Good Trouble: Stories
I had a lot of mixed thoughts about this book. Some of the stories did more for me than others. Some I didn’t know what to make of. At the end of some, I thought, “Okay, so what?”
Here’s the thing: people are endlessly fascinating. We all live in our own heads and are the hero in our own story. This collection felt to me more like a novelist preparing to write by creating little snippets of charac ...more
The best way I can describe Joseph O'Neill?
I think of the New Yorker Magazine, and myself opening it to the fiction piece. That one is always tricky - because their styles go all around, but sometimes - the tale gets you in the first paragraph.
You know it's going to be good, and this week's New Yorker will be read quickly, and with little effort, because the tale is so good.
That's Joseph O'Ne ...more
Some random sentences I liked:
”Mindfulness, if I’ve understood it correctly, means paying very, very close attention to the continuance of one’s subjectivity.”
”Apparently—and here, Nietzsche and Cioran and above all Adorno were Mark’s masters—the trick was to simply put to one side all epistemological difficulties and ju ...more
Love the cover, which is the reason the collection caught my attention.
Unfortunately, many of the stories felt incomplete, particularly so in 'The Trusted Traveler.'
A dozen or so short stories, each with a clever twist on mainly male, mainly American, mainly middle-aged foibles, self-obsession and failings. I found they resonated with me. I found them witty and thought-provoking. I found them a subtle counterpoint to much female focused fiction. I considered the stories as a plausible reveal of a generation of men.
Where do I start? The story entitled Referees where a divorced man in his forties struggles to find and persuade ...more
"In any case, Mark mistrusted his own alley..." (11). *As in "up my alley."
"...by Locke: 'I cannot but observe how little the preservation and improvement of truth and knowledge is the care and concern of mankind, since the arts of fallacy are endowed and preferred" (12).
"Everything was either about the election or not about the election" (14).
"...but it can't be denied that we've retired, and that to retire means to draw back, as if from battle" (21).
"Chris somehow catches my eye wi ...more
The hardest part for me with most of the other stories was relating to the characters. O’Neill does a fantastic job of creating realistic characters with believable issues, but as I have never faced many of these issues or been at point in life to consider some of the topics characters did, I wasn’t abl ...more
There were a few stories that I wish were longer or that I kept thinking about after I had read them (which I take as a good thing) but then there were others that I found myself wanting to skim just to get to the point. While I can't say that the description of the book is wrong, the int ...more
Vignettes on various tragedies of living, successfully both inventive and too-ooooo-real. I do slightly resent the billing as “stories” because none of these finish so much as end—certainly they don’t have to, but it’s cruel to pretend.
I also learned the word “tocsin” and some creepy facts about traditional circumcision. The more you know!
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. I loved the titles of each because they are eclectic and have very little to do with the actual body of the work. Except "The Death of Billy Joel". That story about exactly that. Kind of.
I received a copy of this ebook for free from firstoread.com in exchange for an honest review.
There are some good stories in this collection but also a number that I wasn't wowed with. Like other story collections it's a variety of hit and miss stories that examine what it means to be human and the complexities of relationships.
Most of the stories are pretty short and overall it's a pretty quick read.
There is more than one author with this name on Goodreads.
Joseph O'Neill was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1964 and grew up in Mozambique, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Holland. His previous works include the novels This is the Life and The Breezes, and the non-fiction book Blood-Dark Track, a family history centered on the mysterious imprisonment of both his grandfathers during World ...more