The Paris Review Book of People with Problems
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The Paris Review Book of People with Problems

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  17 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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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
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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!
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.
This is a really great collection of new short stories-Annie Prolux, Miranda July, Wells's depressing but overall a lot of fun. I really recommend 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!
Short fiction by various authors. Definitely a mixed bag, with strong, heartbreaking contributions from Elizabeth Gilbert, James Lasdun and Miranda July.
Apr 14, 2008 Cynthia rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Good stories, all, but the introduction by Stephin Merritt alone makes this worth reading.
Summertime is made for short stories, and this edition of the Paris Review comes highly rated.
Deftly curataed and a gas to read. Not a boring or disappointing one in the bunch.
even more depressing than I had anticipated....
Hannah  Messler
Sufficiently if not extravagantly awesome.
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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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The Paris Review Interviews, I The Paris Review Interviews, II The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, ... Else in the World Since 1953 Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story The Paris Review Interviews, III

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