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The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  23 reviews
�The men in this collection seethe with something close to rage or desperation or both while remaining recognizably and sympathetically human, and that rare combination makes the experience of reading The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men feel as dangerous as a knife fight.”
-Michael Knight, author of The Typist

�Woman can learn more from these stories than from thousands of iss
Paperback, 214 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Black Lawrence Press
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Melanie Page
Dec 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
The largest lesson I learned in creative writing workshops: consider what the author is trying to do. Don’t judge the writer’s desires, but the quality of writing. This is the approach I take in book reviewing, too. However, in the middle of reading Adam Prince’s collection of stories The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men, I was perplexed. What is Prince’s goal, and how do I respond? The first seven stories describe women who are dependent, “feline,” or had the whole “virgin/whore thing down.” What d ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This book could just as well have been entitled "Men Who Hate Women". With each story Adam Prince precisely chisels another feature of male psyches: male rage, male lust, male frustration, male anxiety, male disappointment. Yet with the exception of two stories--"Tranquility," with a women POV character who fails utterly as a convincing human portrait, and "A. Roulette? A. Roulette?", which carries off a two-step between first-person-plural and third-person-semi-omniscient with a grace and sympa ...more
Charlotte Pence
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Okay, yes, my husband wrote it. But it's just so good! This isn't light fiction like so many short stories I've read these days. It's work that really confronts something important. ...more
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'We're men, aren't we?'

This review is from: The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men (Paperback)
Adam Prince frightens me. His collection of short stories THE BEAUTIFUL WISHES OF UGLY MEN bring about that feeling of discomfort that comes with hearing a conversation you shouldn't be hearing just before you appear in the doorway, or inadvertently come upon a couple dry humping in the backyard away from the party you're avoiding, or that queasy feeling that arises when you see a couple who are obviously hat
Phillip Jefferson
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the real thing. Each story is so carefully built. The collection reminds you what literary fiction should be, reminds you of Roth and Updike, and John Cheever. This isn’t just a bunch of light gimmickery, but something deep, something that tells us about ourselves. Plus, he’s super funny. Read it. Then read it again.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Very well written, but embarrassingly poorly edited. Blatant typos throughout.
Greg Mundy
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I've read something so honest and entertaining. ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Best book of short stories I've read this year. Exceptional writing. ...more
Doug Park
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I knew Adam Prince when we were fellow students/teaching assistants in the University of Arkansas's MFA program (1999-03). I always looked forward to his stories in our writing workshops (i.e., a bunch of people sitting around a long table in a conference room critiquing each others' stories and poems)and, had we ever voted on which of us were most likely to "really make it big" as writers, I know he would have been at the top of my list and that of many others. One of the things that's always i ...more
Robert Jacoby
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of short stories, from way back. Flannery O'Connor was my first great love. Until I'd read her, I did not know what a short story could do. How it could affect me.

So, I was searching for a collection of short stories to read, something done recently, by a writer who might affect me the same way, and I stumbled upon this collection by Adam Prince, The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men.

Some of these stories worked really well for me, others not so much. Some read like a vignette, or a ta
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is pure genius! I admit the last book I read before this was the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy. It was for research purposes (don't judge!). In one short story, Adam Prince had more content than the entire Fifty Shades trilogy! My mind was racing the entire time while reading about the different characters, comparing myself and others to them. I was making hypothesis on the correlation of all the stories. It was like I was reading it for a thesis, but it was enjoyable the entire time. T ...more
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a good read.
Adam Prince has a skill for crafting a short story that isn’t easy to come by. The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men is one of those reads that gives the reader a satisfying feeling of closure at the end of each story, yet some of his characters are so profound they are left knocking around in your head and you get the sense their stories go on and on. I like how Prince blurs lines with a lot of his characters as well. You really want to write some of them off as pathetic creepers, but Prince does su ...more
Nancy Freund
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rocky start at the beginning for me, but the stories got better and better as I read through the collection. By the end, I had a total reversal and new respect for the earlier ones. I'd definitely pick up the next Adam Prince publication. Prince ...more
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
At its best these are beautiful stories of people flirting with disaster, at its worst it is cringe-worthy but compelling. There is not a lot to admire, but look at the balance of male and female inadequacy, all racing along in tragic spirals. It is often funny, but you won't read this for laughs. But you will be glad that a little levity breaks things up and it all isn't a dour race to those crossroads. ...more
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was a difficult read for me. It is short stories. Some were good but others I didn't like at all and found it hard to finish them. This was due to the fact I thought they were kind of boring, not because they were too "real". Also I had no problem putting this book down. It didn't hold my interest very much.
The stories were not bad they just weren't great.

I received a copy of this book for free through a goodreads contest.
Terry Shaw
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved "The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men." I admire Adam Prince's writing and insight and am amazed by his ability to develop character with just a few sentences of description. Plus he's pretty damn funny. ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Adam read from his new release for us at InKY in Louisville -- a terrific preview for a terrific book. He has a compelling, unique voice; these are honest stories that beautifully redeem the complicated lives of ordinary men. Fantastic!
George Elianas
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Why don't more books do this? Why don't more books confront us with the way real people are? Funny, too. And be sure to read it beginning to end. I don't know if he meant to do it or not, but there's this sort of development from one story to the next. ...more
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
The first ("Big Wheels for Adults") and last ("A. Roolette? A. Roolette?") story in the collection are far and away the strongest. They left me with a feeling of deliciously sweet ambivalence in ponderering the fate of their characters. ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Forget Fifty Shades of Grey. If you really want to learn about the male mind, and you're not afraid of the truth, read this. Best book I've read all year! ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quick read. Surprised this book isn't more popular ! ...more
Dutch Rhudy
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed most of the stories. Some were a little rough on women. Overall, a great read.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Look for my review forthcoming at Los Angeles Review ( ...more
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Born and raised in Southern California, Adam Prince has since lived in New York, South Korea, Arkansas, Nicaragua, and Knoxville, Tennessee. His award-winning fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Southern Review, and Narrative Magazine, among others. In 2011, Narrative Magazine named him one of the best twenty new writers. He is married to the poet Charlotte Pence and is currently at w ...more

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