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Babylon and Other Stories

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  127 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In their various locales--from Montreal (where a prosthetic leg casts a furious spell on its beholders) to New Mexico (where a Soviet-era exchange student redefines home for his hosts)--the characters in Babylon are coming to terms with life's epiphanies, for good or ill.

They range from the very young who, confronted with their parents' limitations, discover their own res
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Vintage (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Evelyn
First off, awesome cover.

Second: I have mixed feelings about this collection. While I was reading them, I occasionally thought "this is like In the Forest of Forgetting", which is a high compliment for me. But then, the "suburbia is ugly underneath" line got repetitive, and the flashes of the fantastic (though there is no overt fantasy in this book) got fewer and farther between. It seems a lot of the contemporary short stories I've read have the same ethereal, esoteric tone.

Favorites: "A Theory
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Rachel
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories, 2009
I hate to say this being an MFA candidate myself, but Ohlin's book definitely reads like a young writer, and her stories fall into a pretty predictable pattern - wham bam opening, dragging middle, and sudden poignant ending. Which is also exactly what I do...Still, when she's good, she's great.
Autumn
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Autumn by: Gabrielle Burton
I read several stories from the book. While perceptive and concise, my interest was not held. The stories just weren't compelling enough for me.
noisy penguin
I found this on one of the giveaway shelves at my last job. The front cover quote makes a comparison to Lorrie Moore, so I figured I'd check it out. It's a good book of stories, but (like with the last book I grabbed that had Lorrie Moore comparisons), it didn't remind me of Lorrie Moore at all. Most of the stories left me wanting more, and some of them ended abruptly and with no explanation of why the characters did what they did, which drove me a little crazy. But overall it was good.
Laura
I remember liking it a lot, but I can't remember a single story out of the whole book. I guess I'll have to read it again.
Lauren Lastrapes
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of those you try to put down in between stories and can't.
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
Absolute perfection, this master-storyteller.
Eleanor
Alix's short stories of suburban misery are fantastic! One has even appeared in the Best American Short Stories series.
Gypsy36
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I may be biased by the title being a not so subtle rip off from F. Scott Fitzgerald but I just found this collection disjointed and depressing.
Bonnie
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like her writing, but I don't like short stories as a genre as much. They don't allow you to get to know a character, so they're better as self-contained themes. Or so it seems to me.
Lis
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last story is my favorite. The humor in this collection just felt like being at home for me.
AYLA
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
Well written, but truthfully nothing memorable. Feels like a collection of college writing assignments. No connection for me.

But thought it was better than Signs and Wonders.
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Alix Ohlin is the author of The Missing Person, a novel; Babylon and Other Stories; and Signs and Wonders, a new collection. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and on public radio’s Selected Shorts. She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, where she teaches at Lafayette College.
More about Alix Ohlin...

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