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Same Place, Same Things: Stories

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  265 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
In this collection of stories, Tim Gautreaux chronicles the lives of "ordinary" people who face extraordinary circumstances and decisions: a farmer faced with the prospect of raising his infant granddaughter; a young man who falls in love with a voice on the radio; a train engineer who causes a colossal disaster. In stories filled with heart and humor, event and consequenc ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 15th 1997 by Picador (first published 1996)
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Mike R-w
Aug 28, 2007 Mike R-w rated it really liked it
I love reading short stories, except...most contemporary short stories are nihilistic, depressing and pointless. That's a good generalization, huh? Tim Gautreaux, on the other hand, writes meaningful, hopeful, poignant stories, even though they are often about sad and wounded people. Most of these stories are set in Louisiana with its special flavors and textures.
Mar 03, 2014 FrankH rated it it was amazing

"I'm going to tell you about the last time I went to confession" begins Bobby Simoneaux of Grand Crapaud, Louisiana, former Cajun roustabout turned geriatric care assistant, eager to get something off his chest.

Simoneaux figures in 'Deputy Sid's Gift', the last story in this 1996 collection by Tim Gautreaux, and like most of the tales here, it starts off squarely focused on its subject but hinting at a multitude of potentialities. If there's a confession, might there also be a sin, say an adult
Nov 23, 2015 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Terrific book of stories which sparks the desire to read more of Tim Gautreaux
Apr 06, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick McCoy
Sep 26, 2011 Patrick McCoy rated it did not like it
I have to say that Same Place, Same Things, short stories by Tim Gatreaux, disappointed me. I was initially inspired to pick it up, because I had read a couple of good stories by him in Harper's magazine, one, "Deputy Sid's Gift," of which was included in this collection and was the best story. The stories are mostly about the working class denizens of Louisiana, a terrain that has been chronicled by the likes of Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus before him. I found that he is not up to their level ...more
I first encountered Tim Gautreaux's wotk in an anthology of Southern Christmas stories that included "Deputy Sid's Gift," the last story in this collection. It's one of the best modern Christmas tales I've ever read. Not every story in this collection has the redemptive quality I found in "Deputy Sid's Gift," in fact, some are downright sad. But I didn't find one dud story in the whole book. This man can write; he has an ear for the way people talk that rivals [author: John Sayles}', and he writ ...more
I did enjoy this read, but I'm hesitant to give a star rating because it is the first short story collection I've read outside of school. I'm unsure of the proper way to go about rating a collective work as each short story sort of had its own rating and I briefly considered just doing an average of them to get to a rating, except I felt like it would cheat the short stories I really, really loved.

There were a few I didn't care for and some that were okay, but nothing to right home about and sev
May 22, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
This is the first work I've read by Tim Gautreaux, and I will certainly seek out more. All of these stories are set in Louisiana, most in southern Louisiana, and the setting infuses the prose; it reads like weary poetry, not a word out of place. Mr. Gautreaux addresses themes of emptiness, loss, what it means to be good, the value of hard work well done. There is joy to be found in this book, but not much happiness. Mr. Gautreaux is often compared with Flannery O'Connor - both Southern, both Cat ...more
Jun 15, 2010 Djrmel rated it really liked it
A really good collection of stories set in the part of Louisiana that isn't New Orleans. All but one of the stories are tied in some way to the work that the characters do or don't do for a living. They are unremarkable people who end up in remarkable situations, or at least enjoy talking about other people who've had remarkable things happen to them. Gautreaux immerses the reader in his setting is such a way that proves that he's mastered the "show, don't tell" rule of writing. The characters o ...more
Mark Folse
Apr 03, 2012 Mark Folse rated it it was amazing
I don't know how I managed to live all these years in South Louisiana and not encounter Tim Gautreaux until now. This book kept me up last night and I know I'm going to have to read it again slowly and savor it. He is a master of the unhappy ending, and his stories hold you waiting for the inevitable but not quite foreseeable, even as you know he's going to nail his most sympathetic characters. A great book, and by the time I finish it I may have to bump this up to five stars.
Jaap Hoogenboezem
Jul 10, 2013 Jaap Hoogenboezem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
The first story I ever read by Tim Gautreaux was 'Welding with children', in one of the The Best American Short Stories (1999 or 2000). I liked it instantly. The slightly strange atmosphere, the unexpected turns, the calm, lazy atmosphere that still creates tension. The collection of stories in Same Place, Same Things is great, and has not disappointed me.
Enka-Candler Library
Nov 24, 2013 Enka-Candler Library rated it really liked it
A satisfying collection of short stories for fans of Southern fiction and the genre.

Well-written and perfectly paced, the stories in this book are a testament to the craft of short story writing.

Perfect for those interested in the Deep South and moments of heartache and dark humor. Gautreaux doesn't disappoint.

Nov 18, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Such a treat to re-discover short stories through this collection. Gritty and real but with a glimmer of hope. When I finished each story, I would ponder for a few minutes, "What was the point of that?" And then it would come to me. They often focus on family members learning to appreciate each other. Especially fitting to read around Thanksgiving.
Liz Musgrove
Mar 26, 2008 Liz Musgrove rated it really liked it
Another gem of a short story collection. Full of Louisiana backwoods charm with a touch of insight, transcendence of the mundane. Excellent storytelling. Favorites: title story, "Died and Gone to Vegas," "Returnings," and "The Courtship of Merlin LeBlanc."
Scott Underwood
Nov 26, 2015 Scott Underwood rated it it was amazing
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. These stories grabbed me from the first paragraph , every one! James Lee Burke's praise on the back jacket says it all. Do yourself a favor and find this petite gem.
May 20, 2012 Kundan rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories by this excellent author. Each one so full and complete. Just read them.
John Parks
Feb 26, 2008 John Parks rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like short stories
Recommended to John by: Liz
Good short stories. I especially liked the one about the train conductor. Sometimes a bit too morbid to believe. Sometimes a bit too outlandish. The characters are strong: lively and distinct.
Drew Vankrevelen
Dec 21, 2008 Drew Vankrevelen rated it really liked it
Gautreaux has a very compelling writing style. This book of short stories grabs you and pulls you in.
Liz Anne Flo
Oct 08, 2011 Liz Anne Flo rated it really liked it
Until I read this book I had never appreciated or enjoyed short stories - these stories were wonderful , they didn't leave you hanging. I felt connected to the characters and sated by each story.
Jan 14, 2013 Jean rated it it was amazing
Gautreaux writes about people and every word rings true. His sense of place and voice shine out in every story.
I love this book.
Gayle Moroney
Oct 21, 2007 Gayle Moroney rated it really liked it
Wasn't disappointed. Love his style and down home observations. I could really relate to some of them even though they are very "southern" in tone. Try him, you'll like him.
Maggie Harrison
Sep 11, 2008 Maggie Harrison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
quiet and haunting. there's a real beautiful one in here about a helicopter landing on a woman's farm...can't stop thinking about it.
Ann Prince
Jun 04, 2016 Ann Prince rated it it was amazing
Although my reading habits tend to take me to full-length fiction, I have a weakness for really good story-telling. This collection of short stories really meets and passes the mark!
Apr 01, 2016 Patty added it
Good stories, nothing as stellar as Welding with Children, but still good. Favorite in this bunch was Returnings.
Mike rated it really liked it
May 24, 2012
Shan Walks
Shan Walks rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2012
Scott rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2012
Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor rated it really liked it
May 11, 2009
Elaine rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2012
David Williams
David Williams rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2012
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Timothy Martin Gautreaux (born 1947 in Morgan City, Louisiana) is a novelist and short story writer who lives in Hammond, Louisiana, where he is Writer in Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University.
His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, Atlantic, Harper's, and GQ. His novel The Next Step in the Dance won the 1999 SEBA Book Award. His novel The Clearing won the
More about Tim Gautreaux...

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