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Histoire de réussir
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Histoire de réussir

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  161 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews

In Sucess Stories, an exceptionally varied yet coherent collection, Russell Banks proves himself one of the most astute and forceful writers in America today. Queen for a Day, Success Story, and Adultery trace fortunes of the Painter family in there pursuit of and retreat from the American dream. Banks also explores the ethos of rampant materialism in a group of contempora

Paperback, 189 pages
Published January 4th 1994 by Actes Sud (first published 1986)
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Chad Bearden
Well now, nothing can get you more into the mirthfully joyous Christmas spirit than reading Russell Banks' sorta-short story collection/sorta-novella, "Success Stories". After all, what could make you feel cheerier than reading about how inevitably dreary and disappointing life is?

I've read Banks before, so I wasn't exactly surprised at how glum his little world was, but it definitly stands out as a defining quality of this collection. I call it a sorta-collection because many of the stories are
Paul Duggan
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read Banks' "Angel on the Roof" instead as most of these stories are there plus many others.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
“One of the most difficult things to say to another person is I hope you will love me. Yet that is what we all want to say to one another—to our children, to our parents and mates, to our friends and even to strangers” (36).
“…walked straight down the hill from the eighteenth-century brick dormitories and classroom buildings to the wide boulevard below, where huge, neoclassical fraternity houses lounged beneath high, ancient elms” (50).
“…and she was wailing, a high, unbroken keening sort of sound
I always seem to read Banks's books in the winter, and somehow the bleak outlook of his stories and novels is something of an anodyne to the insane nostalgia and bittersweet banquets of the holiday season. Success Stories alternates between Banks's naturalism in his Painter family stories of mid-century, working class American life, and some fables that take place in Latin ghettos and Korean villages. Banks should stick with his own milieu, because these strange fables just don't work.
Not my favorite of Bank's work, (compared to Rule of the Bone which I adored), but a few of the stories were well worth the read- I felt like I was seeing Banks from a much earlier place in his life- some stories I might have skipped over, but I always feel compelled to give a writer's work my full attention... a dark melancholy covers so many of these tales- just when you think something might go well for a character, sigh... things fall apart....
Joe Sherman
Painfully tragic. Some of the stories don't seem to fit in with the others that are vignettes from the life of a male protagonist from age 12 onward. They are good stories, but seem like added filler.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on the shelf of an extrememly well read roommate and devoured it . I had heard the author read "Sarah Cole: a type of love story" on "This American Life" and was hooked on Russell Banks. It's the only book I never returned to that roommates bookshelf.
Richard Jespers
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
“Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story” is my favorite (recommended by PH). He uses two points of view. Alternates between first and third—third person to distance narrator from the awful way he treats Sarah, first person to express his sorrow, his shame. Excellent.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this collection of earlier stories after reading Banks' newest collection. These are not as polished as the newer ones, but their rawness is appealing too. He writes beautifully.
Sep 23, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read this collection yet, but "Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story" is one of the better short stories in the universe.
Janet Russell
hard fellow. good writer.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One whole star is for "Sarah Cole" and "My Mother's Memoirs..." which are both beautiful and complex. The rest of the stories are clunky, obvious, and self-indulgent, or just hardly register.
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Russell Banks is a member of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. He has written fiction, and more recently, non-fiction, with Dreaming up America. His main works include the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplit ...more
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“I was afraid of the consequences of my acts in the right way, beyond guilt, but it was too late. I'd already become the person I should have been afraid of becoming.” 4 likes
“Our sins describe us, and our prohibitions describe our sins.” 1 likes
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