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What Burns

2.93  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  10 reviews
What Burns is the first collection of short fiction from Lambda Award-winning novelist Dale Peck; these stories in this career-spanning volume have won two O. Henry awards and a Pushcart Prize

Written over the course of twenty-five years, the stories in What Burns examine the extremes of desire against a backdrop of family, class, and mortality.

In “Bliss,” a young man befri
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Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Soho Press
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Jee Koh
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Vel Veeter
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is an odds and ends story collection by Dale Peck. It’s got everything you could imagine a collection that puts together 30 years of a writer’s, not know for his short fiction, short output. This is sometimes a good thing as Dale Peck is a talented writer, but also not a great thing at times, as he was never and still isn’t particularly invested in short fiction.

So the structure here then is the handful of longer pieces that Peck put together throughout the years. These are generally solid
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Alan
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I first encountered Dale Peck's work in the late 1990s, and so was very much looking forward to this, his first collection of short stories from various points over the last 25 years or so.

As with much of Peck's prose, this is a challenging, provocative collection, with a focus on queer relationships, violence, frustrated intimacy. As with many short story collections, there is a hit or miss element. The first story ('Not Even Camping is Like Camping Anymore') has a comic take on a child's obses
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Blake Fraina
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I have a love/hate relationship with the work of Dale Peck. I think he's a skilled writer yet his stories have never fully engaged me and his characters fail to move me. This book of short stories is no exception. As with most of his work, these pieces serve up palpable doses of the author's customary hostility, arrogance and superiority in equal measure. On the surface of things, it's the stories' narrators exhibiting these attitudes but underneath, it's all Peck.

In the first story ("Not Even C
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Sabs
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I did this one as an audiobook, and the short year interstitials between longer stories really threw me off. Some of these stories were great, but like many short story anthologies, I think you really do the writer a disservice by reading them all at once. They all sort of blend together and the weaker story characters become forgettable. Overall this was a good collection (the middle areas are probably best), but somewhat dissatisfying. And while I enjoyed the human interaction, it felt a littl ...more
willowdog
In this anthology of short stories written over the last 25 years, Peck gives us an uneven collection of works. Each work is prefaced by a brief introduction that I found inconsequential. In the past, I have found an anthology usually places a strong work at the beginning. In this case, the strong works are toward the end. Works like "Summer Beam" or "St Anthony of the Vine" are wonderful. They truly exhibit Peck's expertise in this genre. I just wish there were a majority of works of this calib ...more
Charlotte
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, mystery, fiction
If you're interested in the art form of the short story, this is a collection you'll want to read. These stories are beautifully crafted and entice the reader into a world where things are messy and challenging.

There's a dark undertone to the stories, but it's realistic in the way that life isn't always flowers and sunshine. I loved this collection.
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Todd
Oct 10, 2020 added it
Not recommended
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Feb 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF
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Dale Peck (born 1967 on Long Island, New York) is an American novelist, critic, and columnist. His 2009 novel, Sprout, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult literature, and was a finalist for the Stonewall Book Award in the Children's and Young Adult Literature category. ...more

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