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Not Where I Started From
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Not Where I Started From

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Kate Wheeler's stories feature peripatetic Americans who seek love or enlightenment - or both - in far-flung corners of the globe. A startling mixture of gentle irony, mischievous humor, and unexpected danger marks the paths of all these characters as they follow their circuitous routes toward happiness. As the New York Times said, "Wheeler has a capacity for compressing t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 19th 1997 by Mariner Books (first published August 20th 1993)
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Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Of the 10 stories in this collection, I think about 4 of them are terrific. The others have their moments, but the middle 4 stories: "Mr. Peanut," "La Victoire," "Urbino," and "Judgment" stood out. Wheeler's prose, at its best, is funny, aggressive and unique. When the stories fail, it's because of the absence of a central tension, not because of the writing. I read this with my fiction students; it was a great book to learn from.
Athena Kennedy
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I admit I have been reading more collections of short stories than I am accustomed, to, and its not always my favorite genre of writing to read. That said, I don't think this is why I wasn't very impressed with Kate Wheller's collection of stories in Not Where I Started From.

Based on her short personal bio on the back cover flap, that she was born in Oklahoma, raised in South America, and has extensively traveled in Europe, Australia, and Asia, and that she is an ex-Buddhist nun, I was sort of
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Exotic settings. Wheeler is good at inserting quirky moments into her short stories. I found the moment more memorable than the overall tale. The same goes with her characters--for me I remember aspects of the characters instead of their overall story. This is partly why I gave this collection a two rating. The other reason is the subject matter of the stories just didn't interest me all that much only parts of each story captivated or interested me.
Oct 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
american girl tries to fix everything for the poor family in south america... and messes it all up.

devotees of the buddhist master slowly come to realize that they're being abused.

world traveller, advanced buddhist, Ms. Wheeler is quite something. she sinks in deep.
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it
The author is really good at describing moments, but the stories often left me feeling hanging, as if they simply trailed off rather than leaving the reader with some sort of conclusion. Overall, an enjoyable read but didn't leave much of an impression on me.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Some of the stories in this collection were incredibly valuable to me, arousing the desire to travel, recalibrating my moral compass towards the just or else to a kind of knowingness that is deeply moral, and satisfying my curiosity.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was pretty good. They were all short stories so it was an easy read. KW is a great story teller. She is able to help you form mental images without beating you over the head with it. There were some laugh out loud parts. Overall, a good way to spend a few days.
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Best short story collection I've ever read. Sparse, poetic prose, moves quickly & seamlessly. Graceful. I finished it and wished I could start it all over again for the first time.
Karl Nehring
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Fascinating collection of stories. Locales are exotic, but the motives and actions of the characters are believable and revealing.
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