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Thunderstruck & Other Stories

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,665 Ratings  ·  324 Reviews
From the author of the beloved novel The Giant’s House—finalist for the National Book Award—comes a beautiful new story collection, her first in twenty years. Laced through with the humor, the empathy, and the rare and magical descriptive powers that have led Elizabeth McCracken’s fiction to be hailed as “exquisite” (The New York Times Book Review), “funny and heartbreakin ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by The Dial Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Richard Kramer
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Short story collections are often described as lovely, and if they're short story collections by women they're almost ALWAYS described as lovely. (A novelist of my acquaintance, much published, a lady, told me that with each new book the art department offers a jacket design of a woman, seen from behind, on a beach, whether there's a beach in the book or not.) Well, this is a short story collection by a woman, and it's not lovely,not at all. It's dangerous, partly because it says, in a handful o ...more
Diane S ☔
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
There are a few things I ask myself after reading a book of short stories: are they complete in and of themselves and will I remember any of them? In this book I have to say, yes. Brilliantly constructed with memorable characters and plots, there were none that I actively disliked.

I found the first story, "Something Amazing", haunting. "Property" is an amazing story about the many different ways we grieve. "Juliet" is set in a library, which is where I work and so many of the comments were very
...more
Panagiotis
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Αυτό το βιβλίο το είχα καιρό στην λίστα μου. Δεν μπορώ να θυμηθώ ποιες ήταν οι αναφορές που είχα, τι με παρακίνησε να το βάλω στα μελλοντικά μου αναγνώσματα, και από που το βρήκα. Το μόνο που ήξερα όταν το ξεκίνησα είναι πως πρόκειται για γυναίκα συγγραφέα και πως πρόκειται για μια συλλογή διηγημάτων.

Το εξώφυλλο μαρτυρά τις προθέσεις και το περιεχόμενο: literary fiction, μάλλον από κάποιο άρθρο των New York Times. Δεν έπεσα έξω και σίγουρα κάτι ήξερε ο πρότερος εαυτός μου, τότε, παλιά, που το επ
...more
Rebecca Foster
It took me less than twelve hours to devour these luminous short stories of bittersweet losses and vengeful ghosts. My favorite story here is “Property,” which I had already encountered in The Best American Short Stories 2011. As a serial renter, I appreciated (and cringed at) the descriptions of the dump the recently widowed protagonist finds himself inhabiting: “The ad should have read: For rent, six-room hovel ... Or: Wanted: gullible tenant for small house ... Or: Available June: shithole ...more
Thomas
A quirky and aromatic collection of short stories that I wish I liked more. McCracken centers her writing on themes of loss: a young academic who grieves the death of his wife, a sharp grandmother who loses her son and attends to his daughter, a married couple whose daughter partakes in risky behavior that results in an end to her innocence, and more. McCracken approaches death from several different angles, each one a unique perspective that pulls you into the characters' lives and stories.

Desp
...more
Larry H
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The short stories in Elizabeth McCracken's great new collection, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, may not leave you feeling all shiny and happy inside, but you will find yourself marveling at her writing ability, and how she captivates and compels you in just a few short pages. These are stories that look at the bleaker side of life, love, and relationships, but many pack a serious punch.

Some of my favorites in this collection are: "Juliet," which tells the story of a community rocked by a mur
...more
Solistas
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μερικούς μήνες πριν, πέτυχα κάπου μια πρόμο-καμπάνια της Penguin για διηγήματα, όπου για ένα διάστημα λάμβανες στο μέηλ σου ένα διήγημα από κάποια συλλογή που επέλεγαν οι αρμόδιοι. Κάθε διήγημα "έσπαγε" σε 4 μέρη κ έπαιρνες ένα την ημέρα. Όταν γράφτηκα έλαβα το πρώτο μέρος του "Juliet" απ'τη νέα συλλογή της Elizabeth McCracken, την οποία δεν γνώριζα μέχρι εκείνη τη στιγμή κ μου άρεσε τόσο πολύ το διήγημα που γρήγορα παρήγγειλα το βιβλίο για να διαβάσω κ τις υπόλοιπες ιστορίες της κ αποδείχτηκε ό ...more
Vincent Scarpa
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An expert collection of stories—without a single false note from beginning to end—that explore and interrogate concepts of ownership, narrative possession, grief, and caregiving. McCracken's language, character rendering, and story architecture are unparalleled in this, her first collection of stories since 1993. More than happy to wait another twenty years for the next one if they're always going to be this good.

Don't just buy this book. Read it. Move it to the top of your to-read pile, just t
...more
Holly
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Exceptionally good. Stories informed, one guesses, by McCracken's experiences of grief, and her family's travels, but each very much a fictional creation. Sentences that made me slow down to appreciate every word choice and McCracken's shrewd and pungent sense of humor. I was most strongly affected by by the second ("Property") and the last ("Thunderstruck") but there isn't a weak story in the collection. It's cliche to say this but they reminded me of what (short) fiction can do, and that short ...more
David
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Before jumping in to this marvelous collection, you should know something that is not at all apparent from the book jacket’s text: these are stories about loss and grieving.

The losses range from tragic (a six-year old girl lost to lymphoma, a boy kidnapped by a creeper on a bus, a young man suddenly widowed fifty years too soon) to violent (a woman murdered in her home by a stranger, another woman frightfully abused by her controlling husband), with a heavy dose of brutal family matters (an abse
...more
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Elizabeth McCracken (born 1966) is an American author. She is married to the novelist Edward Carey, with whom she has two children - August George Carey Harvey and Matilda Libby Mary Harvey. An earlier child died before birth, an experience which formed the basis for McCracken's memoir, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.

McCracken, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, was born in
...more
More about Elizabeth McCracken...
“Whatever you have lost there are more of, just not yours.” 2 likes
“I’m so sorry,” he said, because after Pamela died, he promised himself that if anyone told him the smallest, saddest story, he would answer, I’m so sorry. Meaning, Yes, that happened. You couldn't believe the people who believed that not mentioning sadness was a kind of magic that could stave off the very sadness you didn't mention – as though grief were the opposite of Rumpelstiltskin and materialized only at the sound of its own name.” 1 likes
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