Sad Stories of the Death of Kings
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Sad Stories of the Death of Kings

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A vivid and unflinching portrait of a fatherless adolescent boy coming of age within the violent humanity of 1960s Chicago.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 19th 2010 by Seven Stories Press (first published October 1st 2010)
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Mar 02, 2011 Malbadeen marked it as on-hold-for-now
Reading this book in an ongoing attempt to understand what it means to be a teenage boy.

pst. Portalnd peeps, Powell's reading this Wednesday (15). Willy will be playing from his super depressing Christmas album also - good times!
William Shakespeare's history play, King Richard the Second, examines the political corruption, betrayal, revenge, and ultimate tragedy surrounding the throne of England. In contrast, Barry Gifford's Sad Stories of the Death of Kings - The title is taken from a monologue towards the end of the aforementioned play - chronicles the childhood of Roy, a boy living in Chicago in the 1940's and 50's , through a series of short stories, ranging from three to six pages. The stories are not told in stric...more
Sad Stories of the Death of Kings is a book of vignettes by Barry Gifford about a boy growing up in Chicago in the 1950's and 60's. I'm sure the boy, Roy is a stand in for the author himself.

I liked the stories very much and I can relate to Roy in many ways as we are roughly the same age. Barry Gifford is a talented writer who has penned some of my favorite stories which became movies: Wild at Heart and Lost Highway(both David Lynch Films).

Gifford is reminiscent of other writes I adore: Nelson A...more
These loosely connected short stories about a young neighborhood street tough (Roy) are strung together in "Sad Stories" to imply a wise guy coming of age. Although Roy seems to be more of a see-er than a do-er the observations are no less interesting. In many ways it reminded me of Scorsese's "Good Fellas" but for teenagers. There are odd characters, crimes, and lessons learned here that sometimes brought me back to my youth. There is a man that claimed to be Einstein's son and a kid whose par...more
The stories were very mild, light, and interesting (?) It was an easy read, insightful, sentimental....but maybe having been down a harder(?) road myself, it was a little too light. Just me,... He has a lot of accolades for his writing, especially dialogue,...meh?
The first time I went to Chicago I was amazed that such a large place could feel so small, so manageable. Most of these stories are set in Chicago, and they're short--just a few pages each--but in that space Gifford creates a landscape that goes for miles.
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Barry Gifford is an American author, poet, and screenwriter known for his distinctive mix of American landscapes and film noir- and Beat Generation-influenced literary madness.

He is described by Patrick Beach as being "like if John Updike had an evil twin that grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and wrote funny..."He is best known for his series of novels about Sailor and Lula, two sex-driven,...more
More about Barry Gifford...
Wild at Heart Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac Perdita Durango Night People The Wild Life of Sailor and Lula

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“The only words worth repeating are from the Old Testament or Oscar Wilde.” 1 likes
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