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Hard Candy

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  201 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Presents nine stories from the noted American playwright.
Paperback, 220 pages
Published January 1st 1959 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1954)
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Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-lit, read-comp
So, I had one Tennessee Williams story to mop up from my short-fiction non-genre list, the titular piece here "Hard Candy". I knew that it had some connection to another powerful Williams piece ("The Mysteries of the Joy Rio") I liked, so, since that piece is also here, let me recapitulate my review of that story from another collection:

"The Mysteries of the Joy Rio" has always stuck in my head since I first read it years ago - it's the tale of an elderly gay man and the decrepit pleasure palace
Una raccolta di racconti in cui il disagio, le difficoltà e la miseria dei protagonisti sono il filo conduttore. Storie drammatiche di persone che si trovano ai margini della società e per le quali non c'è possibilità di rivalsa.
Ci viene raccontata con una delicatezza disarmante l'America dei vinti, di un'umanità tormentata.
La lettura, lenta e malinconica, mi ha trascinato per giorni in questo mondo di oppressi senza però trasmettermi angoscia o pena, mi sono invece sentita paradossalmente in si
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a random pick-up from the Portsmouth Public Library. What attracted me to this old tome was the blue striped hardcover (no book jacket). I would have weeded this book years ago. I haven't read short stories in a long time and have forgotten how enjoyable they can be. It's like a rich chocolate, and a little piece is all you need.
These were not all winners, but 7 out of 9 is good odds. I especially liked the sense of place in "The Mattress by the Tomato Patch." It's set in Santa Monica,
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
I picked up this short story collection after finishing Williams' "One Arm." I felt this collection didn't match the intensity of "One Arm" and finished the book underwhelmed. The pacing of "The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin" and a few others was very slow and outlandishly dull.
However, the title story, "Two on a Party" and "The Mattress by the Tomato Patch" had the satisfying and jarring impact that Williams delivers.
What took away from the book was that some stories tended to
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Perhaps all adversaries are larger than Olga, for she is almost as large as the afternoon she lies under."

"The days behind her were like an unclear, fuzzy negative of a film that faded when exposed to the present. They were like a dull piece of thread she would like to cut and be done with. Yes, to be done with forever, like a thread from a raveled hem that catches on things when you walk. But where had she put the scissors?"

"Oh, yes, for a while she would seem to be thinking of something. But
Surrender Dorothy
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished, own
My, I don't even think I managed to finish all the stories in this little volume. It was all just so depressing (like most Tennessee Williams) and all the stories I read all revolved around sex and/or death (like most Tennessee Williams). I usually don't mind this, in fact I think usually prefer it. However, I guess most books I read are Melancholy and end with a sort of thoughtful sadness. I did like 'The Resemblance between a Coffin and a Violin Case' and 'The Mattress by the Tomato Patch' mai ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
Increasingly disappointing collection of stories that starts out strong enough, but slowly becomes redundant and weak. The characters are reasonably solid throughout, but the arcs of the stories become very weak early enough, and by the end we're stuck with a final story that's nearly a literal retelling of one we've already read. Having known Williams from his plays, I had high hopes. Was consequently very disappointed by this.
Virginia Baker
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Train-wreck characters. Interesting places. Strange interactions. Imperfectly perfect writing that is simultaneously not enough and just enough. Concise and to the point, with just enough room for odd details.

Favorite stories: Three Players Of A Summer Game, Two On A Party, Rubio Y Morena, The Mattress By The Tomato Patch, The Mysteries of the Joy Rio.
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it
My favorite story in this was "The Vine". I can't exactly say why I loved it so much, but I guess I just enjoyed how human it felt. I know that sounds strange, but really that's the only way I can find to describe it.

The other stories were good and well written, but "The Vine" is definitely my favorite!
Mitch Pendleton
May 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
I found this hard to get into - something to do with the stilted language. Not unexpected in a playwright, who necessarily relies on dialogue, but surprising in such a great playwright. The title story is excellent though.
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Williams' clean,crisp writing style lures the reader to trusting him;even as he spins stories filled with singular characters in interesting situations. He uses language to create amazing, detailed images of a certain time in American culture.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I've been really into Williams' plays recently, but as a short story writer he doesn't work for me. The themes are all the same, even some of the characters and lines are the same, but this collection mostly felt stale and dull.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Favorites: Three Players of a Summer Game, Two on a Party, Rubio y Morena, The Mysteries of the Joy Rio, Hard Candy
Jun 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those confused about their sexuality and/or Tennesse Williams fans
Creepy stories. But memorable. Startlingly unlike his plays.
Ryan Gibson
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got a sequel to Cat on a Hot Tin roof, praise be
Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Tennessee Williams is a literary god. Brilliant.
Jun 17, 2008 rated it liked it
boy oh boy do i love this man's tickling voice inside my head.
Dec 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I'm a short story lover. These are all so well written, the first is my favorite.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Given that this book was first published in 1954, I wonder how many early readers experienced a bit of southern discomfort with these shorts.
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May 03, 2007
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ...more
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“In the course of this story, and very soon now, it will be necessary to make some disclosures about Mr. Krupper of a nature too coarse to be dealt with very directly in a work of such brevity. The grossly naturalistic details of a life, contained in the enormously wide context of that life, are softened and qualified by it, but when you attempt to set those details down in a tale, some measure of obscurity or indirection is called for to provide the same, or even approximate, softening effect that existence in time gives to those gross elements in the life itself. When I say that there was a certain mystery in the life of Mr. Krupper, I am beginning to approach those things in the only way possible without a head-on violence that would disgust and destroy and which would actually falsify the story.

("Hard Candy")”
“Unattached and aimless, these old men are always infatuated with little certainties and regularities such as those that ordered the life of Mr. Krupper as seen from outside. Habit is living. Anything unexpected reminds them of death.

("Hard Candy")”
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