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Forty Stories by Donald Barthelme
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's review
Nov 22, 2008

it was ok
Read in December, 2008

I want, badly want, to give this book more than two stars, and I probably could if its title were twenty stories or maybe even twenty five stories. The thing, I learned, about absurdity is sometimes it comes together into something not absurd which makes you go, "oh," and other timees it never comes together, remains absurd, and makes you go, "heh, that was absurd." Read back to back, the stories, particularly the ones twoard the end of the book, tend to the latter version rather than the former version of absurdity. Maybe if I'd been reading another book concurrently. Maybe if I'd read them a little more slowly. Maybe if it were the middle of summer instead of the dead days of autumn. Maybe, but I don't know. There are several beauties in the book, but overall I started to feel like I was getting hit in the face with clown shoes too many times.

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