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The Collected Stories

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,500 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Richard Yates was acclaimed as one of the most powerful, compassionate and accomplished writers of America's post-war generation. Whether addressing the smothered desire of suburban housewives, the white-collar despair of Manhattan office workers or the heartbreak of a single mother with artistic pretensions, Yates ruthlessly examines the hopes and disappointments of ordin ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 3rd 2002 by Picador (first published May 3rd 2001)
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4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,500 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Sep 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book kicked my ass. I was reading it while it was cold, and several of the stories use cold as part of the feeling, and I was reading it during some serious emotional turmoil, and much of the book deals with emotional turmoil, but usually subdued, quiet turmoil, boiling beneath the surface and coming out in the stupid little ways it usually does in real life. This guy knew how to capture the embarrassing feelings of futility and shame and hyper self-awareness that I'm scared of and hate fee ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2013
Yates makes my soul weep.
Richard Yates was a man of my Dad's generation, a group of anxious men too young to qualify for the Greatest Generation and too old to be hippies. And damn could he write about that generation. Yates' world is full of rich, humane portraits of whole classes of people I've never met, drunk World War II vets and blue collar Jersey housewives in the '40s and Depression-era New York street kids.

And yet, unlike his contemporary Updike, Yates was never a flashy writer. His turns of phrase aren't espec
Kimberly Faith
Sep 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I identify so deeply with the writing of Richard Yates and am ashamed to just now read his collected stories. Sure, I've read many of them in anthologies and of course Easter Parade and Revolutionary Road. To read the stories is to admit that Yates drew the bulk of his material from his life experience: World War II, tuberculosis, Hollywood screenwriting, failed marriages, and a dash of current events.

"Oh, Joseph, I'm So Tired" remains one of my favorite stories of all time with it's frustrated
Philippe Malzieu
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I did not know Richard Yates before finding this book in a bookseller in Provence. This short novels are a true happiness. Mad Men athmosphere with frigid blonde women and neurotic men.
It is perfectly written. For a lover of American literature it is the missing link between Tennessee William and Raymond Carver. A true discovery.
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story: This book brings together stories that were published in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love, as well as several previously unpublished stories. Almost without an exception, each of these stories features one of the following: struggling writers, tuberculosis, the army, siblings, and cheating husbands and wives.

Opinion: I find it hard to say anything meaningful about Yates, because anything I do say will never live up to what this man has written. If you've read Revolutionary Roa
Bojan Gacic
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
The short comment only regards ''The Uncollected Stories''

Returning to Yates is both pleasure and a privilege. A collection of nine stories, discovered at James Madison University, bears no novelties, but reaffirm why we enjoy the painful exactness of his prose. As the most stifled and hidden American novelist he further establishes himself as a supreme chronicler of human disappointment.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I hope Richard Yates and Dorothy Parker got to have a good drink together.

I enjoyed these bitter little offerings. Lots of tuberculosis hospitals, war stories, and urban professionals and dissatisfied wives. The characters are well-drawn and vivid, the dialogue feels real, and I feel like I understand. These characters are horrible and human. They're petty and shallow and ambitious and sad and complicated and hurting and hopeful and messy inside. But the whole thing comes off beautifully precise
Stephen Curran
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I’ve read anything by Richard Yates since I finished Blake Bailey’s astonishing biography of the author, and I’m amazed anew at how such a chaotic life could produce such balanced and beautiful pieces of fiction. The first two books collected here - ‘Eleven Kinds of Loneliness’ and ‘Liars in Love’ - are perfectly crafted and get better and with each reread. The uncollected works that make up the final third are slightly less successful, ending occasionally with flourishes ...more
kwmichael02 goes AWOL
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and great book. A collection of stories that are simply extraordinary, sometimes with a volatile plot and a lot of complex ones.
Angela Meyer
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
*Adapted from a 2010 review on my blog

When a man is fired from his job in the story ‘A Glutton for Punishment’, he realises he has enjoyed the failures in his life. The character in this – like many of the other characters in Richard Yates’ Collected Stories – runs over a conversation in his head, with his wife, before the actual conversation takes place. Reading this book is having a conversation with failure – your own projected shortcomings (gone over in your head
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
There is some fantastic writing here, complex stories, subtle touches, and very intelligent writing. But it can be a bit of a slog at times – not due to poor quality, but because of the sad, painful nature of most of Yates’s stories. The author was a bipolar alcoholic who smoked 5 packs a day, yet somehow managed to live to around 70. He was twice divorced, and he probably was deeply familiar with the emotional dislocation and personal struggles that he writes about in his stories. A sour brew a ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“The Collected Stories of Richard Yates”—A staggering and wonderful story collection about what it means to be human in postwar 1950s suburbia and beyond. The first segment, selections from Yates’s “Eleven Kinds of Loneliness" are the highlights. His stories are cleanly written, without any pretenses, and quite honestly unflinching about the human condition’s desire to be happy; though unhappiness and misery are always going to be in existence. His characters from the “Eleven Kinds of Loneliness ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Second time around, and I've changed my rating from four to five stars. I adore Richard Yates (and am crazy-late to the Yates party). Like some others, I think he is to the 1950s what F. Scott Fitzgerald was to the 1920s, and in a similar style of realism. Awesome stuff. If you, too, are new to Yates, I recommend starting with Revolutionary Road.


I decided to read only the stories from the book Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, so I'd have something wonderful to return to and to experience one com
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Revisiting this and good gracious and lord have mercy help my day over the fence, man, these stories are full of sentences packing a bevy of emotion and clarity and pulse. Yates had a rhythm. Sad as hell, but he writes like someone that's alive and knows what it sounds like when people actually talk to one another. Check out The B.A.R. Man and pay close attention to the first few paragraphs and what you learn about the man in question. Algren's short stories somehow led me, back in the day, to t ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Richard Yates but I found these stories hard to get through. His characters are bleak and reading one right after the other was a bit of a downer. That said, they were different than I thought they would be. Short stories can often be zingers and I didn't find these to be so. It's like he shone a spotlight on someone's life for a brief moment and you know it's going to continue on in the same way after as it did before. He's a fantastic writer, but his dark side really came through in thi ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked most of the stories. Real downers. Was recommended this as a fan of Raymond Carver. Still prefer Carver but was surprised by how much I enjoyed Yates' stories too. They have similarities. Usually about working class people dealing with issues that aren't necessarily resolved throughout the story but rather the characters finding themselves in a situation where they have to learn to live with these unresolved issues.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this right after finishing the biography of Richard Yates. The stories in the collection all contain an element of autobiography. Yates life stories bubble forth in a sort of twilight zone style. My only complaint is that they do become a bit repetitive.
Scott Snyder
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
i love yates' novels, and taken alone, the stories can be inspiring, but all together, the effect is diminishing. too many similarities, too many stories that feel unsure of themselves.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
For me, the short stories were too long. I like shorter short stories. But that's just me. Other than that, the writing seems perfect. The characters are solid. The word that comes to mind is "Realism." Not happy endings, or sentimentality, or even bitterness. Loneliness, maybe, and flawed human beings, as human beings are. It's the first time I've read Richard Yates. I don't really know anything about him, just happened to come across his name somewhere, and was curious. In the end, what I feel ...more
Gila Gila
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
God, how I love Richard Yates. “Oh Joseph, I’m So Tired” is so district in my memory that I have to remind myself I never lived in that beautiful, sad Greenwich Village long-windowed apartment with the leaves falling into the high walled courtyard (tho just imagining the rent brings me back to reality) - it’s a darkly funny, utterly heartbreaking story, as alive as words on a page can ever be.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A writer with a relentlessly fatalistic world view. All human flaws will out. Everyone lies, especially to oneself, disappointment is inevitable. I found this perspective raw and fascinating in Revolutionary Road, which I still feel is a superb book. In story after story, however, I felt beaten until I lost the will to get up.
Akemi G.
Oct 27, 2017 marked it as checked
Shelves: short-stories
I only read a few of these stories.
Pros: Excellent prose based on keen observation. If you are interested in American society in his time, definitely a must-read.
Cons: None particular. (However, if you've been following my reviews, you know I expect more from stories. I want stories that fly.)

Especially recommended to men who want to appear intelligent.
Radu P
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best collection of stories,beautiful written. Richard Yates is one of my favorites.
Sally Drake
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant--every single story.
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Only three stars for The Collected Stories of Richard Yates? Really? Really? My reservations regarding the largely arbitrary assignment of stars aside, three stars does seem like an uncommonly harsh review of a book that I really enjoyed, from an author who I really love. But three makes sense, I promise.

Three stars because the quality of the first collection contained in this printing, 1962’s Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, is simply nowhere near the fine work that followed it or the gangbusters Re
daniela |
»Als Mann muss man keinen Verlobungsring tragen, also hast du leicht reden. Ein Mann ist privilegiert, er kann tun, was ihm gefällt.« (S.172)

Erster Satz:
„Moment mal – ist das nicht dieselbe Division, in der du warst, Lew?“ Betty Miller wandte sich in Erwartung eines aussergewöhnlichen Zufalls mit weit aufgerissenen Augen an ihren Mann und hätte fast ihren Drink verschüttet.

Kein Wort zu viel und trotzdem alles gesagt: Die letzten Erzählungen vom Meister der kurzen Form
Richard Yates gi
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-and-gone
Kurzgeschichten, die durchaus Potential auf ein Buch gehabt hätten

Das Buch: In diesem Buch sind neun Kurzgeschichten von Richard Yates vertreten. Diese sind doch recht unterschiedlich, zeichnen jedoch prägende Personen ab, die der Leser in einer kurzen Zeit erlebt und mit den Protagonisten leidet. Und so kommen unter anderem ein liebeshungriger Bürokaufmann, eine verzweifelte Ehegattin, eine Verlobte auf Europareise, eine gefundene Münze und Soldaten die auf das Kriegsende hoffen vor.

Fazit: Klar
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-fiction
This book contains the collections 'Eleven Kinds of Loneliness' and 'Liars in Love', and also some uncollected stories. The titles of both those collections are impeccably well chosen and accurate. It occurs to me that a technique for writing short fiction might be to think of the title of a collection before thinking of any individual story.

Richard Yates is possibly the best value for money short story writer I have ever come across. There is not a single poor or unengaging story in the book. T
Bibiana Jelenska
Absolutely astonishing, delightful and soul-enlighting. Richard Yates captivates captivates raw feelings in such depth which I have never seen before.
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  • A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates
  • The Stories of Richard Bausch
  • Selected Stories
  • The Collected Stories
  • Escapes
  • The Point and Other Stories
  • Through the Safety Net
  • Park City: New and Selected Stories
  • Rock Springs
  • The Night in Question
  • Collected Stories
  • Collected Stories
  • Stories in an Almost Classical Mode
  • The Collected Stories
  • The Stories of John Cheever
  • Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories
  • Shiloh and Other Stories
  • The Knife Thrower and Other Stories
Richard Yates shone bright upon the publication of his first novel, Revolutionary Road, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. It drew unbridled praise and branded Yates an important, new writer. Kurt Vonnegut claimed that Revolutionary Road was The Great Gatsby of his time. William Styron described it as "A deft, ironic, beautiful novel that deserves to be a classic." Tennessee ...more
“There was nothing to do now but let the thing happen and try to take it as gracefully as possible.
   That was when the childhood memory began to prey on his mind, for it suddenly struck him—and the force of it sent his thumbnail biting deep into the secret matchbook—that letting things happen and taking them gracefully had been, in a way, the pattern of his life. There was certainly no denying that the role of good loser had always held an inordinate appeal for him.”
“She was probably sixty, a big rawboned woman with a man's face, and her clothes, if not her very pores, seemed always to exude that dry essence of pencil shavings and chalk dust that is the smell of school. She was strict and humorless, preoccupied with rooting out the things she held intolerable: mumbling, slumping, daydreaming, frequent trips to the bathroom, and, the worst of all, "coming to school without proper supplies."  ” 0 likes
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