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Crash Diet

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  323 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Here, from the remarkable novelist who wrote Ferris Beach, Tending to Virginia, July 7th, and The Cheer Leader, is Jill McCorkle's first book of short fiction. These eleven sparkling, uninhibited stories address her favorite subject: women who take matters into their own hands. McCorkle has yet again produced irrepressibly frank and funny portraits of remarkable characters ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by A Shannon Ravenel Book
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Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Eleven short stores about Southern women who don't wait for events to carry them along in life. Instead, they try to take matters into their own hands and seize opportunities whatever the consequences. The women range in age from high school students to those widowed and retired and each is involved in conflicted and troubled relationships. McCorkle is able to capture the personalities of each woman in such a way that readers are reminded of episodes and emotions in their own lives. While the st ...more
Nov 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstories
As far as I'm concerned, Jill McCorkle can do no wrong. She is particularly good at writing in the first-person voice of a teenager.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it liked it
"Crash Diet" (the first and title story) is brilliantly funny, and "Waiting for Hard Times to End" hits you hard right where it's aiming. The New York Times Book Review called the collection (in apocalyptic prose) an indictment of the "shoddiness of the pleasures" of the world--to which I would say, um well sort of...--still, I agree with them that readers everywhere will pick up the book and cry, 'That's just how it is!' in the best way possible. When a book has me wondering why I keep buying t ...more
Chris Bundrick
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
A really wonderful collection of short stories by a writer whose sense of the wonder and absurdity of existence leads to a deeply moving series of observations about the value and danger of change. The title story follows its narrator as she plunges into a hysterically suburban depression after her husband leaves her for a younger (and thinner) woman. Over the course of a monumentally impressive bout of crazies, the narrator eventually sheds so much weight that she has to be hospitalized, but th ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Crash Diet is McCorkle's first collection of stories, originally published in 1992 (she's since published three more, along with five novels). She tells stories of Southern women—some old, some young, some happy, some sad. The situations are relatable without being too generic, the emotions are raw and real, and the voices ooze honesty.

My three favorite stories in this collection—"Gold Mine," "Departures," and "Waiting for Hard Times to End"—I deem absolute perfection. "Gold Mine" tells the stor
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to McCorkle via her short, "Hominids," which I found harsh, beautiful, and darkly comic. I'd always meant to check out more of her work but haven't done so until now. And even though this collection wasn't quite in the same vein as "Hominids," I still enjoyed many of the stories.

Her ability to capture the hurt and frustrations of these various characters is rather incredible. The collection as a whole serves as this "shared hurt" feel, that regardless of our background, we
Stephanie Holcomb
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite liked this.

Ms. McCorkle has a very good writing style, and these short stories show you how careful she is in her characterizations (something I abhor in many authors) and how many people she can 'step' into. I will seek out her other books.

One story in particular had a protagonist that reminded me of myself--Maureen in First Union Blues, and the ending of the last story, Carnival Lights, I thought would end differently. So many good stories, just enough to wet your appetite but leave yo
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I like this book because it has a real female voice. It is also relatable and fun to read. I'm currently reading Gold Mine which is about a mom with two kids who's husband's having an affair. She is an intelligent woman who has a lot to say about her experience. Although the author says this stories are fiction I think they have some truth in them. It seems like a good book.
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Not that I don't value my life because I do, but sometimes I wish I could spread it out on paper and take some wite out to it". - Jill McCorkle. I found myself note taking as I read all these short stories. A masterpiece that can be read in multiple random sittings. Loved it and can't wait to read more of this author.
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this when it was published, but that was a LONG time ago, so I just re-read it for late summer. Eleven stories, eleven distinctive female narrators. You'll pull for all of them. The title story is magnificent, hilarious & hopeful. Give it 20 minutes of your life and you'll want to give Jill McCorkle a lot more. What has she been up to lately?
Nov 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love this little collection. Beautiful writing, and McCorkle tackles some original stuff in these pieces (like the one with the male protagonist who is insecure about never having gone to college.)
Lisa Gurganus
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great short stories about the lives of southern women. Living in real time through hardships and fun/ great times.
Brenda Jernigan
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What wonderful, wonderful characters in fully told stories.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
a collection of short stories which did not grab my interest and I did not find the characters believable or compelling
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
A odd collection of short stories--I haven't yet decided how I feel about this author's style. I have many more of her books on my "to read" list so I'll just keep reading.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! The author definitely captures the South in both description and voice. Every story's protagonist was quirky, yet still very believable. Will have to check out more of Ms. McCorkle's books.
May 31, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sab by: from my sis, Pamela
Ya know, I liked a few, others not so much, hence my 2 star rating average.
Personal favs from the collection: "Gold Mine" and "Departures."
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book of shorts. The title story was a very funny story of revenge. Quick reads.
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
McCorkle's narrators are lovable Southern women. My favorite stories: "Gold Mine" and "Waiting for the Hard Times to End".
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Funny, but with a very serious vein running beneath the surface.
Mary Ann
Sep 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Not what I expected.....did not hold my interest at all.
Martie Nees Record
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Short stories on southern women filled with humor and grief. "Waiting for the Hard Times to End" nearly broke my heart.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
So good.
Sue M
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
great short stories
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories
Short stories by McCorkle who writes wonderful stories.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
My favorite story was the last one, Carnival Lights.
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Mar 09, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2011
Suzanne Howard
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Sep 17, 2015
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Oct 11, 2011
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Five of Jill McCorkle's seven previous books have been named New York Times Notables. Winner of the New England Booksellers Award, the Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Award for Literature, she has taught writing at the University of North Carolina, Bennington College, Tufts University, and Harvard. She lives near Boston with her husband, their two children, se ...more
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