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Glory Days

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  33 reviews
2017 Finalist for Literary Fiction, Foreword Reviews

Best Fiction Books of 2017 by Chicago Review of Books

One of 19 Books You Should Read This September by Chicago Review of Books

The small plains town of Ingleside, Nebraska, is populated by down-on-their-luck ranchers and new money, ghosts and seers, drugs and greed, the haves and the have-nots. Lives ripple through each
Paperback, 180 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by University of Nebraska Press
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Angela M
Aug 27, 2017 marked it as abandoned-not-for-me
Much too gritty for me .
Diane S ☔
Unrated. Thirty percent in and I have no clue what is going on and can't find the patience to figure it out. Segmented writing, very frustrated.
A solid 3.5 stars.

A very honest and real book.
The writing style of Glory Days is described in its synopsis as "gritty realism," and I could not think of a more perfect description.
Fraterrigo does a fantastic job exposing the seamy underside of the places in America that have undergone drastic change--from antiquated and comfortable to modern and unfamiliar--and have emerged battered, broken, and looking nothing like they once did. The same goes for the people who inhabit these places; either
Bryan Furuness
Man, this is good. If you like Denis Johnson, Larry Brown, or Donald Ray Pollock, this book is for you. If you think stories are at their strongest not when they make you fall in love, but when they break your heart, this book is for you. Dark, beautiful, and haunting—a powerful read.
Nicole Brooks
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Glory Days" is beautifully written and emotionally brutal. Be ready for darkness. A short novel told in stories, from different characters' points of view, this book has images that will stay with you for a long time. The language is gorgeous. The characters are linked by geography and circumstance. While there are very dark moments, "Glory Days" ends on a lovely note.
Laura Pritchett
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A tender and tragic portrayal of small-town life, filled with beautifully flawed characters whose voices are unforgettable. From this fascinating cast, we hear about the economic trials of farming, the realities of poverty, the solace of land. From calving season to an amusement park, this novel takes us on a journey that's told with generosity of spirit and a true tenderness for the land.
Sarah Piper
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, giveaways
So full disclaimer: I received this as a Goodreads Free Giveaway ... so here is my honest review.

I loved the emotion and the background of the characters.

Honestly my biggest and only gripe is I was confused when the story kept going from past to present without notice because it was hard to keep track of where things happened until the end.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
What did I think of the book, Goodreads asks? I think it's much too gritty for me. I kept trying to find a single character with redeeming qualities, or something that would help me understand why the author was compelled to tell this story, and I just couldn't come up with anything. Way too much cruelty, sexual assault and ghosts for me to even tolerate, much less enjoy.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm sorry I had to be so honest with this one.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Glory Days by Melissa Fraterrigo is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.

In a show of extremely salt-of-the-earth, rural small town, independent film script-worthy storytelling, Fraterrigo writes about Luann, who stubbornly refuses to move away from the place where she last saw her father, Teensy, and continues to work at the local carnival, Glory Days, despite the harassing and bullying relationship with her boyfriend, Footer.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this dark tale and I can't wait for the author to visit our library's book club in August!
Catherine Grossman
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Glory Days. I loved it. Smooth, and beautiful. The presence of the land is large in my mind—it's the soil in which these characters grow, yet the words used to describe land are few, far between and memorable. How does this author know so much about trout in the streams? About skinning rabbits, about raising beef cattle, about large houses built on fertile land, palsy and walkers and wheel chairs and how it would go if an old man was shot? Driving trucks? Withered legs on ...more
Xhenet Aliu
For transparency's sake, I should mention that I was a member of the peer review committee that recommended this book for publication. I did not personally know or know of the author prior to reading her manuscript.

Glory Days is about struggling people. Most fiction is about struggling people--some struggle with their marriages, some struggle with their own impulses, some struggle against zombies, many struggle with some combination of the proceeding things and more--but when the struggle is at
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Melissa makes out-of-the-ordinary places feel like home. Her characters are just as unique - and still somehow feel familiar. Melissa's narrative leaves no stone unturned: She explores the plot from every possible angle. In short, this story is worth every page of your time.
Keith Lesmeister
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These characters are relentlessly brutal and painfully flawed. Fraterrigo writes truth: wind whipping through open land; cruelty to one another; abuse of every kind. Written with the expert precision of a short story writer--an eye for just the right detail, beautiful language, and spot-on characterizations-- Glory Days is a book that will make you think and feel.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For me this book was an astonishingly well-crafted tale, tautly exposed but richly detailed, with surprises at every turn and a satisfyingly dark tone, finished with an absolutely beautiful twist. Just magnificent. A wonderful reading experience!
Casey D
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Certainly a dark, haunting book... but the writing is superb, and the characters have great depth
Edwin Howard
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
GLORY DAYS by Melissa Fraterrigo is a slice of plains life in Ingleside, Nebraska, where people work hard, don't have much, and struggle to find contentment in their lives. Teensy, a rancher/farmer and his daughter, Luann, lose Luann's mother and are never quite the same themselves and how they are with each other. As Teensy ages and the world around him evolves, he struggles to stay connected to Luann and live his own life without much turmoil.
Teensy is a quiet, almost brooding individual who
Tony Brewer
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Glory Days is unique. I’m not a frequent fiction reader. I stick to history and poetry mostly, but Glory pulled me in and I couldn’t get away from the characters and their plights. It’s a poetic read, though, and in some ways that makes it “challenging” if you’re not accustomed to a sometimes non-conversational tone or lines that flow in unexpected directions. Fits and starts. Declarations. Imagmatic observations. Yes, Faulknerian, and I like the Cormack McCarthy comparisons I've read in some ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A difficult read but a worthwhile one, Melissa Fraterrigo's Glory Days is a novel that is about so many different things: birth, death, destruction, ghosts, rebuilding and mostly manages to execute it's multiple narratives well. A few times in my reading I got a little bit lost with what time period I was reading about and which character was which, but Fraterrigo does a solid job grounding the reader when things get a bit wonky.

From what I know (based purely on Fraterrigo's Goodreads profile),
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a lovely written book that felt like an earnest look at the hardship and pain facing family ties in Middle America.

However,I felt like the grit in this book was misplaced. Reading it felt like it was trying to be very edgy and in doing so it lost its honesty and soul. The women are beaten, raped, and abandoned to an unprecedented extent (there is actually not one woman in the book who is not abused). It felt like an expression of something much darker that was out of place in story
Michael Sandlin
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Glory Days was an interesting look into the fictional town of Ingleside Nebraska. The story has a wide cast of characters who have their own set problems that all come together at the end. The story doesn’t follow a traditional story structure, and while it may come off as confusing, it does make for a story that you don’t want to put down.

There are a few issues that I had with the book though. While there are supernatural elements in the story, they are only there to push the story forward. I
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't say this is the type of place I grew up, necessarily, although I think there's a gray pallor on so many small suburbs, even if they're not considered rural, that reflect the complicated air of trying to cultivate homey-ness and happiness while floating in the mundane. This book is gritty and sad. Period. It illustrates situations and characters not touched on and not 100% familiar, but a weird amalgamation of the types of people we know. Reading it made me feel trapped along with them ...more
Tyler Theil
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story has some positives and some negatives. I do like the grittiness of the characters and how flawed they are. Unfortunately, that is just about all I enjoyed from while reading the story. The story was pretty confusing at parts, and while it would most likely be more interesting if I were to reread it, I have no desire to reread it at all. This may be due to personal preference in the type of stories that I enjoy, but it seems that others are of same opinion, based off of discussions I ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the best story collections I've read in a while. It's sort of a Winesburg, OH as the stories follow the people in an invented Nebraska rural town, while focusing primarily on a father and daughter. The stories become the portrait of an economically-depressed rural area that lost its main sources of revenue (livestock farming) after land was purchased for housing developments and an amusement park. The children who grew up working farms are left with low-income employment while ...more
Michelle  Hogmire
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Desperately wanted to like this sad tale of small-town Nebraska, but found it largely derivative of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying--including a deceased narrator and a direct rehash of Jewel and Darl's famous pass through/around the old cotton house, with main characters Teensy and his daughter Luann. Minus three stars for a lot of awkward and forced exposition, as well as multiple POV and tense shifts for (mostly) no discernible purpose. Plus two stars for the complicated relationship between ...more
Matt Sautman
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Fraterrigo has created a novel of short stories that scrutinize the relationship between time and space. Magical realism is on full display in the text, with Fraterrigo rooting these stories in what feels to be real life while also evoking the likes of ghosts, psychics, and a talking doll. Much of the text is purposefully enigmatic, but the enigmatic nature opens the stories to intertextuality and a wider range of possible readings.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of short stories that ties together to make up the book. It traces a town, primarily through one family's perspective, as it's gentrified, with old farms being sold for to become subdivisions or the new amusement park, to it's eventual decrease when the amusement park fails. It's gritty and sometimes hard to read. Not a hopeful book by any means, but it's well written and well put together.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such an interesting and engaging story but pretty dark. I really enjoy the author’s ability to tell us a story that wasn’t easy or simple. So many layers in this one just as in real life. No one is all good or all bad. The end certainly leaves the door open for a follow up. Would very much recommend this book.
Aaron Mullis
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a great collection of short stories.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Glory Days was one of those things that you read that can be either a hit or miss. For me personally, it was a definite hit due to the realistic natures of the characters and the genuine emotion that interweaves throughout each story. A collection of short stories with different characters' perspectives, the collection worked well with the universal themes of a troubled past and the effect of parental authority (or lack thereof).

With descriptions that have a way of knocking the breath out of
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Melissa Fraterrigo is the author of the novel Glory Days (University of Nebraska Press) and the short story collection The Longest Pregnancy (Livingston Press). Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in more than forty literary journals and anthologies from Shenandoah and The Massachusetts Review to storySouth, Notre Dame Review, and Prairie Schooner. She has been a finalist for awards from ...more
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