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The Cabal and Other Stories
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The Cabal and Other Stories

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  223 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"This is the story of a group of people who had a bizarre and unexpected thing happen to them. Their psychiatrist went crazy and started injecting himself with drugs. The most useful and dependable man in their lives became a maniac in the true sense of the word."

So begins the The Cabal, the hilarious novella that forms the centerpiece of Ellen Gilchrist's sparkling new c
Published July 13th 2010 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2000)
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Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern
About halfway into the novella that starts this collection and gives it its title, I was feeling somewhat disappointed. The characters seemed idealized and unrealistic and the dialogue stiff and unnatural. The story was interesting enough, but it revolved around academics in a small Mississippi town, and I think Gilchrist may have been trying a little too hard to prove that yes, we have real academics in the south, even in Mississippi.

But then, surprisingly, I loved the second story in the colle
I know Gilchrist is an award winning author, but I struggled to finish this book. "The Cabal" held my interest but some of the other short stories, some of which have characters connected to "The Cabal" were sloppily written. The best of the shorter pieces were "Bare Ruined Choirs, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang" and "The Big Clean Up" in which she creates believable Southern women of mature age, struggling with families, relationships and situations relevant to all women.
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Meh, it was only ok. The Cabal started out so well, but when one of the main characters died, the tension was gone and all that was left was the rest of the characters boo-hooing and philosophizing about death. O, and having pre-marital, un-protected sex. Not my thing. It was somewhat Southern in tone and style, but not enough to really grab me.
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cabal portrays the entwining of Southern small town life and reminds me of the wonderful, artistic characters from the small town where I grew up. Now that I live in very large town I miss the unique artistic people that seem to thrive in small towns where they actually have time to create. If you enjoy Southern writers you definitely should read Ellen Gilchrist.
Brooke Glover
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book got me hooked on Gilchrist. A friend had recommended her stories years ago, but being more of a novel than short story fan I was skeptical. I shouldn't have been. Gilchrist knows the soul of the south, and gives readers both the beauty and the flaws.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I love Ellen Gilchrist, but didn't find this series of linked short stories quite as compelling as some of her other books - I think it is the novella that let it down slightly - the characters felt a little caricature-ish, however, I did enjoy it.
Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-list
After rereading Light Can Be Both Wave and Particle, I decided to see how The Cabal stood up to a reread. It isn't as delicious as Light, but it still reminded me why Ellen Gilchrist is one of my favorite authors.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is one of Gilchrist's weaker efforts. The short stories are better than the novella. I still gave it four stars, though -- Gilchrist at her weakest is still better than just about everyone else at their strongest.
C. Elizabeth
This book was on my shelf for years. I finally picked it up and found that it is one of my favorite books by Ellen Gilchrist. Her southern voice is wonderful.
Marilyn Vana
Apr 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Not one of my favorite books. I'm not a short stories person. Fast read, some of the topics are interesting and funny. Gives food for thought.
Ellen's books are always easy, entertaining reads for me. I like how she "plays" with her characters form story to story.
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Ellen Gilchrist (born February 20, 1935) is an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. She won a National Book Award for her 1984 collection of short stories, Victory Over Japan.

Source: Wikipedia.
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