Baiocco's Reviews > The Complete Stories

The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor
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Sep 29, 07

bookshelves: shortstorycollection
Recommended for: People Who Like The Ideas of Faulkner Books, But Not The Labor Of Actually Reading Them

Although I wouldn't give this collection 5 stars reading it from cover to cover (the stories get a little repetitive) Flannery O'Connor is one of the most gifted short story writers of any time period. How can she make the human condition so haunting? Its like, each story operates on O'Connor's ability to know exactly what will make her characters happy and what will absolutely devestate them. Read "Good Country People" for a prime example, as a hope-for-love filled amputee allows a creepy stranger to steal her wooden leg. Well, doesn't allow it, but there is nothing she can do about it; and that's the grotesque aspect of O'Connoer's work that makes her short stories even creepier and more fucked up than Stephen King or maybe even Chuck Palahniuk. We know whats going to happen, we can't believe someone would actually sink so low (it's almost offensive, but, you know, real), then they do, and O'Connor doesn't flinch as she writes the scene out to it's final, vile, human, conclusion.

This is a great volume to pick and choose a few stories here and there and either become aquanted with O'Connor or just get your weekly/monthly or yearly fix of her.
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message 1: by Dora (new)

Dora Your recommendation hits the nail on the head. O'Connor does seem to inhabit and describe Faulkner's world, but is much easier to read (easy isn't the right word; it's actually painful, but you can make it through a whole O'Connor story, at least). I've never been able to read more than a couple of her stories at a time, but think she has a gift for writing about the dregs of humanity.


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