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4.6  ·  Rating details ·  47 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In Magpies, Lynne Barrett's characters move through the past decade's glitter and darkness. From the Internet's fragmented pages to a gossip columnist's sweet poison to the ABCs of a hurricane season, these tales explore story form and storytelling as a means of connection, betrayal, and survival for characters who learn, sometimes too late, the value of what's grasped and ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Carnegie-Mellon University Press
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Stephen Dorneman
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lynne Barrett's literary and noir short stories are, like the writing classes that she teaches, deeply layered without being overcomplicated. In MAGPIES you'll meet memorable characters that take their emotional lumps (and the occasional victory lap) in settings that, particularly in the case of Barrett's home base of Miami, are close to being characters themselves. My only problem with this slim (119 pages) book? I wanted more.

Anjanette Delgado
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is like a beautiful vintage brooch. Hip and romantic, old and new, quick and deliciously slow, all at the same time. The stories are happy, sad, and insightful. They make you think and stay with you a long time. Don't miss.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
It wouldn’t surprise me if Magpies, Lynne Barrett’s third collection from Carnegie Mellon University Press, is called “uneven.” But let me be clear: I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I think what sometimes happens is that readers (and reviewers) have ideas or expectations about what a short story collection should be, and when those expectations aren’t met, the collection gets tagged as “uneven.” I think that in some cases the “uneven” label is fair, but often it is a kind of lazy way to avoid ...more
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
You can never go wrong with Lynne Barrett. She has great witticism, and she's smart as a whip -- and it shows in the stories. Also, I get nostalgic about South Florida when I read her work because so much is so specific to the area: the crazy hurricane seasons, the models and entertainment world and the gritty crime investigations in old Miami Vice style. If there is one criticism I have is that the stories felt too different in style, and there is a long "cozy" mystery in-between. I have never ...more
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I've read other collections of short stories and been able to go right from one story to the next. Not with this book. I needed time to fully absorb and be with it. It was a pleasant surprise.
Gerry Wilson
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A terrific, broad-ranging collection of stories, from a romance to a guy who fakes his own death. Lynne Barrett is one of the best short story writers around today, a master of the form, and yet her stories never fail to engage, move, and entertain.
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting and eclectic collection of stories.
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
BEST short story writer I have ever read!
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
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Magpies received the Gold Medal in General Fiction in the Florida Book Awards.

Publishers Weekly says of Magpies: "Barrett portrays adult lives with minimal flourishes and a powerful command of setting. Florida is electric with the tension of "all that can happen"--hurricanes, sinkholes, and a boom-and-bust history. It becomes as eerie as it is richly imagined, whether stories take place in an Art
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