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Here We Are in Paradise: Stories

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This collection of stories, set in various locales of North Carolina create entire worlds and indelible moments as only the best short fiction does.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Back Bay Books (first published 1994)
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The most difficult part of writing short stories is creating fully-realized characters that a reading audience can immediately form a connection with. In this manner Earley has shown himself to be a master. This book is a series of short stories that mostly feature glimses of small town life. One of my favorites is Charlotte, a story that explores the romance and excitement of professional wrestling from the town's past. The most moving story is the title story about Vernon and his wife Peggy, w ...more
Dwight Davis
Tony Earley does something that is very hard to do in short story form: he builds a world that the reader is able to sink into and fully inhabit and he develops characters in such a way that feel like the reader has spent years with them. Even the weakest stories in this collection ("The Prophet From Jupiter" and "Lord Randall") are better than some novels that I've read. I can't figure out why, but "Lord Randall" just failed to connect with me at all.

The last three stories, "Aliceville," "Story
Tony Early is one of those rare writers who makes story telling seem effortless. The structure of many of these stories feels so casually offhand, as he flits from past to present, from personal to collective narratives, then they all come together in rapturously satisfying moments. The last three stories take place in Aliceville, the beginnings of his wise, quiet, likable novel "Jim the Boy," one of my personal favorites. Early is so good at short stories that imply an entire life outside of th ...more
"I am not sure that I have lived a life that mattered, in the way that my mother wanted, but I have lived a life, and there is always something to be said about that."
Complex stories that are written simply. The stories are both relaxing and thought-provoking.
"The Prophet From Jupiter" is one of my favorite short stories by people who aren't dead.
"I could drop the water level down a foot and a half any summer Saturday and paralyze all I wanted" (4).
"...I think: a dam is an unnatural thing, like a diaphragm" (4).
“My beard is long and significant; the catfish looks wise” (13).
“ greatly admired by the Florida Yankees for his courtesy and creased trousers” (14).
“...and there were cold places in the air” (15).
“The boat turned in the water, and the Mayor owned everything he could see” (19).
“The college girls are tanned the color of good b
I can’t imagine why I found this collection of stories funny the first time I read them. On second reading I found them far more poignant than funny. First, let me say that although I grew up and lived in North Carolina for most of my life, I do not know the people in these stories. Many of them are far more exotic than the people I know, who are nothing like those in “The Prophet of Jupiter” and “Charlotte,” the stories I remembered most from my first reading. But still, I sense a strange melan ...more
Jo Deurbrouck
Tony is the real deal. Eccentric and spot on, with a voice that, once you catch it, you could listen to forever. The story i liked best in this collection was 'The Prophet from Jupiter,' an almost stream of consciousness reflection on an odd life intimately tied to an odd little place, infused with shades of Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying.' (Hooray for giant catfish metaphors!)

Like Faulkner, Tony's got the knack of slightly bizarre and utterly perfect details like this:

"A family on Tryon Bay has a
I first found out about this book when I heard a friend read Tony Earley's story about the death of the Southern Wrestling Association aloud. Earley captures something about North Carolina which is true (most of the time prefacing it with "if there is one thing I know", as in "if there is one thing I know to tell you, it is this: in North Carolina, even in the mountains, it takes more than a month of your life to live through August").

It's still pretty clearly an early book though; a lot of the
Aug 19, 2008 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: short story people
Recommended to Mark by: Mike Magnuson
Short story collection, I don't like all the stories, some of them I find downright boring, but it contains two absolute must-reads: "Charlotte" which is a story about a relationship that has ended and also wrestling, and "The Prophet from Jupiter" which is about a relationship ending and is the single most mind-blowing story I have read at the time I first read it, at the request of an actual writer. And it is probably one of the most often-imitated stories in MFA programs across the country ov ...more
I have to give even my least favorite story in this collection of short stories a good rating. Early writes so clearly about everyday people, capturing the drama and real interest that happen in the simplest and most complex lives both. The theme I picked up as a thread through these stories is consequences in relationships where love is not equally balanced - almost a certainty in any relationship at some point, but not often explored with such a fine pen.

Favorite story - 'The Prophet from Jupi
David Joy
One of the finest short story collections I've ever read. Should be on every bookshelf.
These are really terrific stories. The primary narrator is a young boy or a man looking back at childhood, basically the same character. There are reoccurring characters and places. The place, the mountains of NC, the time, the twenties and thirties.
What makes these stories stand out is the voice. Highly recommended.
Mary Ann
Enjoyed for the most part. Liked the local settings. Left some residual images in my mind--ducks being chomped on by turtles and Gettysburg tourist busses. Lots of life wisdom packed into a few minutes of a few days in each story.
Damon Ford
So far so good. I got this book from a Goodwill store on Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles on a hunch, and, has it happens it's a first edition. The first story is great. I'll keep you posted on the rest.
Mary Newcomb
A lovely collection of short stories, I especially like the Jim Glass tales. It seems to me that I read a book about him, perhaps these stories were the catalyst.
there is one story in here that makes the entire book worthwhile - the one about charlotte, nc. that by itself is a 5 star; the rest bring the rating down a bit.
I picked up this collection because it had the story "The Prophet from Jupiter," which is one of my husband's favorite stories.
Colleen Stinchcombe
The stand out story here is The Prophet from Jupiter, which is absolutely amazing. The rest are only OK.
Donna Zakem
Pretty good collection of short stories.
Joseph Locicero
There is a whole lot of truth in these stories.
One of my top 5 favoriets.
stories,1st edition,Signed
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The Prophet from Jupiter 2 6 Jan 31, 2013 11:13AM  
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