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The Whore's Child and Other Stories

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,189 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
With a fluency of tone that will surprise even his devoted readers these short stories capture both bewildering horror and heartrending tenderness with an absorbing, compassionate authority.

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling Empire Falls—also named the year's best novel by Time—Richard Russo now focuses, in his first book of short fiction, on a fresh and fasci
...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published 2002 by Chatto & Windus
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Brendan
Jul 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Russo, once a teacher of writing himself, opens his debut collection of short stories, The Whore’s Child, in familiar territory: the classroom. Sister Ursula, who is “nearly as big as a linebacker,” deposits herself in the narrator’s advanced writing workshop, uninvited and unregistered. Despite the professor’s insistence that she write fiction -- “In this class we actually prefer a well-told lie,” he tells her -- she submits for the class’s consideration several hefty installments of ro ...more
Andy Jacobs
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining short stories in Russo's dependable prose. The first two stories are the best of the set. While the writing lacks the continuous stylistic punch of, say, Foer, Russo has his good moments
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : The Whore's Child and Other Stories - Nevisande : Richard Russo - ISBN : 009943752X - ISBN13 : 9780099437529 - Dar 240 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2002
Josephine (Jo)

This book of short stories did not live up to my expectations. Although I did find some of the events in some of the stories amusing they were all a little depressing.

All of the characters in the stories were either dissatisfied with their lives, had big regrets, were trying to escape their boredom or were just plain bitter. With every story I was hoping for a twist in the tail, a resolution of the problem or even a happy ending.

I waded through it but found myself looking forward to the end whi
...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This is an enjoyable collection of stories. I admit I didn't especially care for the title story, which comes first, and made me wonder how the rest of it would go. It involves a bitter, mean-spirited old nun who made me happy I'd never been Catholic. In Monhegan Light is a California couple who visits an island in Maine, where the man's now-deceased wife has summered for years. The Farther You go seems to have been taken from (or was the inspiration for?) his novel Straight Man, and perhaps my ...more
Leslie
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someday I want to write this well.
Chip
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't find books - books find me. This book, in fact, is a prime example of the process. I was in BooksAMillion looking through the used library books ($3 each) and saw the name Richard Russo, who I thought (accurately) had won a Pulitzer, so I purchased the book, even though the title had stickers covering it. It was only later, halfway into the book, that I glanced at the spine and realized the title "The Whore's Child" seems designed to titillate... a kind of marketing oversell which, had I ...more
B the BookAddict
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: me: I love Richard Russo's work
Although I generally do not like short stories (simply for their brevity), being a Russo book I had to buy it. And I was not disappointed. Russo writes with his wonderful insight into both men and women, fashioning stories set in provincial towns. A nun in a writer's workshop, a retired professor and his wife on holiday, a boy of recently separated parents, a small town pianist with a mother who is a prostitute, two men whose boyhood friendship is really the only thing connecting them in the pre ...more
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
Mixed bag, a couple of excellent stories between the average ones.

The whore’s child, 4.5 stars
Monhegan Light 3 stars
The Farther You Go 2 stars
Joy Ride 4.5 stars
Buoyancy 1.5 stars
Poison 2 stars
The Mysteries of Linwood Hart 2.5 stars
Catherine
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I started to read this book and thought, why does anyone write short stories? why not write a whole novel? Isn't this copping out? And then, in the penultimate story of the book, a character chastises another - isn't writing short stories just cowardice? Isn't it copping out?

I laughed, and enjoyed the dialogue, and realized how utterly playful these short stories were, not only because they played with me.

Russo's a wonderful wordsmith, and he captures characters and places with what appears to b
...more
Ariel
Jan 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle age male professors
Wham Bam, another book read in two days. I must say this reading pace is quite satisfying. The book, eh. The first (title story) and last story were both unique and engaging. In between those the stories all seemed to be about middle aged professors and islands. Most of these men don't relate to the women they are with and almost all of them have some scene that involves the male lead character being shocked or worried about their female companion taking off their clothes in public. This was an ...more
Guille
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russo es uno de esos escritores, Yates sería otro ejemplo, que consigue encontrar oro de muchos quilates en la vida de esas personas carentes de un atractivo especial o de una historia singular. Es ese tipo de literatura preocupada por el alma de esa gente normal en sus vida normal; gente corriente que en algún momento descubre lo fuerte que era el torrente de vida que les empujó al puerto en el que se encuentran y al que nunca posiblemente habrían pensado dirigirse y al que quizás era inevitabl ...more
Daniel Jr.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It would be tough to ask much more from a collection of short stories. My only "frustration" was that the better stories weren't actually the beginnings to novels. I just connect with Russo's work so well. Now I'm re-reading THE RISK POOL.
Karen
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it! Except for the last story. Not sure why!
Wendy
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read short story collections but I've enjoyed his other books so much, I gave it a go and ❤❤❤❤❤, ...more
Mary
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fool for Russo's writing. These short stories are perfect in their examination of people and their machinations. Diverse, from a nun to artists on Monhegan, each story investigates the how and why of the characters lives.
Luminalsl
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bof
J'ai adoré, littéralement adoré la première histoire. Mais le problème c'est qu'elle a mis la barre tellement haute que les histoires suivantes m'ont toutes légèrement déçu jusqu'à la dernière qui m'a carrément laissé de marbre (et qui était vraiment trop longue)

Après la plume de Richard Russo ainsi que la finesse de sa compréhension humaine m'ont impressionnée. Je compte bien lire un de ces romans !
Thomas L.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Russo is an American treasure. The title story of this collection, "The Whore's Child," is simply on of the best short stories I have ever read.
Diane
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of Russo's short stories isn't as well know or as well received as his novels. I found them to be entertaining and well-crafted. As always, Russo seems to focus on family relationships and is skilled at understatement when dealing with angst and pathos. The title story is a bit of a departure as he usually focuses on men who are down-on-their-luck. This is a Belgian nun "nearly as big as a linebacker" who joins the narrator's advanced fiction class and tells her story in a series ...more
Glee
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Russo's writing is meant to be savored. I forget that sometimes, and try to rush things along. And then I remember and go back and take my time with each word and phrase and I am moved.

As I was making my way through this collection of stories, some short, some not-so-short, I was becoming overwhelmed with the morose and beleaguered sensibility that Russo's work is often steeped in. And then I remembered.... "slow down, you move too fast." While these stories are not generally imbued with the sl
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Richard Russo's strength is definitely in his novels, not short stories. That's not to say I didn't enjoy this book. He just needs that time and space to develop his rich plots and characters in the way we've come to love.

I think the first two stories are the best in this book: "The Whore's Child" and "Monhegan Light." "Monhegan Light" was definitely my favorite. "Joy Ride" is really quite good also.
Bill Keithler
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The impressive thing to me about this collection of short stories by Richard Russo is the way he is able, within a limited span of pages, to create a set of characters which are fully developed. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that he provides all that is necessary for the reader to fully flesh out the characters. Many of these short stories have close to the impact of a novel, which is a testament to great writing.
Patrick Hanlon
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories with solid writing. Joyride is probably my favorite of the bunch. A great mix of lightness and darkness often in a single sentence. I've read a bit of Russo over the last few years and this would be a fine sampler of his work and his characters from New England.
Laura
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters.
Katherine  Kimball
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always enjoyed reading short stories and these were compelling. Great characters and meaningful plot development.
Sueclarice
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
makes me want to look into more of his work
Lynn
reading now...short stories...great writer!
Anne Green
This is the only book of short stories Russo has published and followed his Pulitzer Prize winning “Empire Falls”. The stories are engaging but most of them felt to me like the beginning of a novel, something that required a wider scope to really do it justice. There was none of the short, sharp penetration that I look for in a short story, where every word catapults you along from beginning to end and not one is superfluous.

Russo is a writer more at home with the broad canvas of the novel. In
...more
Susan Roden
Not upbeat tales. Sort of slice-of-life stories, with a lot of background, but no future.
My spouse read the first story and found it very depressing. It was not so depressing for me, but an elderly person who was a child around the time of Jane Addams "Hull House" could not be denied the possibility of a sad childhood.
I also read this author's "Empire Falls" and was not overly enthralled with it either. Very wordy, little action. And I am not a fan of thrillers, just movement in a story.
So there
...more
Tom Romig
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each story in the collection rewards the reader with Russo's wry and wise take on people trying to succeed, to understand, or just to make it through another day. He is especially good at characters who comically or tragically--often both--misapprehend their own lives and the lives of others. Sometimes it's an obtuse college professor who knows nothing of his wife while other times it's a mystified boy slogging through the messy world shaped by struggling adults.
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RICHARD RUSSO is the author of seven previous novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.
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“I was the one who did come through that door. You were the one she was waiting for.” 9 likes
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