Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flying Leap: Stories” as Want to Read:
Flying Leap: Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Flying Leap: Stories

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  391 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Twenty-three stories introduce a startling, shimmering new voice in fiction. From a man persuaded to donate his own heart to his dying mother to the arc of a love affair conducted solely on a park bench to a brief history of women in the form of a fashion catalog, these stories provide short, sharp shocks as provocative as they are entertaining.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Picador USA (first published 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flying Leap, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Flying Leap

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 903)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 02, 2009 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd heard good things about Judy Budnitz, that she's original, wacky and all that. And I really appreciate it when a short-story writer tries to experiment and entertain rather than shock and depress. But too many of these stories just left me cold. They tried so damn hard to be clever that they felt forced; the characters were cliches. I did enjoy a few of them, though, mainly the ones that weren't so conceptual/allegorical and seemed a little more personal. I wish someone had told her to wait ...more
Aug 12, 2012 Erika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ewa
Um, well... sad and strange are the adjectives I'd use to describe this collection of stories. I really didn't get the funny, adventurous, surprising, enchanted, magical or fantastic vibe that everyone else is feeling. But, I did finish the book, therefore saving it from my "unreadable" category, so I didn't hate it! I did always want to know what happened next, but I was mostly disappointed by the answer.
May 24, 2014 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, short-stories
My criteria for 5-star short story collections:

1) At least two stories must really dazzle me
2) I can at no point feel bored while reading any of the stories

The best story here is "Skin Care," which is the heartbreaking tale of a girl with leprosy looking for love. It's poetic and beautiful and so LONELY. Ugh. What a great bit of writing. My other two favorite are the first two in the collection: "Dog Days," which is a post-apocalyptic that doesn't focus so much on the "why" as it does on feeling
David Runge
Jul 31, 2009 David Runge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming and dramatic. Twists reality without asking you to suspend disbelief too far.
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this bizarre and magical collection of short stories. I first read it when I borrowed my mom's copy almost ten years ago, then I snapped up a copy of my own last week when I spotted it in a used book store. Budnitz has a real gift for telling stories that are absolutely believable within the confines of the magical realities she can create. She also writes convincingly from various perspectives. For example, she writes as an exaggeration of the cheerleader stereotype in one story, then sw ...more
Flying Leap by: Judy Budnitz

Genre: Fantastical

Number of pages: 244

Description: Judy Budnitz has assembled a collection of fantastical, shocking, and, yes, surprisingly human tales, in Flying Leap. From cheerleaders to the apocalypse, dog suits to heartbreaks, Budnitz’s comical and bizarre tales included a little bit of everything and left me wanting more.

Why I read it: Contemporary Fiction 311, but I would have read it outside of class in heartbeat.

Quick read? The stories read quickly, but ther
Alex Scales
Confession: This is the most excited I've been about a short story collection in years.

As gorgeous as The Virgin Suicides was, I was left pretty cold after finishing it--extremely well written, but just didn't move me. I never truly engaged me beyond a mechanical sense. So this is the perfect antidote for that apathy.

Budnitz is hysterical. I mean, cheerleaders sacrificing themselves to the "School Spirit" kind of hysterical. While looking her up on The All Mighty Google, I saw a review describ
Apr 07, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surreal. Enjoyable.
Keyshia Dorsey
Feb 18, 2014 Keyshia Dorsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i usually can't get into short story books but this one was really really good
Jul 17, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extremely inventive collection of magical tall tales. The story "Train" is a work of art and worth the price of admission alone.
Oct 03, 2012 Deborah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book needed some more editing. There were some wonderfully written stories, with a plot line that really reeled you in. There were other stories that were probably trashed in her writer's workshop or graduate school or both and she still insisted to include them in this collection. Someone should have put their foot down and kept them out. They made reading this book very clunky and at times boring and tiresome.
There are some amazing stories in this. The tale of the boy whose mom needs a heart transplant had me laughing piteously, painfully, achingly guffawing. But most of the stories didn't touch me--there was a contrivance, a distance, a lack of heartfelt connection. For a book so enticingly, boldly titled, I expected more risks and more engagement. That said, her use of language is beautiful. The characters aren't as interesting.
Jul 19, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a stellar collection. It was one where I found I could only handle reading a few stories each night, because after each one, I'd need a pause to think it over. Where so many collections and anthologies are like watered-down lemonade - easy to drink lots, not necessarily satisfying - this was the good stuff - potent, profound, unique, crafted.

Loved it.
Apr 19, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very creative stories, I sometimes don't enjoy short stories, but these were so good and short enough to keep my interest. Very good writing. I especially liked the story "Average Joe" and the last story in the book but they were all so good, I gobbled it up. I've already ordered her other book of stories.
Jan 10, 2008 Shootsie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I learned about this author from NPR's "This American Life", and was optimistic about the book when it arrived. Unfortunately, I can see why Budnitz's stories lend well to radio, and not so much to text. The stories were fluffy, full of imagination, and lacking in literary intrigue.
Dec 25, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Winterson Fans
This book is another great gift for women who love to read. Budnitz has a unique style. I think that modern writers with style - and unique style at that - are rare. She is imaginative and it works.
Feb 20, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Super enjoyable short short stories that often delve into the surreal. Maybe because of the incorporation of these elements, many of the stories also take on an apocalyptic quality. Recommended.
Jul 12, 2007 Andi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cynics and satirists.
I love this collection of stories. They are morbid, funny, short enough to hold my attention, and touching. This is a book I re-read almost every summer with a glass of chardonnay.
Feb 19, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually learned about her from the New York Post and was blown away by her passion and imagination. I sat through a bunch of terrible clowns to hear her read and it was worth it.
Oct 09, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I bought this book for "Got Spirit" a story about cheerleaders marching into a bond fire possessed with School Spirit. They are interesting short stories, but nothing amazing.
Oct 06, 2011 Jwezi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a very interesting book indeed...a set of 25 stories that will blow your mind. It'll make you think and think until you are already exhausted..haha
Jul 21, 2013 Linda rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into it. It seemed like the premise of the stories I read didn't come across as realistic ... magical or not magical.
Julia Glassman
I really liked Nice Big American Baby, but I could kind of tell that a lot of the stories in Flying Leap had been written by a 23 year old.
Jun 27, 2014 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love this collection of stories, it's one of my all-times favorites. It's a shame I haven't liked any of Budnitz's other work.
Jun 26, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Wonderfully absurd, dark and humorous tales of life in the modern world. It's NPR Kafka and that's a good thing to have.
Jun 19, 2007 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This woman writes some of the most intriguing and sublime stories I've ever read. Magical realism that would make Borges proud.
John E
Jan 26, 2012 John E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun stories (for the most part). I loved "Yellsville", but disliked only one or two of the 25 stories included.
I'm in the odd position of disliking these stories, but finding them vaguely interesting.
Nov 22, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy all of Judy Budnitz's short stories. And she has plenty of them. (smiles)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • High Lonesome
  • Tabloid Dreams
  • Wearing Dad's Head
  • The View from the Seventh Layer
  • Women and Other Animals: Stories
  • A Better Angel
  • I Looked Alive: Stories
  • Music Through the Floor
  • Circling the Drain
  • What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
  • Do the Windows Open?
  • Willful Creatures
  • Later, at the Bar
  • The Girl with Brown Fur: Tales and Stories
  • Famous Fathers and Other Stories
  • A Stranger in This World: Stories
  • Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
  • Dancing After Hours
Judy Budnitz was born in 1973 and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Harvard in 1995, and recieved an MFA in creative writing from New York University in 1998.
More about Judy Budnitz...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »