pages it included stories from absolute legends in the literary world covering all the topics listed in the insanely long title. I've been reading this off and on since the beginning of September as I was mixing it in between other things. I started to write my favorite stories but there were way too many of them and I started to bore myself. So what I'll say instead is that literally every piece is fantastic, some I didn't connect with as much as oth...more
Dustin
Some of the essays are perfect. Some of the fiction is wonderful. But there is an excess of interviews passed off as writers' opinions of Love!, Sex!, Death!, etc., when really it's just Nabokov talking about Humbert being misunderstood in an uninteresting way, or, on Drinking!, Faulkner says his tools for writng are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky. That's the interview. It's like the last episode of Seinfeld. I love Seinfeld more than I care for seventy percent of my family members, b...more
Rachel
I just read the excerpts from interviews, so far. Do you think maybe the standard interview formats and conventions might contribute to the pretentious holding-forth tone found in most "conversations" reported in the Paris Review? Otherwise, there's just no excuse. I think it was worse back in the day, though. Or maybe writers have become more sufferable. Or maybe they read interviews and realized they had to pretend to be sweeter?
Eric
If not quite the indispensable tome it claims to be, this is an amazing compilation of literature and writerly insights. Not surprisingly, the Death section received the most dogeared pages, but other highlights include David Foster Wallace's "Little Expressionless Animals," Nicholas Christopher's "Terminus," and Borges' "Funes the Memorious." Great for a long trip, preferably to Paris, I'd guess.
Sarah
Its a collection, and shouldn't expect it all to be terrific - but the Phillip Roth piece was great, and the very first story really moved me.
I just find it hard to push myself through a collection like this - it was library book so I was on a deadline. WOuld have preferred to spend more time thinking and re-reading that just trying to get through it.
Carol
This is great stuff, especially for someone with insomnia. But you might want to avoid the Heartbreak genre of stories if you are already having trouble sleeping. This is a great compendium featuring all the contemporary greats. Included are David Foster Wallace on love, Denis Johnson on intoxication,Larry Brown on God, and Jeffery Eugenides on death.
Aleatha
Amazing. This was a huge anthology so of course some of the stories had completely different tones, lengths etc but I loved them all. Well the majority of them. For me, this book is more of a reference tome, or something to keep by my bed to refer to when I need it.
P.S. I feel in love with Lorrie Moore
Jaime Leah
it seems like i've been reading this book forever, which makes sense because it spans so many topics and is like, a million pages long. but i'm not devouring. more like savoring. i read one or two stories/chapters/essays/poems per night - just enough to get me thinking but then lull me to the other world.
Wednesday Green
Lot of wonderful avant-garde shit here. I like the mix of genres, the topic is varied - just a jumble of wonderful. It can be tedious though so many ideas popping at you. I had to read the whole thing through, pick and I choose I say. A good book to own, probably pick up a copy again sometime.
Ken
I've used this collection as the central textbook for many of the creative writing / fiction classes I've taught. So many good examples of clear and focused storytelling, right alongside some of the strangest and most compelling oddball stories one could ask for. Essential and challenging.
Chris
The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953 by The Paris Review (2003)
Maria C
Loved it, great collection of even greater authors. This book made me fall in love with fiction again. I don't have a lot of spare time, so its really convenient cause you can actually take a few minutes before bedtime a read several stories.
bbbbbbrr
How could you go wrong with a title like that?A large collection of short fiction and poetry selected from 50 years of the Paris eview magazine. Lots of great writers, plenty of good fiction. Found several new writers I'd like to read more of.
Holly Interlandi
I haven't even gotten through all the stories and this is already a five-star collection. Despite a few weak entries (the Raymand Carver story is curiously cold), the majority of the selections are downright BIZARRE in a fabulously witty way.
Melissa
Heartbreakingly wonderful. It is the book I return to again and again to remind me of the Art of writing. The stories move me, take my breath away and remind me that I am not alone.
Sarah Romero
So many great authors! I'm reading "Careful" by Raymond Carver. I loved "The Swimmer" and can already see myself loving this one, too.
Alwa
I almost feel like you can't even really rate anthologies...but I liked this one less than I thought I would, so a 3 it is.
Laura
Very slowly getting through this book - entertaining, but definitely more like the b-sides to popular authors.
Emily H.
These are short stories categorized by theme. The short stories are really good. The poems don't grab me as much.
m raye
"You cannot let your parents anywhere near your real humiliations."- Spaceships Have Landed by Alice Munro
Kevin Gallan
Had a great time reading this. Many different stories and some of the best authors in the world
Elise
I'm not going to lie, I didn't read most of the poetry, or the Paul Auster story.
Cameron
This is amazing. Interviews are genius, among my favorite is one with Nabokov
Jenny
Fabulous collection of stories, author interviews, poems, and essays
Renee
Notes scribbled in my book journal from December 2004 - "FABULOUS"!
Liane dilla
Very interesting, loved all the varies subjects. Delightful :)
Janice
oh my gosh, where is my copy of this book??? it's SO GREAT!
Andy
Margaret Atwood take on writing on sex was amazing.
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Founded in Paris by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton in 1953, The Paris Review began with a simple editorial mission: “Dear reader,” William Styron wrote in a letter in the inaugural issue, “The Paris Review hopes to emphasize creative work—fiction and poetry—not to the exclusion of criticism, but with the aim in mind of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it...more
More about The Paris Review...
The Paris Review Interviews, I The Paris Review Interviews, II Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story The Paris Review Interviews, III The Paris Review Interviews, IV

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