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Five Hundred Poor

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The title of this short story collection comes from Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, “Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Central Avenue Publishing
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Peter
Profound
Five Hundred Poor is a very clever, fascinating and uniquely constructed book. There are 10 short stories that are unconnected in terms of storyline, but they combine to create a profound theme of loss and despair. We may consider our lives to be poorer when our dreams don’t materialise, when fate transpires against us, when we experience unrequited love or when our health limits our quality of life.
“Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man, t
...more
Angela M
Jul 30, 2018 marked it as abandoned-not-for-me
I read the first story and it was depressing. I read the second story and it was gruesome and depressing. I started the third story and it was disturbing. Not reading any further .
♥ Sandi ❣
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who like gritty short stories
Recommended to ♥ Sandi ❣ by: digital sent to me by publisher
3 stars Thank you to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for allowing me to read and review this short story collection.

This book contains 10 short stories - 9 of which have been publicized elsewhere. Each short story reflects a form of poverty. Each short story contains a section of grit or violence or macabre. These stories do not connect through their characters or plots, however they are connected through their rough description of despair.

To think of poverty is to think of the lack of
...more
Katie B
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
What I enjoyed most about this collection of short stories is the book as a whole had this cohesive quality even though the stories were vastly different. That isn't always the case in a book of short stories. When I saw the title I assumed this was just going to be about having no money but the stories all were centered around the theme of lacking something whether it be direction, love, hope, control, etc.

While at times a few of the stories could be hard to read when they took shocking and gr
...more
Kara Hansen
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book. Three stars. While it was a nice change to have a quick read~ short stories that I could start and finish within minutes, I found I was not as taken by these stories as I expected. These stories were not necessarily about the poor, in the money sense, but more about those who were lacking in other areas. This included: morals, confidence, relationships, happiness. The stories were well written, ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
'When I was in the room, Frank stared at me the way men have since I was eleven years old, with a mixture of lust and apathy.'

While this is a slim collection of stories it is so peculiar and wonderful that I hope Milligan writes more, I just realized he wrote a novel too titled An Elegant Theory that I will have to acquire. What I love about these stories is that they aren’t about perfect, successful happy folks.The men and women in this book se
...more
Emi Bevacqua
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first introduction to Noah Milligan, and I'll definitely be looking for more from him. These stories are mostly set in Oklahoma, the characters are poor (if not financially, then morally), and there is a bit of a shock to each short. Sometimes the shock comes from an abrupt ending, or an ending so bizarre it seems intended for a different story, or there's a sudden admission of sex, or recognition of a real life scenario; Milligan never runs out of surprises.

I love the cadence to th
...more
Jacque Stengel
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
We are all poor in some sense of that word. This book looks at the poor of the world in short story format and we get a small glimpse into a world that is most likely drastically different than our own. Or are they? What would we do if we were at the bottom of the food chain? Where would we turn?
The stories are all darker but most have some grain of morality that we all grapple with.
Quick read but the impact stays much longer. Recommended for those who like a little truth in their fiction.

Than
...more
Val
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got this book through Netgalley for an honest review.

I love writing short stories, and I love reading them. There was such a profound sense of desperation in these stories that was easy to connect with and reminded me of things I'd long forgotten, or to consider things I didn't pay attention to.

Did I love all the stories? No. But I loved the collection as a whole. A beautiful reminder of what it is to be human.
...more
Anna
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, short-stories
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

When Noah Milligan talks of poverty, he's not necessarily talking about the paucity of money. While many of the stories do feature people who are lacking in funds; other stories deal with people who are lacking in character, lacking in love, lacking in familial bonds, lacking something basic that most of us take for granted. For some people it seems to be their lot in life, for others it happens even when desperately trying to change their sit
...more
Stephenie
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I had to choose only one word to describe this collection of short stories, it would be "raw." Each one of these ten stories was real, sometimes crude, and very original. These stories weren't always comfortable to read, and several ended so abruptly I was left feeling incomplete. Isn't that one of the marks of a great short story? When it leaves you wanting more? I believe so.

Each of these short stories are set in Oklahoma. Originally from Oklahoma, I personally loved all of the references t
...more
bbunny
I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Following those who have become needlessly hindered, entrapped, and kept sedentarily, poverty is a part of each person's POV, whether they are lacking in emotional components, physical support, the diminishing of life, loss of what's soon to come or what's already come. It's in their blood, their body. Being rich doesn't make you wealthy. It is a mindset with experience, while the d
...more
Tara
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Noah Milligan's first short story collection takes its title from economist Adam Smith: "Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor ..." Economic insecurity, as experienced across every social class in contemporary life, is explored in this book. Set in Milligan's native Oklahoma City, the standout pieces include 'Good Start', 'Brought to You by Anonymous', and 'Life Expectancy'. ...more
Jantine
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy through Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

If anything, the stories in this book are surprising. They're all different, but all have the same, gritty layer of some kind of poverty over them. Poverty in money, social poverty, mental poverty. People might seem to overcome one kind of it, but not the other.

The stories are fast-paced in a good way. They open the worlds of the characters in a way that shows how poor people can be.
...more
Patricia
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
If you like sad, disturbing short stories, you will love this. Not saying they weren't good. They are. Just not exactly uplifting. ...more
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Noah Milligan's debut novel, An Elegant Theory, was shortlisted for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and a finalist for Foreword Review's 2016 Book of the Year. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Central Oklahoma, and his short fiction has appeared in Rathalla Review, MAKE Literary Magazine, Storyscape Literary Journal, Santa Clara Review, and elsewhere. A collection of short ...more

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