karen's Reviews > Buying Cigarettes for the Dog: Stories

Buying Cigarettes for the Dog by Stuart Ross
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's review
May 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: table, upstairs-neighbors, from-publisher-or-author
Read from May 18 to 20, 2010

stuart ross takes full advantage of technology:


and gets recognized for it:


stuart ross is a nice man with crazy hair who lives at the anvil press booth at the small press fair and always makes me buy more books than i had intended. he also wrote this book.

this is a really fun collection of absurdist stories that only occasionally stray into the "too absurd for me" camp. occasionally i am baffled by the appeal of the absurd, but that is just me and my personal taste, and most of these stories were wicked fun.

standouts in the collection include: remember teeth which is my very favorite and gives me chills the way that urban legend does; you know the one. the suntan feels very latin american-y magical and is probably my second-fave. the ape play is repetitive nonsense that is irresistible and retarded in the best possible way.like lancelot link written by a drunk child. letter to heidi fleiss reminded me big-time of something neal pollack would write, and i like neal pollack. the more abstract pieces reminded me of borges, who i do not like, but if you are going to not be liked by me, you might as well do it by reminding me of borges, because then most people will like you, is my advice. i have no idea what elliott goes to school is about, the ending puzzles me.language lessons with simon and marie made me laugh out loud several times, and i love it like crazies. i think i want to reread that one right now. the engagement is a pretty perfect way to end the collection; i mean, there are a lot of excellent stories here, and i tend to avoid short stories when i can, so it is saying something from me, this.

incidentally, it is awkward reviewing books by authors with whom you have shared beers and booktalks, and i am grateful that this book doesn't suck.i read this collection in my head in his voice, picturing him in his canadian house, staring off into the distance at the canadian landscape while he chews the end of his canadian pen and searches for the most appropriate canadian word to finish his canadian sentence.

and i liked it.

"i cannot be dislodged" is my new mantra.
i did not have an old mantra, but this is my new one, regardless.

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Reading Progress

08/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Greg (new)

Greg Can I borrow this at some point?

karen i thought you bought it.
but, yes, of course.

message 3: by Greg (new)

Greg No, I bought a different Canadian book instead, I was going to buy this one if you hadn't.

karen i do not want to borrow indecision

message 5: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I'll send you my copy for keeps. It's a first edition I bought at a used bookstore.

karen no, no - you keep it - it can only appreciate in value.

message 7: by Greg (new)

Greg If you are afraid of putting too much wear on the first edition, then you can read my ratty paperback copy and lock away Michelle's copy in the Brissette vault.

message 8: by Greg (new)

Greg You didn't think I knew about the Brissette vault, did you? I know it's just like Linus' in Lost, it's behind some books that open up to a secret room, where you keep all your treasures.

message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle This is the second time I've tried to give my copy away and no one wants it. Hardcover. First edition. Tempting, isn't it? (I know...not really.)

message 10: by Greg (new)

Greg It's kind of like my copy of Swimming Inside the Sun, I just can't get anyone to take it, so it lives in the desk at work.

karen no one on gimmie gimmie wants it?

shhh on the vault!! seeecrets!

message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Nope. That's the first place I tried to give it away.

I sent Karen's copy of Swimming Inside the Sun to MFSO, but I'd much rather have that than my copy of Indecision.

karen give it to david - wrao it up nicely, inscribe it lovingly, and he would have to be heartless to get rid of it.

oh, wait...

message 14: by Michelle (new)

Michelle It might be worth it just to see what he would do with it. I doubt he'd actually read it. I sent him the Dewey the Cat book (with a gift receipt so he could get something good). David, if you are reading this comment, did you ever read Dewey or did you trade it in for something else?

karen he is probably still sobbing into it and using marley and me to wipe up the extra tears.

message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael All Canadian dogs smoke. I thought you knew that.

karen i had no idea it was such a problem....

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Zweig. Ha.

karen all threads lead to zweig.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Oh karen, would you like your copy of Swimming Inside and Strumming the G Chord A Lot In The Sun While Drinking Rice Milk and Trying and Failing to Weep Importantly Because I'm a Dumb Dummy back? I was planning on turning it into a voodoo doll but I don't want to step on anybody's toes here.

karen you can have that book forever. elegant complexity was a loaner, but all other books are yours forever.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

i had the best version of dewey the cat. jon scieszka and mac barnett rewrote it about our crazy messed up cat. it was hysterical. then paul went out to dinner with oscar hijuelos, got drunk, and left it there.

karen is this the same paul that likes chick flicks and hates the band europe?? sounds like he needs a tune-up...

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Hahaha. Same old Paul.

But then the other day he brought me a signed It's a Book with a picture of a jackass in it so we'll call it even.

message 25: by Greg (new)

Greg Stuart Ross just emailed me last night and then I saw this review and thought that is weird, Karen just wrote a review about Stuart Ross and then I realized this was old news and I had already read it, but it was almost like it was new because I'm so stupid.

karen it is an old review, but i tacked the links on this morning because he sent them to me and they made me laugh. also - stuart is awesome and should be on more people's minds.

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