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No One You Know: Strangers and The Stories We Tell

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4.93  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  7 reviews
During a lonely and difficult year, author Jason Schwartzman began allowing regular, everyday interactions with strangers to escalate. In NO ONE YOU KNOW, Schwartzman compiles dozens of these encounters and deftly reveals the kinship he finds there, ultimately reconsidering what it means to know someone. From taxi dispatchers to aquarium attendants, drifters to neighbors, ...more
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Published May 4th 2021 by Outpost19
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Average rating 4.93  · 
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Tarn Wilson
Jun 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This collection is smart, observant, brave, and exquisitely constructed. I read it in one sitting, and then sat down again to read more slowly, marking themes, favorite lines and skillful craft moves. Each vignette is vivid and complete, yet the collection has a sense of movement, as each chapter adds another layer of depth as we contemplate with Schwartzman how we craft an identity, tell the stories of our lives, and try (sometimes gracefully, usually awkwardly) to bridge the often lonely space ...more
Ryan
Jun 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I will admit, I was fully prepared to give this book 5 stars because I know the author and reviews are life.

But Schwartzman upended my expectations and penned an at-times achingly sad collection of vignettes which perfectly encapsulates the sometimes awkward, often lonely pit-of-the-stomach reaction which accompanies interactions with strangers.

Beautifully written, beautifully told. Well done.
Zoe Keziah
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So tender! This is a book that allows us to laugh at ourselves. It's keenly observant and beautifully written. No extra words and so many turns of phrases that are delightful without sounding pleased with itself. I loved it. ...more
Alexandra Codina
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. A perfect, intimate read. Schwartzman is vulnerable and witty in his nuanced study of what it means to know and be known by the people around us. The pace is quick, and the chapters are short and satisfying —be careful you might gobble this one up in one sitting!!! Highly recommend.
John Garfinkel
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Humorous and earnest, a great read about the wonder, hilarity, and awkwardness of human interactions and what it means to get to know someone and the many faces we all wear. Salinger's Nine Stories, but with a thread of human interaction between strangers binding the stories together. A perfect book given the lack of recent human interaction! ...more
Jason Schwartzman
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I will admit to a slight (okay, massive!) home team bias, but I love this book about strangers and what it means to know someone. Told through a series of uncanny and intense encounters, it's got surprising disclosures, humorous misunderstandings, jolts of connection, conversations that go off the rails, riddles of identity, and plenty of jagged memories. Hope you give it a shot! ...more
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