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Not Quite so Stories

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The traditional explanation for myth (including such works as the relatively modern Just so Stories by Rudyard Kiping) is an attempt by humans to explain and demystify the world. That's crap. We may be able to come to terms with small pieces, but existence as a whole is beyond our grasp. Life is absurd, ultimately beyond our comprehension. The best we can do is to proceed ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Literary Wanderlust
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
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Brian Alan Ellis
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David S. Atkinson is the kind of writer clever enough to moonlight as a lawyer/sociopath capable of freaking out a table full of squares by using hella unassuming methods, so yeah, a damn talented man.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Written by David S. Atkins
March 2016; 166 Pages
Literary Wanderlust

(I received an ARC from the AUTHOR in exchange for an honest review.)

3 Stars

"The traditional explanation for myth (including such works as the relatively modern Just so Stories by Rudyard Kiping) is an attempt by humans to explain and demystify the world. That's crap. We may be able to come to terms with small pieces, but existence as a whole is beyond our grasp. Life is absurd, ultimately beyond our comprehe
Karolyn Sherwood
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some people were born to be writers. David Atkinson is one of them. NOT QUITE SO STORIES is a collection of two dozen short stories that range from droll to strange to bizarre. Each one delivers a punch—not a punch-line, necessarily, more like a punch in the gut. Similar in ways to the great George Saunders, most of Atkinson's stories start with an everyday, normal situation, and then bang!, there's a twist that no one save the author could have predicted.

Not Quite So Stories is possibly the fu
Whispering Stories
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a collection of short stories by David S. Atkinson and each story is as fantastic as the last, something that I absolutely didn’t expect.

Normally, I’m not a fan of short story collections as there are usually one or two picks in the bunch that brings the whole thing down and then I feel very conflicted when it comes to writing up the review. Not the case this time.

It’s quite difficult to explain what it is that makes this author extraordinary but I’ll give it a go: the stories are s
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Not Quite So Stories offers a variety of speculative fiction short stories that takes everyday events and turns them on their head. Most of these stories will make you wonder and will definitely leave questions unanswered. Some stories made me laugh and some left me in deep thought. Like all short story collections, there were stories that I enjoyed more than others.
One of the stories that stood out the most for me was A Brief Account of the Great Toilet Paper War of 2012. A story of replacing
Nancy Stohlman
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David S. Atkinson’s imagination is like a beast unleashed! The short stories in Not Quite So Stories are bizarre and hilarious, taking us into a highly peculiar landscape with scenarios that leave me wondering: Where does he come up with this stuff? Mostly narrated with an over-the-top intellectual deadpan (think “straight man”), he takes us from one outlandish situation to the next without flinching, apologizing, or justifying. Trying to describe these stories would never do them justice—you’ll ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: absurd, short-stories
I really enjoyed these stories of the absurd, which appear whimsical but frequently dig deeper into facets of human existence and society that had me thinking for weeks.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stories of the Absurd

David S. Atkinson delivers one gem after another in this collection of stories. Not only is Haruki Murakami mentioned in one story, these stories remind me of the Japanese author's work.
Gayle Pace
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The author, David S. Atkinson places moral against immoral. In our world, what seems to be, isn't really that way. It starts out looking good and slowly becomes a little or a lot less good in reality. The author does what you aren't expecting. He takes objects that have no substance and gives them substance. He takes something well maintained and puts danger in the middle. Is reality really reality? Do any of us really understand what life is all about? No, everyone has a different perception of ...more
books are love
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quirky and entertaining. My favorites were the great toilet paper war, the skydiving safety administration and the man who left notes for his wife after dinner about her cooking. The great toilet paper war though was awesome.

this is a series of quirky, entertaining stories that aren’t what you would expect. They are a little twisted, a little quirky, some are weird and some are funny but they are a whole lot entertaining. Of all of them the one that has you laugh the most is the great toilet pap
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have received this book for a fair review

It is hard to believe that the short stories are written by one person, unless I am much mistaken. Not Quite So Stories features a lot of small snippets of essay like tales that are funny and well narrated. There are many titles worth reading, I have a few favorites, particularly the one where the house ran away.

The stories are good reading size for those who have short trips and need a distraction, bite size so you can just drop it and continue where y
Teresa Kander
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is not your typical book of short stories. Nothing is as it seems in these stories. At times you'll find yourself asking "What did I just read?" and at the same time wanting to go back and read it AGAIN.

Many times when you read a collection of short stories, even by the same author, there are some you enjoy and some that you don't. This collection is all winners as far as I'm concerned. I suppose the best way to describe them is bizzarre but fascinating.

If I had to pick a favorite story, I
Phoenix Rises
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I really liked the down-to-Earth style of the stories. David Atkinson writes with humor and wit, but also depth. He moves from outright satire to stories that require a closer reading due to intriguing themes. I have sought to write like this, straightforward yet nuanced. The style itself of the writing strikes me as knowledgeable of style, but also interested in the tone and flow of narration, a good balance and combination. It's a great collection, reminds me a bit of Dem ...more
Kevin Berg
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This read was a lot of fun. Packed with stories that are highly original and entertaining, so for me it's no surprise this thing collects awards. A nice break from reality, absurd humor fills the gaps in the monotony that blends the days together to point out how ridiculous life can be for everyone, and helps make this collection that much better. There is something we can all identify with in here, and Atkinson does a great job pulling an observation to the forefront, helping each story really ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful collection of stories! Some I connected with and some I didn’t, but they all had something that inspired me to keep reading and enjoy the ride. Quirky, compelling, absurd and meaningful. There’s something here for everyone.
Kristen Chandler
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book of short stories. The stories were kind of weird. Odd and quirky. BUT I myself am weird, odd and quirky, so I'm assuming that is why I loved this collection so much. What I liked the most about this collection was that some of these stories were realistic, and others were not but at the same time every single story was good. Normally when I read a short story collection, I can pick one or two favorites, but I read this collection like I would a book, and enjoyed the whole thing ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not Quite So Stories was one of the oddest books I've ever read, in the best possible way.

Let me try to break it down for you - have you ever seen those twitter trends where tweets take a twist in the 140 characters allowed? Well this book is like that except with short stories. Each story was unique, and each story had me absolutely confounded by the end - some due to awe at how deep the short story got, some due to absolute confusion as to why it was even a thing, and some due to annoyance 'ca
Brenten Gilbert
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
So, I didn't know what to expect when I began this collection of stories, but I don't think there is a description could really have prepared me for it, anyway. Based on what I did see, I assumed it was something about faith, something about life, and/or perhaps something slightly humorous. The mere mention of Just So Stories conditioned me to expect counter arguments to Kipling's classic tales. I may have even assumed it would be geared towards all ages, fraught with whimsy and optimism.

We kno
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the things people think about most in life is why certain things happen. Atkinson displays this human characteristic artfully with a splash of humor. Each person has their own little quirk, which is described perfectly in nearly all of the stories. The main message he is attempting to get across to his audience is that life, as fleeting as it is, is very strange and unusual at times, and instead of focusing on those moments, accepting them, appreciating them for what they are, and moving ...more
Jessica Bronder
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not Quite so Stories is a collection of short stories from David Atkinson. This is a collection of 23 stories that range from simple and quick to a little longer and more bizarre. My two favorite stories are A Brief Account of the Great Toilet Paper War of 2012 and Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey!

The Great Toilet Paper War could be a variation of the classic battle of leaving the toilet seat up or down. I could see me and my other half doing this to each other. The funniest part for me w
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The stories of David S. Atkinson's Not Quite So Stories are, for want of a better word, weird.
They are not your typical short stories and they are certainly not what I had expected.

So, the 'not quite so stories' are weird, atypical and unexpected. And I enjoyed reading them. Read between the lines and you'd be surprised by their depth.
Read them superficially and they are 'absurd'.

The stories are very well-written.

I had a smile on my face after almost each story. A smile with a lingering sadness
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy looking at things and then imagining them from a completely different perspective,maybe because I believe life and reality is not black and white and is different for every single person.I like writers that can get me to see things from angles that I had not seen myself.David's stories do this.This is a wonderful collection that vary from humorous to darker stories,like "'Happy Trails".Though I usually tend towards humor,this was so well written.I found it very memorable,and shows David' ...more
Joseph Hirsch
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Most short story collections are hit or miss. Thankfully this one is one bulls-eye right after another, because Atkinson is good at thematically varying his stories, and the sequencing of longer and shorter pieces allows each to flow into the next. His strong sense of humor (and equal sense of the absurd) also buoys this collection where many tend to flounder. My favorite story was easily the one about the home incarceration ("Domestic Ties"), and more than a couple of fragments virtually scream ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
David Atkinson is a breath of hysterical air. This is a fantastic collection of short stories that are just so well written and narrated, that it is crazy to believe that they are real, which they indeed are. Entertaining doesn't even begin to describe it. This will roller coaster you through a full range of emotions and the humor is untouchable. I felt like I knew some of the characters for quite sometime, that's how good Atkinson's writing is. It's great to be able to pick this book up, read a ...more
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually into short stories but this one was so unexpected and weird and funny I just couldn't not be a fan of it.

I honestly got the exact opposite of what I expected from the book. I should have known from the description alone that this was going to be different. I love the writing and the author's original take on.. people's normal, everyday lives. It was so interesting to see how the things we see as simple aren't really. I don't know if I'm making sense right now but trust me, you'r
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a collection of short stories. A peculiar mix leaning towards the bizarre. The author has a vivid imagination and uses it to the full. I suspect he had let it run wild and enjoyed doing so.

Some of the stories held my attention .. I particularly liked ‘Happy Trails’. The titles of some were enough to pique interest. The advantage of being a relatively short book 166 pages broken down into several tales means if you don’t connect with one you can soon progress to the next.

I admire the wri
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, books-to-review
This is a collection of shorter stories and I have to admit they are a bit bizarre, well some of them anyway! However they are interesting too. There are a few stories where they just end and in a way I felt let down, that there might have been more to the story that I guess we just have to make up on our own!

I like that some of the stories are short and some are longer. None of them take long to read and it is easy to put down if you need to stop for some reason.

I think one of my favorites was
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this fantastic stories, David S. Atkinson finds the whimsical surrealism of the ordinary and makes the everyday unfamiliar. A couple goes to war over toilet paper, a teddy bear commits savage murders, and bad service becomes a hotel's signature--these are just a few of the funny situations that keep you reading. Atkinson's writing is smart, amusing, and entertaining. Do yourself a favor and buy this book. ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: samanthal
An interesting set of stories that are quite short and have some humorous situations. They are really quite unique. They each have some likeable characters , some of whom, you might want to become friends with and some you definitely wouldn’t want to be friends with. But, if you’re interested in a quick read, pick up a copy and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quirky characters in very interesting settings.
Susan Brooks
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is rare that I read a story and am completely surprised by the ending. It is also rare that I read something that causes me to laugh out loud. Not Quite So Stories in one of those unusual collections that did both. The writing is literary and insightful. The the story situations were sometimes odd, sometimes funny, sometimes surprising, but always delightful.
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David S. Atkinson is the author of books such as "Roses are Red, Violets are Stealing Loose Change from my Pockets While I Sleep" (forthcoming July 1, 2018), "Apocalypse All the Time," and the Nebraska book award winning "Not Quite so Stories." He is a Staff Reader for "Digging Through The Fat" and his writing appears in "Spelk," "Jellyfish Review," "Thrice Fiction," "Literary Orphans," and more. ...more

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