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The Paris Review Book of People with Problems

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The Paris Review asks: who hasn’t survived a tax audit, a snowstorm, a break-up, or presided over a murder?

The next addictively clever Paris Review anthology is not a self-help manual; rather it is a wicked elaboration on the human effort to overcome--and instigate--trouble. Throughout these pages you will find men plagued with guilt, women burdened by history, scientists
...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Picador
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Suzanne
Jun 14, 2012 Suzanne rated it liked it
Problems indeed---that's putting it pretty mildly for some of the people in these stories. The stories are quite varied, but a few of them are just plain disturbing. Especially the last one---Crystal River by Charlie Smith. There are a few scenes in it that just kept me from sleeping, and I don't think the literary value of the story is high enough to make that worth it. I liked a few of the stories a lot---The Wamsutter Wolf by Annie Proulx is one. It's the first work by Annie Proulx I've read, ...more
Erin
Feb 15, 2009 Erin rated it liked it
I bought this book several years ago but felt no inspiration to read it until a few weeks ago. Some of the short stories were totally off-the-wall and wonderful, others were kind of lackluster. I'm very happy to have read short stories by so many notable authors, several of whom are Guggenheim fellows, and others who have won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and the Booker Prize. After getting a taste of all these different writing styles, I'm pretty excited to read more by Annie Proulx, ...more
Jay
Apr 17, 2016 Jay rated it it was amazing
When I first saw this title, 1CThe Paris Book of People with Problems, 1D I thought to myself this book is for me. Actually, forget about me, I liked the stories by Annie Proulx, Charlie Smith, Julie Orringer and Malinda McCollum.
My favorite has to be Denis Johnson 19s 1CTrain Dreams 1D. I read this one first in an O.Henry Prize Story anthology (2003). It 19s long and meandering, so much so that when O. Henry juror Jennifer Egan chose it as a favorites, she explained that it wasn 19t the most c
...more
Donna
Oct 15, 2008 Donna is currently reading it
Three sentences into the intro and I can't go any further. Somebody please help. What the hell does, "With never enough clothing, we have to express our bootless rage not through the second skin of fashion (it's too cold) but through the third skin of our decor" mean?

I don't understand the second sentence either. :(

Very frustrating, this "hilarious introduction by Stephin Merritt."

T P Kennedy
Aug 28, 2011 T P Kennedy rated it did not like it
Might more aptly be titled the book of authors with problems. I anticipated depression, tragedy and so on - I didn't anticipate some bad writing and a general sense of hopelessness. There are some amazing contributors such as E Annie Proulx and Ben Okri but even their contributions are poor and are far from their best writing. A generally unpleasant and forgettable volume.
Alex Roth
Feb 13, 2008 Alex Roth rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alex by: Came out of the free box at my husband's work
Hey, I don't usually like short stories, but some of these are great. This avoids the single-author collection problem of getting sick of that one voice. I especially like the poignant "When She is Old and I am Famous," a narrated by an overweight art student about her cousin, the beautiful model.
Jackie Mondi
Oct 26, 2012 Jackie Mondi rated it it was amazing
I give this book five stars because it truly lives up to its name. Any problem I thought I had paled into insignificance when compared to the problems experiences by the people in this book. I am halfway, the point is made, I can read no further.
Chelsea Jennings
Dec 04, 2013 Chelsea Jennings rated it liked it
I enjoyed most of this book. I enjoyed some of the stories less than others, but this is pretty typical for an anthology with various authors. Some of the stories did have me laughing out loud, multiple times!
Cynthia
Mar 19, 2008 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: carry with you for those impromptu waiting times.
Concise and sweet stories. I'll surely look out for other publications by a few of these featured writers.
Kristine
Jul 19, 2008 Kristine rated it it was ok
even more depressing than I had anticipated....
Lindsay
Apr 14, 2009 Lindsay rated it liked it
More uneven than their "Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms," but there were some great stories in here, including one by Charles Baxter that I hadn't come across previously.
Eva
Nov 16, 2009 Eva rated it it was amazing
This is a really great collection of new short stories-Annie Prolux, Miranda July, Wells Tower...it's depressing but overall a lot of fun. I really recommend it.
Philip
Dec 16, 2013 Philip rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Deftly curataed and a gas to read. Not a boring or disappointing one in the bunch.
Jason Robinson
Dec 01, 2016 Jason Robinson rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Margot
Oct 05, 2014 Margot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preferiterrimi
Ci sono alcuni gioielli.

[Il lupo di Wamsutter
Il racconto dell'eremita
Il quinto muro
Sogni di treni
Il famoso trucco della sigaretta accesa spezzata e riaggiustata.]
Hannah Messler
May 03, 2010 Hannah Messler rated it really liked it
Sufficiently if not extravagantly awesome.
Teresa
Jul 16, 2007 Teresa rated it really liked it
I bought this book on recommendation of a local writer and found it to have wonderfully written short stories! Great reading for the bedside to the beach!
Alison P
Apr 30, 2016 Alison P rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
stories are not exceptional, although I only read a select few.
Tim
Jun 26, 2007 Tim rated it it was ok
Short fiction by various authors. Definitely a mixed bag, with strong, heartbreaking contributions from Elizabeth Gilbert, James Lasdun and Miranda July.
Double_Nines
Double_Nines rated it really liked it
Nov 22, 2011
Janice
Janice rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2007
Madeleine
Madeleine rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2012
Carolina
Carolina rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2013
Claire
Claire rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2016
Jake Duffie
Jake Duffie rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2011
April Lee
April Lee rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2013
Johannah
Johannah rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2008
Matt
Matt rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2007
Noel
Noel rated it really liked it
May 07, 2008
Tara
Tara rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2008
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Founded in Paris by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton in 1953, The Paris Review began with a simple editorial mission: “Dear reader,” William Styron wrote in a letter in the inaugural issue, “The Paris Review hopes to emphasize creative work—fiction and poetry—not to the exclusion of criticism, but with the aim in mind of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it ...more
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