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Letting Loose the Hounds: Stories

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  475 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews

“Funny, unpredictable, and abounding with strange beauty . . .
a fierce new voice of the American West.”—Outside

Exploding with an unsettling exuberance, Brady Udall’s stories traverse a geography of lost love, fragmented lives, and satisfying revenge. From the night a six-foot-three Apache Indian holding a goat steps into a moonlit Arizona backyard in "Midnight Raid" to the
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published (first published 1997)
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Jul 02, 2016 Dorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantabulous
This is one of my favorite authors, and this set of short stories is one more reason to love this guy. I esp loved the title story, "Letting Loose The Hounds". In a dry but funny way, he captures the essence of the spirit of his characters, and his stories always have somewhat of a surprise ending. Quirky, sarcastic, real and unforgettable.......
Nov 23, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of short stories. I find that the effort required to “get into” the story often doesn’t bear enough fruit by the time the story ends (usually unsatisfyingly, often even abruptly). Udall’s short stories, on the other hand, are a lot like his novels: they make the reader WANT to slow down, enjoy the writing, and just get lost in the story and, as such, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a short one or a long one—the reader will enjoy every page anyway. ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letting Loose the Hounds is my first encounter with Brady Udall's work. His name kept popping up in here and there, and I read somewhere that Benjamin Percy really liked his work, this collection in particular, so I decided to check him out.

This collection came out in 1997, and it reads to me like a young man's collection, and I mean that as a compliment. There's a certain energy to these stories that comes through not only in the prose but in the stories themselves.

Of the 11 stories in the col
Apr 06, 2016 Judith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Brady Udall's work. I've read his books in backwards order, so have come to his first work, this short story collection, last. But it just confirms what I've already known - Udall is a fantastic writer who is deserving of a far wider audience. His writing is a joy to read. It's funny, sad, moving, quirky and a whole load of other things. If you've not read any of his stuff, what are you waiting for?! Go on, you won't regret it!
Apr 06, 2008 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
The title story is a killer. I like the way it starts without saying exactly what situation the character is in or how he came to be that way. I also like that he can't talk, which creates a lot of tension in the story. "Snake" is good also, perhaps a bit too pat, because everything is telegraphed, although it does deliver the payoff. "Midnight Raid" is another powerful story full of surprising details and a great ending. Although beautifully written—in that prize-winning kind of way—I ultimatel ...more
This is a book of many short stories. Udall has a funny sense of humor in his stories and I sometimes wanted to laugh out loud at the ridiculous situations his characters get into, but there's also very tragic things that happen and sometimes shocking events that go on in the stories. Sometimes they never reach any kind of resolution and it bothered me some. A few are also a little too depressing. But what I found was the most interesting about his stories was the way he would address everything ...more
Up front, I have to confess that I am not a fan of short stories. However, I am a fan of Brady Udall. His writing is captivating. His characters are so well developed, I feel as though I know them. If you live in Arizona, or have visited & love the state - you MUST read his books.
My only complaint is he has not written any new books in a long time!
Suzanne Cooper
Feb 23, 2015 Suzanne Cooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I usually am not a fan of short stories--but this collection is very good! His humor makes me giggle! And his sketches of interesting characters are heart-warming & insightful! I AM a big fan of this writer!
Jul 04, 2016 Shelby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Udall writes about simple people in not so simple circumstances. Overall, an enthralling read, but only 3 stars because some of the endings to these stories were letdowns. I am definitely interested in reading more of his work though.
Dec 15, 2011 Natasja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, 2011
Elf geweldige kortverhalen met volwaardige personages die gerust - elk op zich - een hele roman hadden kunnen vullen . Udall maakt enorm goed gebruik van zijn woorden en zinnen, alles draagt bij tot het definiëren van de karakters en de setting. Ik heb het boek gelezen in vertaling en die was ook zéér goed, zo wordt He becomes deeply and famously drunk bijvoorbeeld vertaald als Zwaar en roemrucht dronken worden, wat ik eigenlijk nog beter vind. De titels zijn trouwens altijd ongelooflijk raak ge ...more
Patty Busch
Jul 01, 2016 Patty Busch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the more enjoyable books I've read in a long time. I loved Edgar Mint and didn't remember it was also written by Brady Udall until after I'd finished this collection. Funny, impactful and poignant book of short stories.
James Biser
Feb 25, 2015 James Biser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this read.
Michaelclearwater Clearwater
Yick. Flat, predictable writing. This is what people complain about when the they complain about MFAs... which is a funny sentence, I think. There was one nice story about an armadillo, but I knew about that story before I read the rest of this. What I want to know is why there is such insistence in so many books on this voice that identical as it runs rampant from author to author. I blame Carver. But I also blame Cheever because he should be more popular, more widely read. That's what I think.
Kerry Kenney
I like the author, Brady Udall. I attended a reading when he was promoting "the Lonely Polygamist" at Changing Hands bookstore in Phoenix.

This particular collection of short stories gave me an idea of his humor and his taste (western setting, modern). I plan to read every book he writes, this was enough to convince me to read his other books. I am only rating it as "I liked it" because it was a fine collection but certainly not one of my favorite reads of all time.
Jun 15, 2014 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful imagery and feelings evoked with a sparseness of words.
Jan 18, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very engrossing stories. Several have exciting plots, but not all; some stories are more about giving voice to a character and seeing that character's world through a more mundane episode, which is just as engrossing. Though most of these stories take place in the American southwest, each has a distinct setting and narrator that keep the book fresh throughout. Brady Udall is a masterful writer of heartfelt stories. I highly recommend this book.
Tim Storm
Jan 27, 2010 Tim Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny stories with somewhat pathetic, down-on-their-luck characters who find themselves in some bizarre situations, like the first story Midnight Raid, which is about a drunk guy sneaking through a wealthy suburb to find his son, who lives with the ex-wife and her new husband, so that he can deliver a goat. Udall is a master at the emotional climax, and his stories usually end with some genuine redemption and hope.
Aug 02, 2007 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic short story collection. Every story is amazing, but I think my favorite is "The Wig." It's what's commonly referred to in the literary world as a short-short. It's about a page and a half long. And it amazes me every time how much emotion can be put into that little page and a half. Really great collection--and this coming from a gal who gets irritated by short stories simply because they're so short!
Apr 20, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Corinne, Lindsay, Tavi
TBD. The first story scared me, because a goat was harmed in the making of it in a particularly subliminally ghastly way--our narrator failed to feed it and it was picked apart by vultures.

I'm not sure if I can make it through Brady's desensitized use of animals as props in his er exploration of the male psyche etc and so on. The story is good, though.
Simon A. Smith
Jul 12, 2007 Simon A. Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Iowa Fans
Shelves: short-fiction
Read Udall's great story "Buckeye the Elder" in an Iowa Workshop Reader first and then picked up this nice little collection. He's also been on the wonderful "This American Life" radio program a few times. He's a very intoxicating reader and from what I understand, an accomplished teacher. His style comes across as effortless.
Ok so I can't say I actually read this whole book. But it is a book of short stories and I did read some of them, but I can't claim to be reading it either. It has been a few months since I picked it up. But, I bet I pick it up again and read a few more stories as time goes on. The stories are pretty darn good.
May 16, 2010 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice collection of 11 short stories. Some of the stories are funny, some dark, some touching. But every one of them rings of real situations, real characters and real life. I can't wait to read The Lonely Polygamist. Mary, thanks for the suggestion and for some of the stories behind these stories.
Oct 20, 2014 Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some great short stories in this collection. Very original and well written. The stories - especially Vernon, Snake, and Ballad of the Ball and Chain - were well worth reading with tragedy and laugh out loud moments. Only one - Buckeye the Elder - was a miss.
the prose is like water, going from rapids to gentle pools.Emotions come afloat and you lose control. Udall set a standard well above a world of "easy reads" and reminds us all of the power and the art of writing.
Feb 29, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories to read out loud. And laugh out loud. There are elements of beauty and sadness and characters that are real and left me caring and hoping they would fare well after the stories had ended.
Jun 18, 2008 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Udall is good. And he is best when he is making you laugh about something quite serious. I can't shake the image of a guy delivering a pet goat to his son at his step-father's fancy suburban castle.
I like short stories because you can read one and put the book down. I couldn't put the book down. I even had to make notes of some of the most incredible phrases. Fabulous.
Jan 08, 2009 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the way he tells a story. He writes about characters and landscapes that are familiar to me in a way that makes them seem exotic and fascinating.
May 17, 2011 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of wonderfully humorous stories with an eclectic cast of characters who manage to get themselves into every kind of craziness. Great stories.
Mar 21, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm turning over a new leaf and reading more short stories. This book helped me. Hilarious and sad- a winning combination.
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Brady Udall grew up in a large Mormon family in Arizona, where he worked on his grandfather's farm. He graduated from Brigham Young University and later attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

He was formerly a faculty member of Franklin & Marshall College starting in 1998, then Southern Illinois University, and now teaches writing at Boise State University.

A collection of his short stories titl
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