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Like Life

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  3,021 ratings  ·  207 reviews
In this brilliant collection of stories Lorrie Moore addresses herself to a contemporary emotional dilemma - the widening gulf between men and women, and the simultaneous yearning for, and fear of closeness.
Paperback, 178 pages
Published 1990 by Faber & Faber
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tao
May 19, 2007 Tao rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Richard Yates, Todd Hasak-Lowy
I like this book.

I have read this book many times. I do not read it that much anymore. A lot of it is annoying to me now but I read it many times before. I read some of the stories maybe 10 times.

I feel like Lorrie Moore worked a lot harder and longer and with more agony in her face while editing than anyone else I have read, for short stories.
Bill  Kerwin
Are you the kind of person who has a sarcastic sense of humor but find yourself surrounded by people who can't seem to get the joke? If so, you might really like this book.

These are bleak, funny stories about lost people, written in a brisk, colloquial prose that sparkles with a wit that never masks the desperation of the characters' disorganized lives. The typical story features an East Coast intellectual woman marooned in the Midwest, using irony to defend herself in an environment impervious
...more
Teresa
A sinopse diz que esta colectânea de contos descreve o abismo emocional entre homens e mulheres e o receio de uma ligação afectiva. Não confirmo nem desminto, pois não consegui ultrapassar o abismo existente entre mim e a escrita de Lorrie Moore.
Comecei todos os contos e só consegui terminar o primeiro. Tenho pena...talvez com "Pássaros da América" seja diferente...
Snotchocheez

Each book I've read of Lorrie Moore's slides me even closer to unconditional love. (okay, not yet reaching for hyperbole like "she can transcribe the Phone Book and I'd read it" but pretty close). From sentence construction that sets off Pavlovian salivation to her ability of taking mundane, random life moments and transforming them into something universally relevant, Ms. Moore's made my "Must Read Anything of Hers" list. Six of the 8 stories of her Like Life were a joy, though because it was s
...more
Emalie Soderback
This book is an inspiration in it’s quiet deliverance of realistic characters. Constructed of eight short stories about the loveliness and heartache in the smallest most trite life experiences, it was compelling and I busted through it nonstop. This created an obsession with reading as many books of hers as I could get ahold of, as is evident in my reading list for 2008; I admire her style so much.

"Moore dances around the edges of broken relationships with a delicacy that expresses both despair,
...more
Paul
Adam Mars-Jones has this to say about LM:

"The dominant influence on American short fiction when Moore started publishing was the stoic minimalism of Raymond Carver, the recovering binger's pledge of: 'One sentence at a time.' She escaped that influence, and was spared the struggle of throwing it off, but its underlying principle of whittling away excess is something her stories badly need. A Lorrie Moore story can sometimes be like a schoolroom full of precocious kids, every sentence raising bot
...more
lyn straine
Lorrie Moore is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I have a big collection of her short stories on order from Amazon, but I was glad to see this smaller, early collection hiding in the library (most places only carry Birds of America). Her writing is so poignant, incisive and witty, with such precise and startling figures of speech--I both love it and hate it at the same time, because I know I'll never achieve what she manages to in prose. Moore's gifts are luminous; that rare person who c ...more
Anne Sanow
I know this is supposed to be everyone's "early"-Moore favorite, but it just isn't mine. The much-anthologized "You're Ugly, Too" is fine--not brilliant, sorry, but perfectly fine--but I find many of the others to have a weird kind of rage or self-hatred or insecurity or something boiling up from within that gives them a sour tone. Moore harnesses all that said rage/self-hatred/insecurity to better effect elsewhere, I think.

Emma Bolden
I am already regretting only giving this collection four stars, and will probably change that soon. I didn't love this as much as Self-Help and Birds of America, but it's a stunning book. I think my main sticking point with it is the title story -- I couldn't really figure out why or how it was set in The Future. Then again, I have very serious ideas about setting a story in The Future -- I feel like The Future needs to be absolutely necessary to the plot. If this story were set in 1988, it woul ...more
Juliet
in "two boys" a strange young woman is seeing two very differant guys at once. it's such a weird story. really dark and sort of funny- here's an excerpt:


"I mean, if I were sleeping with somebody else also, wouldn't that make everyone happy?" She thought again of Boy Number Two, whom too often she denied. When she hung up, she would phone him.

"Happy?" hooted Number One. "More than happy. We're talking delirious." He was the funny one. After they made love, he'd sigh, open his eyes, and say, "Was
...more
Christopher
I have to give this collection three stars because Lorrie Moore's writing is just that good; no matter what her subject matter, at the very least, I always enjoy hearing her voice and encountering her narrative structures. However, it's a somewhat mean-spirited collection. Almost all of the characters are women displaced from the East Coast to the Midwest, who seem not necessarily unable to understand midwestern culture so much as unwilling to even attempt to, and because of this I often find my ...more
Joan Colby
Remarkable early stories by the vaunted Moore. Her ability with language and her aptitude for changing voice according to the narrative's needs are exceptional. The well regarded story "You're Ugly, Too" has a protagonist with a distinctive ironic style that is captivating.
Stephanie Sun
This was my response to Paul Bryant's review of Like Life (which is itself a reposting of Adam Mars-Jones's review of The Collected Stories in The Guardian, which is a collection of all of Moore's stories, not just the ones in Like Life):
Sorry to pick a fight with you on your own thread again, but I think that the reason that some people enjoy Moore's goofball humor is that she's also pretty self-aware about it most of the time. She uses it and has her characters use it as a twitchy defense mec
...more
Lizzie
Pretty sure I borrowed this from Meg over two years ago. Sorry Meg! Thanks Meg!

On the title page is what seems to be a stamp mark from a used book store in Kho Tao, Thailand. There is probably a good story there for Meg to tell in comments.

I'm not the most practiced short story reader, with only medium Lorrie Moore exposure. In high school I got a copy of Birds of America at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago, because I liked the stickers on the cover and because that store always made me f
...more
Ciara
Nov 11, 2008 Ciara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lorrie moore fans, people who are bored & dissatisfied, aspiring short story writers
full disclosure: i really like lorrie moore's books, but i can't always tell one from the other. is this the one that is all in second-person? i don't think so. i think this is some other one. is this even a novel, or is it short stories? i can't remember. she should get her publishing house to spruce up the covers of her books a little more so i can tell them apart. basically, the four stars come from the consistent strength of moore as a writer. you can pick up anything she has written & i ...more
Vincent Scarpa
Really enjoyed revisiting this collection after a few years. "You're Ugly, Too," is still Lorrie Moore at her absolute best. Also continue to love "The Jewish Hunter" and "Starving Again." The title story I still can't quite get my arms around; it's quite bizarre and resists interpretation, I think.
Jamie
Because Stephanie will freak out that the starrage isn't higher: compared to Self-Help, in which pretty much every story made me want to hug the book to my chest and wail about being "gotten" and did interesting, sweet things with the English language, only a couple of the stories in here really stood out. The musical-loving history professor with the chin hair who went to New York to visit her sister was particularly memorable.

Whatever it's still better than like 67% of what was written in the
...more
Leo
Moore is amazing. She's able to weave in and out of the empty gaps of people's lives and put down markers on her pages as stories. Without naming them, she simply points out the little aches that we don't know what to call and taps you on the back and says, "There, there." Sure, it's not a cure, and certainly, awareness doesn't solve anything, and neither does a tap on the back, but it's something and that something should count; if only to show that others, too, have those same nameless gaps an ...more
Vicki Ghilardi
"Nothing's a joke with me. It just all comes out like one."

You know when a dance studio puts on its yearly showcase and you can (if it’s not a particularly serious dance studio that cares whether toes are pointed or legs are fully extended or hands look at all graceful, or whether the art of dance is killed in one afternoon) buy your kid a solo? The showcase goes on for maybe 5 hours because all the little Brittanys and Bellas and Jessicas who resemble chickens trying to escape slaughter when th
...more
Alex Merrett
While collections of this nature are occasionally just dribble trays for completists, this one is rather more compelling in and of itself. With its eight stories focused tightly on the discrepancy between men and women, and what they hopelessly seek from one another, Moore somehow manages to escape tedium. Boil-in-the-bag tales these ain’t; they require a far more poncy term suggestive of infinite and daunting imagination that hasn’t been invented. The open spaces between the pummelling sentence ...more
Thomas Graham Cotten
At some point while reading this book, I began to prefer short stories written by women. I'm still waiting for someone else to come along and set a different tone like that.
Ellen Noonan
Like her other story collections, this one is piercing, sad, funny, and not a single page goes by without an observation or turn of phrase worth reading over again.
Kate
i read this on the train home mainly
the platform is made of wooden planks on some of the parts
i think i only have anagrams to read now maybe
bananagrams
Paul
these short stories date back to the eighties, and give us a glimpse into the recent past. .. as seen my Lorrie Moore. And that's good enough for me. Some are surprisingly funny, think Seinfeld without the snark, but always serious at the core. Moore has a knack for writing about people who don't quite fit in. Readers who think short stories should end in a twist, or at least an epiphany, may be disappointed. Moore's stories usually wind up on a note of wisdom, sometimes so understated you can't ...more
Krista
Love. Love. Love Moore. Her writing is rich and complicated in all the right kind of ways. And her language is fresh and vivid.
Julia
yr usual lorrie moore. ya know, master of dry humor, whip-smart similes, sentences that end wonderfully out of left field. her strengths in this collection definitely showed themselves on a sentence-level and not a story-level, micro rather than macro, but they're so wonderful to read, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, that i didn't really care too much. the only story that really, really knocks it out of the park is "you're ugly, too"; i'd read it twice before and this third time i ...more
Connor O'Brien
i read this book while i was backpacking through europe, the stories are very funny and also very depressing.
Tanveer
This book is making me depressed because I'll never be as good a writer as Lorrie Moore.
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  • Honored Guest
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  • Tell Me a Riddle
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  • The Collected Stories
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  • The Collected Stories
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  • The Safety of Objects
  • In Persuasion Nation
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Lorrie Moore was born in Glens Falls, New York in 1957. She attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she tutored on an Indian reservation, and was editor of the university literary magazine and, at age 19, won Seventeen Magazine’s Fiction Contest. After graduating summa cum laude, she worked in New York for two years before going on to received a Masters in Fine Arts from Cornel ...more
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