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Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck: Stories from 2nd Story

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This anthology of short, personal essays brings a vibrant oral tradition to the page through the work of 2nd Story, a Chicago-based collective working to build community through storytelling. These original, unpublished essays are adapted from the group’s monthly events, which fuse page, stage, and sound to deliver a unique, live literary and theatrical experience. Contrib ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published November 12th 2012 by Elephant Rock Productions, Inc. (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  59 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing

It was hard to put one shelf. On the one hand, I've already read it. On the other hand, I'm going to read it all over again.
The title story made me cry. Half of the stories made me cry. The other half made me laugh. They all made me think.
David Hudnut
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Touching, engaging and entertaining

I rarely read personal essay writing, or anthologies, so I wasn't really sure what I would get with Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low Flying Duck. Certainly the title was enough to grab my attention. The introduction explained that the stories inside had been read out loud to live audiences as part of the group 2nd Story's live story-telling events, which are designed to get people talking about similar events in their own lives, and thus build community thr
Ozzie Totten
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Storytellers, Personal Essay, Chicago, Independent Authors
Recommended to Ozzie by: 2nd Story
Loved this book. Some of the stories were stronger than other, but taken as a whole you really get a sense of the diverse and wide-spanning Chicago experience. It's a great anthology to check out some of the strongest writers you don't know in Chicago, and standouts like "Why I Hate Strawberries" and "Running On Empty" and "A Cautionary Tale?" really got me excited to get up and get writing myself. Great anthology, everybody check it out.
Christi Craig
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Our actual Mission is to use stories to build community. It's not just about creating good stories; it's about employing those stories to connect people to one another." ~ Amanda Delheimer Dimond, in Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck

The collection of stories within the pages of Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck were originally told to a live audience on the 2nd story stage in Chicago. While there is something quite powerful about listening to a story read out loud
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think we would have a lot more talented writers in this world if they were forced to read their work out loud for an audience. Hearing honest laughter, intense silence, or halfhearted boredom as a direct reaction to your work must do wonders. The short stories of Briefly Knocked Unconscious By a Low-Flying Duck are the result of fine-tuning, hard work, and a true appreciation of the audience. I was genuinely enthralled by each story - and they were all VERY different. Well done to the authors/ ...more
John Crone
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. It really captured that unique, hard to describe, vibe of listening to someone tell a story in Chicago. I was concerned that that intangible live performance whatever-it-is wouldn't translate to a written collection of essays, but they nailed it. The essays are well balanced and all deliver that necessary punch, whether it's laughter or a tear. They never stray into diary-like material, but are extremely well told. "Push Kick Coast" practically knocks you over. I enjoye ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book after having really appreciated Megan Stielstra's books and seeing that she not only had an essay in this book but was instrumental in starting the essays' source--2nd Story, an evolving group of writers who write and read aloud from their experience, followed by listeners tying in their own similar or parallel experiences that come up as a result.

Some essays were better than others, or maybe just more relatable, I guess. The headliner was definitely not only well-titled, but we
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review based on ARC.

Unfortunately for me, the title story was the first story, and I didn't like it. I imagine if you liked that story, then the whole book is set up for you. But for me, it was kind of going nowhere, kind of depressing, kind of just blah. I've heard so many of that story, from so many perspectives, and this one fell flat for me. I say unfortunately because it made me avoid reading (altogether) for a while, because I didn't want more of "that."

When I finally DID pick the book bac
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck is an excellent collection. The stories reflect the humor, sorrow, and unexpected events that characterize the brief, exciting period between life and death. The selections are brief, so this is a perfect book for people traveling or visiting family. The reader can finish a story in one sitting and put the book down and pick it up again with losing continuity. The voices contained in this collection reflect the rich diversity of the city in which ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
There are some interesting and poignant personal stories in here, though I have the feeling that there's something lost in translation from their original, live-storytelling format. Since they are personal to such an extreme degree, I would think that hearing them directly from the author's mouth, in person, where you feel a more direction connection, would be an important part of the experience. As a collection of printed stories, the self-centered nature of all of them starts to feel relentles ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, the concept is a neat idea and the stories they chose for the anthology are a broad spectrum of life experiences. I found the selections to be a good mix of humorous, touching, and thoughtful.

I love the idea of community story telling and hopefully people who read this book will start something similar in their community.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book has essays from a wide variety of people and thus has a large variety of topics and voices. Originally told orally, they go by quickly, but leave an big impact on the reader. You'll find yourself within some of these essays, some of the scenarios are ones you've lived before but you'll experience anew. Though I was not a fan of every story, it was overall a very pleasant experience.
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