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On the River Styx and ...
Peter Matthiessen
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On the River Styx and Other Stories

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Since the 1950s Peter Matthiessen has written fiction and nonfiction of elemental power and moral vision, including the acclaimed novels At Play in the Fields of the Lord and Far Tortuga and works of naturalism and exploration like the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard.

This stunning collection of short stories, available for the first time in paperback, spans mo
Published by Vintage Books USA (first published 1989)
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Casey Hampton
This collection of Peter Matthiessen's short fiction is presented in chronological order according to publication date. The themes of race relations, the South, and violence loop through and around each short story like an uncoiling snake felt slipping over one's bare ankle. You know its there, you feel lit, you can even see it, but you tell yourself you can't see it because if you see it, you'll never be able to see anything except for that with which we are uncomfortable. But like the snake ra ...more
Ben Thurley
Dec 09, 2013 Ben Thurley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is not to love about Matthiessen's writing? These ten beautiful, provocative (and it must be said fairly bleak and menacing) stories written over about three decades show his development as a writer and are the perfect introduction.

Set largely on the margins in landscapes of raw beauty and terrible power they are also stunning explorations of race relations and social power in the US of decades gone by. In several of the stories lives are literally on the line while in other stories moral
Apr 23, 2014 Jeanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting to read Matthiessen for sometime so picked up his short stories at the library, since it was the only book of his available. The reviews warned of dark depressing themes, which they were, so with the bleak and often disturbing content, this was probably not the best introduction to M. The author's note conveyed the fact that the stories spanned close to forty years of his writing life. Guess I'd better try one of his more popular works before passing judgment.
There are a few authors I return to consistently to marvel at the power of language to evoke a place, a circumstance, or an emotion. Peter Matthiessen is on of them and On the River Styx does not disappoint. The book is a dark and uncomfortable collection of stories depicting race relations in the rural south in decades past. Matthiessen masterfully evokes the strain and tension present as race relations shifted, I found myself squirming in certain moments, and in others, putting the book down f ...more
Apr 26, 2016 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
On the River Styx was published in 1989. The individual stories in this collection were written and published at different intervals over a long span of time (from the 1950s into the 1980s). Anyone who reads these stories can follow Matthiessen's maturation as a writer over time. The centerpiece of this collection is On the River Styx, a masterful story of a fishing trip gone awry.
Apr 25, 2009 Mills rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A vivid read. A rather dark and curious collection of stories aimed at examining human interactions.
Jun 08, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong, clear voice. Almost folk-tales about serious subjects.
Dec 11, 2011 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good stories. For a Yalie.

May 07, 2011 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
a bit morbid stories
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Peter Matthiessen is the author of more than thirty books and the only writer to win the National Book Award for both non-fiction (The Snow Leopard, in two categories, in 1979 and 1980) and fiction (Shadow Country, in 2008). A co-founder of The Paris Review and a world-renowned naturalist, explorer and activist, he died in April 2014.
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