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Vorrei che facessi una cosa per me

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 ratings  ·  152 reviews
"Benny torna al tavolo del blackjack del Gray Wolf Casino alla periferia della città di Phelps Lake, Minnesota, dove ha cercato di perdere tutti i soldi che possiede per rovinarsi la vita in un modo assolutamente convincente. Sta facendo qualcosa di sbagliato e lo sa. Ma il suo piano sta fallendo. Due tizi seduti al tavolo del blackjack lo osservano con garbata incredulità ...more
Paperback, 201 pages
Published March 24th 2016 by Mattioli 1885 (first published February 3rd 2015)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  1,133 ratings  ·  152 reviews


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Luke Narlee
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles Baxter is an extraordinary writer. I can't emphasize that enough. He's one of the best. Especially when it comes to writing short stores. But he's not for everyone. There's no escapism to be found here. This isn't a book you read because you want to disappear into fantasy land for a while. He writes serious, moody, character studies. Many of his stories are the equivalent of an independent film. If you like short stories with no real beginning or end, and not much in the way of plot...ju ...more
Edward  Goetz
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, general-fiction
This is a really good group of interrelated short stories. Although well written, it lacked the punch I felt with each of Mary Miller's stories in Always Happy Hour and Big World. Don't get me wrong it's a great book, I just read two better ones from the same genre (short fiction) right before it. ...more
Jill
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Charles Baxter has a knack for taking disparate characters and weaving them into an almost dreamlike tapestry. It’s why I was a huge fan of his novel, Feast of Love, for which he was a finalist for the National Book Award. In his new short story collection, there are threads of that process.

The stories are interrelated and organized into Virtues (Bravery, Loyalty, Chastity, Charity and Forbearance) and vices (Lust Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, Vanity). But, of course, it’s not as cut and dry as tha
...more
Roger Brunyate
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories
Moral Encounters in Minneapolis

How could I never even have heard of Charles Baxter? The ten connected stories in this collection are wonderful: not spectacular or earth-shaking, but quietly satisfying. While built around a solid moral core, they are seldom predictable in the directions they take.

For example, consider the titles: Bravery, Loyalty, Chastity, Charity, Forbearance; Lust, Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, and Vanity. Five virtues and five vices; the moral implications are clear. But the them
...more
Rick
Mar 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baxter is a talented novelist and short story writer in the 9 loosely linked stories he chronicles the life and times of a diverse group of modern Minnesotans. Toward the end. Of the collection he quotes a Delmore Schwartz poem about Serraut's painting of the boating party. The interplay of the figures in the painting is akin to the relationships between the characters in these stories. Major characters play bit parts in other stories while minor figures emerge as fully formed figures in later s ...more
Josh
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much less bleak than Believers, and possessing so much more hope, TSISYtD is a unique collection of stories that take place across what seems to be one consistent timeline. At times, Baxter seems to be a student of Carver. His stories begin at the point of a knife gouged deep already, and are slowly drawn out to reveal what is within, but lo! There is nothing left on the blade when it is removed. Characters search for meaning in the unique mundanity of their lives (an ex-wife returns home, a doc ...more
Tuck
4.9 stars
interconnected (like birds are to trees or homeless to aluminum?) stories set in twin cities, along the river mostly, but also in hospitals and poor neighborhoods and rich burbs and a coffee shop and walking along the paths and bridges and in cars and late night back yards and seedy motels (no one told) and some bars, but not many.
looks at morality, interpersonal relationships, duty, compassion . i mean, just look at the TOC

this is sorta if you could meld kis and dybeck A Tomb for Boris
...more
Jenny Dunning
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my view, Baxter just keeps getting better and better. He's truly one of our contemporary masters in the short story. Wonderful, unexpected, satisfying stories fill this collection, several of them deservedly selected for Best American. And the collection as a whole satisfies too--not only are the stories linked (characters reappear; Minnesota,especially Minneapolis, comes alive; and forms repeat) but there's an arc to the collection as a whole. An abstraction titles each story--"Charity," "Lu ...more
Nic
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection was such a wonderful surprise! First, I didn't even know Baxter had new work available until my friend Don sent me this hardcover as a gift! Then, when I made time to read it, I just savored every word! I had been disappointed with Baxter's last novel, and forgot what an outstanding short story writer he has always been. I consider him a favorite, and these loosely linked stories did not disappoint. They did many of the tricky things he does best - showed a great variety of well- ...more
Darkhan
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-reread
One of the beautiful sentences:
"Now, many years later, gazing at his son and seeing a remnant of Sarah's face in the boys characteristic skeptical expression, Benny imagines those days - including the trip to the mall and a little gag they played on a clerk - as a charade of sorts in which he was invited to try out different roles, shedding one after another as Sarah herself did, until he might find one that suited him, although what he didnt understand at the time (as he does now, of course) i
...more
Larry Olson
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to believe that Baxter has written three novels since Feast of Love, one of my favorite novels. I am behind on his work! His new collection of short stories are so expertly crafted and perfectly paced, that I am reminded of why I loved Feast of Love so much. Highly recommended. ...more
Robert
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter is a book of excellent short stories that capture the ironies and pathos and quirks of modern life in America. The geographical focus is Minneapolis (although for some reason severe winter seldom appears here). The lead characters are generally professional class with downward tendencies.

Baxter's gift with the short story form is his energy, the way he moves the action along while filling it with those odd things we all notice in life and chid
...more
Eugenea Pollock
The premise of this book is that human beings are an amalgam of good and bad, and it is extremely effective at exploring the consequences of combination. The ghost of Alfred Hitchcock, a militantly pro-life couple, a woman who has a vision of her after-life upon discovering a lump in her breast, a sexually active young woman with virgin lips, a washed-up film actor/casino greeter, a Jew on Schindler’s List—these are a few of the guides in this wonderful short story collection. The bonus is that ...more
Julie M
Quirky stories connecting most of the characters, and alternating points of view. Very identifiable settings around the U of MN. Baxter is a very well regarded Prof from the U’s English & Creative Writing Dept. Recently retired. Unique and greatly readable.
Sophfronia Scott
Walt Whitman wrote, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” I consider this to be the identifying statement of a good fiction writer. Such a writer doesn’t just sketch figures on a piece of paper. He or she must fully embody these figures, filling them with voice, desire, pain, disappointment and the myriad of emotions, physical sensations and actions that make them unmistakably, irresistibly human. In this respect Charles Baxter delivers, admirably so, with this new story collection. His characters ...more
Jeff Zell
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
A delightful collection of short stories. Baxter takes us into the private lives of several professional people and one mechanic. The characters know each other and make appearances in the other stores. Benjamin the Architect and Elijah the pediatrician are friends who often see each other in the coffee shop. Elijah is the Dr. to other people's children.

The chapter titles are virtues or vices: Bravery, Loyalty, Lust, Sloth, etc.

In the chapter Loyalty, Wes' first wife, Corinne, returns after 16
...more
Amanda
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something I want you to do fellow reader, and that is to open these pages and read the stories within as if the very fate of humankind depended upon it...

There's Something I Want You to Do is a wonderfully written collection of stories that encourages us to study human nature at its core in present day terms. At first, this thoughtful collection of tales seems like regular short stories, but, as is life for all us, the stories start to intermingle; familiar faces greeting us in future n
...more
Kathie Giorgio
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a book has to be read closely and from a distance to truly appreciate the craft and thought that went into it . "There's Something I Want You To Do" is one of those books.

Each individual story is superb. The attention to detail and to language, the development of characters, the fullness of their storylines - amazing. Baxter is the king of being able to define who a character is in one succinct sentence. While at times, the plot might seem light, you realize as you read on that everyth
...more
Jon
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful collection of ten interrelated stories, each involving one way or another, a character asking another the title question. They reappear in each other's stories, sometimes as main characters, sometimes as very minor ones, over a wide range of time and place, eventually forming a sort of loose community of people who have effects on each others' lives that they often don't even realize. Baxter's use of language is extremely precise, and he is a master at describing uncomfortable situat ...more
PJ Wollum
Dec 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I barely made it past the first page. The author is unkind, completely self-absorbed, and thinks he's clever. At a party, he'd be one of those people who only talks about himself, the kind that you'd avoid after enduring him once.

On the first page, he introduces Susan. "...her favorite trick involved riding in cars with at least two other girls. You needed a female cluster in there, and you needed to have the plainest one driving."

What a cruel idea! Can you imagine any women ever saying, "You'r
...more
Kathryn Bashaar
These stories were very well-written and held my interest, but left me unsatisfied. I REALLY like a plot in my stories. I like someone to be changed in some way. I like resolution of some kind. There's definitely interesting conflict in all of these stories. But it mostly remains unresolved or ambiguously resolved. It's hard to know what some of the characters want, or if they get it. That just leaves me disappointed. I realize that my view is not the popular one these days, especially among rea ...more
Paige
This was edging towards a 4.5 but there were a few stories that really lagged. Especially in part 2.I also was not a fan of Quinn's story, for some reason the dual POV sort of disrupted the story for me and it never regained its original ease.

However, overall, I was enchanted by the finesse Mr.Baxter has with writing. Every story had an interesting moral aspect and the characters were very multi-faceted. I think I liked the stories best when they didn't feel like they were trying to hard. This
...more
Brian Carney
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wise, warm and wonderful book. I am not usually a fan on short story collections, but these have a big collective impact. The stories are interwoven in subtle amazing ways as they gracefully leap between characters and through time and space (although most of them are centered around a bridge in Minneapolis). The writing is sharp and well-paced. The wonderfuly diverse characters are fascinating, well-rounded, full of surprises. Baxter's observations about the human condition are compassio ...more
Jim
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Tremendously entertaining stories, many with recurring characters - sometimes it reminded me of a literary "Slacker," one of Richard Linklater's early films that seemingly randomly takes up the stories of Austinites on a "wander" through Austin. Baxter does a similar thing with Minneapolis here, even with an Asian American guy from Minnesota that also reminded me of another movie, "Fargo," and its character of Mike Yanagita. Something you're not expecting to see. A series of profoundly satisfyin ...more
Sarah
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb as always. Baxter is one of my favorite authors - he continues to grow and change as a writer and his stories always surprise and challenge me as a reader. In my opinion, the best contemporary writer of short fiction out there.
Doctor Moss
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
This is one of those books I feel better for having read, but I can’t really say why. It contains ten stories, five grouped together under a theme of virtues — titled Bravery, Loyalty, Chastity, Charity, and Forbearance — and give grouped under a theme of vices — Lust, Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, and Vanity.

The stories do anything but illustrate straight-forward simple morals, organized around their title virtues. Life is messy, and so are virtues and vices. In fact, sometimes you can’t tell if th
...more
Anoka County Library
This book was recommended by NPR’s Book Concierge [apps.npr.org/best-books] when I searched for “Seriously Great Writing” and “Realistic Fiction.” I absolutely LOVE this search engine and use it often when looking for a new book to read. It has never steered me wrong.

The book is comprised of exceptionally well-written short stories from an author who has mastered the form. Each story is interconnected in four ways:
1) Minneapolis.
2) At least one person in each story has a connection to at least
...more
Charles Nelson
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed reading this collection of stories. Yes, they were VERY loosely connected, but these stories work best as a series of 10 vignettes of discovery, rather than as a coherent whole.

As a historian, I know that a researcher is always searching for the elusive truth in how and why people react as they do. There IS an objective reality, but that reality is not completely knowable, as we can't possible know what people are thinking, what truly motivates them or why they do the things
...more
Lindsay
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. It was just another book on my list of books to read. From the start, I didn't struggle through the book. It was an easy read and not too dense. However, as I moved on from story to story, I began to appreciate the complexities within it. Some of the descriptions are just so beautiful and strikingly accurate. Also, queer representation!! I was happily delighted to see several accurate representations of queer characters that broke stereotyp ...more
Lauren
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a treat. My first Baxter and right off the bat, I knew I was in for something really special. Beautifully crafted stories, mostly set in Minneapolis and several reoccurring characters. Each story takes as its subject a virtue or a vice and in each story, the title of the book comes in to play.

That said, I definitely preferred the 'virtue' stories, the second half of the book had me scratching my head a few times. I definitely felt the hand of the author more heavily there.

Baxter is the ki
...more
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Charles Baxter was born in Minneapolis and graduated from Macalester College, in Saint Paul. After completing graduate work in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he taught for several years at Wayne State University in Detroit. In 1989, he moved to the Department of English at the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor and its MFA program. He now teaches at the University of Minnes ...more

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