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The Bed Moved

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,309 ratings  ·  188 reviews
The audacious, savagely funny debut of a writer of razor-sharp wit and surprising tenderness: a collection of stories that gives us a fresh take on adolescence, death, sex; on being Jewish-ish; and on finding one’s way as a young woman in the world.

A New Yorker, trying not to be jaded, accompanies a cash-strapped pot grower to a “clothing optional resort” in California. A
ebook, 160 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Knopf
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Average rating 3.39  · 
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 ·  1,309 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
23 Short stories .....for a total of 139 pages.

The very first story, (title story), "The Bed Moved", said more in 2 short pages than many 300 page novels.

Daring & Clever, ....
Universal themes: sex, relationships, sleeping around, pot, clothing optional resort, puberty-enhancing naps, school, calculators and cheating, cancer, parents, boyfriends, housekeepers, learning to drive, sex, death, desire, sex, family, growing up Jewish, causal heroism, mixing pain & humor.....weirdness....coolness, a
Michelle Hart
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016

listen, i'm a twenty-something jewish girl--and only child--obsessed with sex and parental loss. this book should have been my everything. instead it left me scratching my head. it reminded me of lauren holmes' collection, barbara the slut, from last year: anesthetized anecdotes that evoke significant ideas without rendering them in meaningful ways.

these aren't 'stories' so much as they are 'vaguely related punchlines that don't add up to anything.' there are some choice lines here, but sin
Dov Zeller
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a first book of 23 short shorts (or at least, short-ish shorts, some shorter and some stingier than others) by a 'new' author. (That's what they say about people when they are just starting to publish, even if they've been writing for a while.)

The stories are sharp, observant, bleak but somehow, for lack of a better word, cute. Cute and acute. There is childish voice that is often speaking in a way which is too knowing for a child. Hard to explain, but it's a thing she does, and it can
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been waiting on this collection since 2006 when I read three stories in an issue of n + 1, which I've kept all these years. The wait was long but it was worth it. The Bed Moved ranks in my top-five all time favorites.
Rachel B. Glaser
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This unflinching and clever book of linked stories officially comes out on April 12th. Schiff's protagonist narrates the last two decades of her life with a detached, yet vulnerably honest voice. Fearlessly Schiff finds humor and sadness in death, sex, Geology camp, a funeral, a cancer blog, a parent's recent search history, a housekeeper's affair, a clothing optional hot spring experience, and every other moment and tradition Schiff narrows her eyes on. Each sentence rings with the humble, accu ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars.

Man, this book tried really, really hard to be deep.
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Schiff's debut short story collection focuses on what it's like to be a privileged young Jewish woman. You may think *snore* like I first did, because who needs another short story collection about being white and young and female? But this collection has a lot more weight to it than I was expecting.

The stories themselves are often very short, like flash-fiction short, and this is a good thing. It made the collection move along at a quick pace. No single story is longer than ~10 pages, and that
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really just felt like I was reading snippets from the same story over and over again. All the characters were so similar I had a hard time remembering if a story had ended or if I was still reading the same one. That said, there are one or two really interesting bits in here - the less narrative and shorter ones really showed her talent. As a whole though, this collection is lackluster and too unvaried to make a real impression.
I think one of the reasons I don't like short story collections in general is that I feel compelled to write a review addressing each story. This collection has 23 stories, one of which is only half of a page long and so I am freeing myself of my compulsion, possibly as a result my rating is slightly inflated (I was bordering on 3 or 4 stars and ended up granting the 4).

It is a short story collection, but the voice is so similar throughout that it could be a collection of stories about the same
Jaclyn Crupi
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Schiff gives you a lot to love here and these stories are my kind of stories. Reminiscent of Lauren Holmes's Barbara the Slut and Katherine Heiny's Single, Carefree, Mellow this collection has it all. It's up there with You Should Pity Us Instead as my short story collection of the year.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
If only the stories had been stories and not passing bits leftover from an MFA program...
Jun 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
Luckily I am Gen X and not a Millennial, so I don't have to hear about how this book is "the voice of my generation." If this was what my life was really like, I think I would want to end it. No soul, just sex and drugs and STDs. No emotional attachment to anything or anyone. This is more of how Baby Boomers look at Millennials than what they're really like. What anyone is like. The stories are boring, revolving around the same themes, never offering any deeper layers of meaning or reaching larg ...more
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories
This collection of short stories taught me a lot about growing up as a bookish girl in middle-class suburban New Jersey during the eighties/nineties.... Oh, no, wait. I already knew all about that. Really, I enjoyed the book a lot during the first third or so. Then it got a little same-ground-tready, which she sort of addresses in the last two-pager called "Write What You Know." Thankfully the book is short. She works with words playfully in a way that reminded me of Loorie Moore, but... there's ...more
Morgan Schulman
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I feel about this the way I feel about all books like this. Some of the stories are really enjoyable. Some of them are really tiresome. No one needs a whole book of it. The genre was much more fresh and invigorating back in the early 90s when I first started reading story collections like this. Maybe I just need to stop reading them altogether, maybe being an English major in the 90s tapped me out to this sort of thing.

Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book opens with FOUR pages blurbling all over themselves, so I won't do more here than mostly agree: it is a promising debut, (almost too) witty and well-written, intelligent and perceptive. I enjoy writers who can stun you with the direction a sentence takes or with a verb choice that takes a beat to sink in. The danger I see on the horizon, however, is that of sinking into the merely sarcastic ADHD-addlepated tone endemic to angsty teenage romcoms freelanced by fuming underemployed rapidly ...more
Nate Kowal
Jan 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
The Bed Moved was full of punchy lines (fully of shock value and little substance, well written sentences, that felt sterile and without emotion. The stories were to read as sad but instead felt numb.

This collection, of short stories, wasn't for me. It seems that there are those out there whose boxes are checked by this book; I was left scratching my head.

Let's start off with what I liked. I liked Schiff's short, clipped, stream of conscious style of writing. The sentences, as considered by a fo
Peter Landau
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some like it hot, some like it short. I like both, and Rebecca Schiff delivers hot, short stories that are also weird and funny in her debut collection THE BED MOVED. My God, I want to go out with this book! You will, too, after sampling just the opening lines of some of her stories: “Rebecca had sex recently, but she forgot,” “The ad said, ‘I will rate your vagina,’ so I sent it in” or “She slept with men who only wanted to play Settlers of Catan.” Not all the stories are about sex, but most of ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'd like to review this if I can get my act together because this slim collection (due out in April) is truly astonishing: brilliant, hilarious, and human to the core. How Schiff accomplishes so much through such short pieces is nothing short of genius. Take in her huge talent in one sitting then revisit again, again, and again.
Keith Rosson
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know I'm pretty late to this party, but yeesh, Rebecca Schiff's THE BED MOVED is brilliant. Terse, nimble, and fucking hilarious collection, even as it tackles some brutal subjects. Stunning sentences. I could live to be a million years old and never write this well. Recommended.
Kaylabookworm22 L
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book wasn't what I thought it would be. It was still good. Some parts were boring while other parts were entertaining. It was funny at times too.
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Reading a couple of the shorter stories in this book in the bookstore, I thought I'd love this book-- the voice is distinctive, flat and with an arch but limited syntax, and the stories seemed funny but bruised. Reading it at home, though, I found those skills not enough to sustain a whole collection, even a short one like this. The voice, and some of the situations (let's say sleeping with men who have girlfriends, or a dead parent) seemed repetitive and not turned to new subjects. Dating seeme ...more
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
smart, funny, cutting, sarcastic, I did feel at times it was a little glib, but it has a 'Lorrie Moore' depth hidden under all the throwaway stuff. Well, sometimes. Mainly about pre-Uni/Uni/post-Uni life it tackles such modern problems as a 'Rate my vagina' website (her breasts get an 8), coming across her father's porn predilection after his death and visiting a clothes optional hot spring. I was going to give it three stars but have found myself wanting to quote it a lot, so will up it to 4, a ...more
Bookforum Magazine
"I loved The Bed Moved. I love the traditions of narrative obsession, syntactic contortion, and blurt-it-out black humor from which it springs.

Schiff's characters can never fully drive into remission through their self-awareness or their ironizing, what one character calls "the gallows humor of the coffee-brewing class."

So much darkness delivered in such consistent doses risks habituation, but Schiff keeps things lively with her fearlessness and/or shamelessness and/or fearlessness of shame."

Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Initially reminded of Lydia Davis, but soon, I acknowledged this author's distinctive voice--neurotic and unsettling, which should mean good-- is not like Davis's. What the author aimed might fall somewhere between prose poems and explosive short stories, some could be flash fiction just as many people call nowadays. As short stories, however, their premise--or themes, sets, material --rendered too uninteresting to my taste, at least to like enough. The good thing was that I could finish without ...more
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book a few weeks ago and I already don't remember the stories very well, only that they are extremely witty and barbed, cool to the point of coldness—and funny, in a cool/cold way. My favorite one is about a young woman who has a crush on a guy with cancer who is a real self-absorbed tool. My second favorite is about a young woman who has a brief relationship with a California guy and they go to a hippie hot spring, because it's obvious that the hippie hot spring in the story is Harb ...more
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Schiff is a Grace Paley for the modern day with a little Lorrie Moore to boot. Honest and witty, the stories told (mostly) first-person from a twenty-something female narrator are full of neurosis, sex, death and weirdo boyfriends. Each story is bite-size but not without depth due to Schiff's use of language which will runs circles around you. Fast read and definitely worth it.
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Collection of (often very) short stories that really have no cohesion and are sometimes a little repetitive like the author can't let go of certain motifs-- but that I loved and just devoured and wished was 3x longer.
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
An irreverent collection of short stories (and flash fiction) about growing up, the ennui of adolescence and burgeoning sexual expression. Perhaps not as consistent or cohesive as some similar collections but there was some inspired writing here.

Bonnye Reed
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
GAB I read several of the stories in this compilation through Penguin Random House's Season of Stories. Rebecca Schiff is an excellent addition to my list of must-read short story authors - thank you for sharing her work with me.
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
she's going to get better and better, I think. lots of promise in her ideas and observations. little clunky for now. but an easy feminism that's comforting.
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Rebecca Schiff is the author of The Bed Moved, a finalist for an LA Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her stories have appeared in n+1, Electric Literature, Fence, Guernica, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Lenny Letter, and The Best Small Fictions 2017. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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