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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  185 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
With Charity, Mark Richard again secures the distinction of poet laureate of the orphaned poor, the broken, the deceived, and the unrelieved. In stylistic brilliance, he renders their conditions with grace and compassion, and redeems and transports their tragedy with wicked humor.

In the much-anthologized "The Birds for Christmas," two hospitalized boys beg a night nurse t
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 17th 1999 by Anchor Books (first published 1998)
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Ben Fowlkes
Apr 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Though he later ran off to write for "Party of Five", Mark Richard was the Ric Flair of literary short fiction for a while. Much like Flair, Richard has been known to fly in jet planes and steal kisses.
Dec 10, 2012 added it
"The Birds for Christmas," damn. "Fuck Frosty," Michael Christian said to me. "I see that a hunrett times. I want to see "The Birds," man. I want to see those birds get all up in them people's hair. That's some real Christmas TV to me." An all-time Christmas story. Don't want to wait for ILL? Read it here:
Mar 29, 2012 rated it liked it
How I wanted to love this book... I wanted Mark Richard to capture me completely the way he did with "The Ice at the Bottom of the World", but alas, this was not the case.

Still, I ill say that this is the type of book that makes you want to become a writer. It's filled with stories that make you want to put pen to paper and see what comes out.

The problem lies in its unevenness in both content and story execution. Some of the stories here seemed only half baked and not fully formed.

I think "Gentl
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Wonderful author! It's a short collection, but all the stories are quite visceral and surprising. Maybe even grotesque in some sense, but the writing is sparse so it isn't overmuch. Great narrative and unusual style. I especially loved the first story "Gentleman's agreement" and the last, "Memorial Day" -- Richard seems to be at his storytelling best when he's handling youth.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
These are definitely some unusual stories. The narrative voice as well as the stories themselves are a little offbeat, original to Richard. Very enjoyable. He has a good grasp of the voice for his child characters in the stories in the collection that involve such characters. An enjoyable collection to read.
Sep 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
really more like a three and a half cause some of the stories are a bit flat while trying to be strange yet well developed. however the stories that are good are like super-original, flannery o'connor, anthologize-me type good. still well worth the read just for the over adjectified stories.
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
Mark Richard has such a marvelous relationship with language -his descriptions are a little out of the ordinary but so evokative. so bang on. his short story, Gentlemen's Agreement is likely my favourite short story of all time.
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
Great. Great.
Jessica B.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just spent 150 pages wondering where Mark Richard has been my whole life. This is a beautiful book.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Mark Richard's first collection was easily one of the greatest things I've ever read, which makes the inane failure of this collection all the more disappointing.
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The one about slinging condoms full of water at corny gangsters from the balcony you can't afford is one of the best short stories I've ever read.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
"Gentleman's Agreement," and "Where Blue is Blue" are two of my favorite stories ever.
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Captured here are the darker stories we like to overlook. Wine instead of grape juice.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Great read. Bold storytelling, great language.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mark Richard is so good. Why isn't he more popular?
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Mark Richard is an American short story writer, novelist, screenwriter, and poet. He is the author of two award-winning short story collections, The Ice at the Bottom of the World and Charity, a bestselling novel, Fishboy, and House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey Home.
Mark Richard was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and grew up in Texas and Virginia. As heard on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR: H
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