Rebecca H.'s Reviews > Gryphon: New and Selected Stories

Gryphon by Charles Baxter
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Jan 05, 11

bookshelves: fiction
Read from December 12 to 28, 2010

A while ago I read and enjoyed a collection of essays on fiction by Charles Baxter, Burning Down the House, so when the publisher offered me a copy of his latest collection of short stories, Gryphon, I was happy to say yes. I don’t remember a whole lot about the essay collection, except that Baxter argued against the kind of short story that ends in an epiphany where the main character learns a lesson or changes dramatically. He wanted stories that were more true to life and to the way things actually happen to real people. The stories in Gryphon are good examples of what Baxter was calling for; they are quiet stories about people you or I might know who are in familiar situations and go through recognizable experiences. The characters experience change, and perhaps they learn something, if only because something new has happened to them, but the changes are small. The stories capture a quiet kind of reality, which is matched by Baxter’s calmly straightforward, carefully detailed writing.

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12/12/2010 page 18
4.0%
12/13/2010 page 31
7.0% 2 comments
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