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Something Is Out There: Stories

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  197 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In these eleven unforgettable stories, Richard Bausch plumbs the depths of familial and marital estrangement, the gulfs between friends and lovers, the fragility and impermanence of love—and manages to find something quite surprising: human hope.
Bausch’s assured style, signature grace, and penetrating wit shine on every page, confirming his stature as one of America’s mos
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Vintage (first published 2010)
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Josh Ang
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In all of these stories, something unspoken haunts the characters - from within or without. Whether it's a fear of abandonment and loneliness, the acute sense of being left behind, by time, by fate or by the people who once held them dear, or even the fear of something as tangible as a mighty snow storm, Bausch addresses all these concerns with clarity and grace in his critical and incisive prose.

A striking feature of Bausch's writing is the way he enters into the character's consciousness and b
Erin and Jim
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title of this collection of stories caught my eye at the library one afternoon when I was searching for new books; it sounded eerie, intriguing, and promising. This is the first collection of short stories by Richard Bausch that I have read, and I was so impressed by the depth of his stories. For me, he is the male equivalent of Alice Munro, with his dark, and eerily ordinary stories that provide the reader with a strange yet gratifying twist at the end. All of the stories in this collection ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was struck by one persistent observation about Richard Bausch’s collection of short stories, “Something Is Out There”. It seems to me that they revealed “something in here” that sat in the dark corners of the mind. Set mostly in Virginia and Memphis, Tennessee, the stories covered a range of issues: jaded lovers, ailing marriages and infidelity, weariness, anxiety, obsessions, and poor choices.

Often the characters lived under a “cloud cover” that was in sharp contrast to bright sunny days. In
Patrick Faller
Several of these stories, especially the collection's title story, succeed as exercises in sustained narrative suspense. Bausch is an excellent craftsman, and at his best he manages, in the span of twenty pages, to engage his characters in situations that bring their most profound convictions and their greatest fears into stark relief. But the collection as a whole founders on the relative sameness of each story and displays the ill effects of an author whose careful craftsmanship might come at ...more
I would give this collection 2.5 stars if I could; it's better than okay but I didn't quite like it. Past Bausch collections have been studded with startling little gems that miraculously showed us something new about the most banal of human circumstances. His characters were Southern and decidely nonprivileged, and came close to the universal in the ordinary and petty lineaments of their lives. They were often male, or children, or women weak in some way. Here Bausch stretches to explore a more ...more
Richard J. Alley
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Richard Bausch is such a master of the short story, and makes it seem so effortless, that I read one page thinking, "I can do that" and the very next thinking, "There's no way anyone else could do that." Such interesting, sweet, sad and thought-provoking stories in this collection.
Nov 10, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't even finish it-Blech and boring!
Terry Perrel
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary stories of ordinary people by one of the country's best short story writers. "Blood" will break your heart.
Bonnie Brody
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Bausch has written a stunning collection of eleven short stories, all strong and memorable. The stories tackle the themes of the frailty of love and relationships, fears, losses, betrayals. His characters often want to leave the present for something new and unknown. "I wish it was tomorrow" is a quote from one of the stories but is applicable to most of them. During the course of his stories, the characters become different people than they were initially. Often, they have reached a poi ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't skip any stories, read straight through. After the first one, I was hooked. Richard Bausch is a master storyteller. The first six stories pulled me in. All of these describe a delicate imbalance in a character's life, indicating an impending change of some kind--often mysterious, subtle, ominous. The title story could be adapted for a screenplay of a psychological thriller on the movie screen: A family is suddenly thrown into a situation of confusion and impending violence. Even a rel ...more
E. Ce Miller
This collection, by novelist and short-story writer Richard Bausch, tells a series of stories about strained, tense and complex relationships between men and women, parents and children, and myriad family members. Each of Bausch’s stories depict lives that are hardly what those living them ever expected—lives filled with little personal growth, no forward momentum, little progress, and few moments of transformation. Each story in this collection explores those seemingly split-second moments when ...more
I'm not a big short story fan, so that perspective always impacts my reading of a collection of short stories. I read a review of this collection, however, and wanted to explore this book further because alienation in literature is one of my interests.

This collection didn't develop the characters to my expectations. They were rather sparsely painted, even a bit stereotypic (I've seen variations of almost all of these characters in other alienation-themed works). But perhaps that lack of develop
Russell Bittner
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t help it. As I read the short stories in Richard Bausch’s collection Something is out there., I kept seeing the paintings of various artists—Edward Hopper; Edvard Munch; Francisco José de Goya; even, at times, Hieronymus Bosch. If I may be permitted to suggest a kind of “reverse ekphrasis” -- a term, so far as I know, normally reserved for poetry -- then this is what I felt while reading Baush’s work. The faces (and the characters these physiognomies represented) of despair, loneliness ...more
Jan 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I will start by saying that generally I am not a fan of short stories from ones I have read in the past. However, I wanted to give them another try and the blurb on the book cover seemed interesting. Well six weeks later I was only half way through the book and finally just said forget it. In theory, the stories have good potential, but since they are short stories they never go anywhere. Just as I would get into them, they would end. And it's not like the endings were good so that you could fee ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This set of stories made me think about how we define a collection of short stories. I've read a number of collections now, but this is the first that really felt like a set defined in both content and execution. The content is almost without fail about the disintegration of family/relationship units. To be honest, it's actually a fairly bleak collection in that regard. In execution, the collection is defined by the fact that the writing is uniformly very good, but fails to reach transcendence. ...more
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a most interesting collection of stories (with the exception of one that I did not like at all). For me, what makes the stories unique is the fact that all are left open-ended or, perhaps, unresolved. One typically thinks of the standard structure for a short story or novel: beginning, middle, and end, with the end, in most cases, containing the resolution of all that came before. This is not the case with these stories, and it is the source of their power. Because the stories do not "en ...more
Jun 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This was my first introduction to both this author and a collection of short stories. I'm not sure how that will play out in regards to my review, but I'm sure it will have an affect.

I thought he was very adept at putting you down in the middle of a situation, explaining the characters and necessary back story, and showing there was more going on that we could necessarily understand in the short amount of time he had to tell it. This grouping all dealt with family relationships, the struggles we
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
It took me a couple stories to get into this collection. 2/3 through I put it down for a few days and was never really able to get back into it. I guess it's okay, it just seemed a little overworked to me. Overwrought at times as well. This could be suffering from post-Harrison disorder, and I'd maybe appreciate it if I read it a different time, but I really didn't enjoy it. The several instances of present tense bothered me; they seemed unnecessary and unsuccessful. The endings never hit hard, ...more
T P Kennedy
It's a compelling and very well written collection of stories. The title is very apt as despair features in almost all the tales told. Some of these are page turners - I didn't particularly like the characters or the narrative but still wanted to find where it was all going. Like all collections some stories are more notable than others - for me the final brief story "Sixty five million years" was the pick of the bunch. It had a note of compassion, sympathy and understanding that most of the res ...more
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved these stories. They are amazing...and when I looked back I couldn't remember one. It's not the author's fault, his stories are unbelievably well told and utterly surprising, I just need to stay with characters longer. It's why I only rarely read short stories, even though some of my favorite writers writer them. I'm going to read some of Bausch's novels though. He is a masterful writer.
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains breathtaking, terrifying, beautiful stories. But the book's overarching worldview is very bleak. If you're a fan of gorgeous, depressing short stories (and I am), then you'll love this book. It's the first I've read by Richard Bausch and now I'm really excited to explore his backlist.
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Richard Bausch really is a master storyteller. I'd never heard of him before I read about him in the Edmonton Journal, but I'm now really excited to read more of his stories. His dialogue is perfect and I intend to study his stories and learn to write more like him.

A very inspiring book for me. He writes spare, sparse but nuanced stories, which are my favourite kind.
The description on the jacket caught me eye. However I failed to realized that this is a collection of short stories. I thought all the lives were intertwined, but they were not. I basically zoomed through just to say I finished it and moved on to something else.
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Gorgeously written-- so deft, so accomplished-- sketching the uncertainty and obsessions of the human heartscape.
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Bausch. I found most of the stories engaging, but the failed to satisfy often leaving me with the feeling that they were unresolved.
Patricia Geller
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great short stories. He is a masterful writer. Gave it a 4 because I liked some better than others.
Michelle Despres
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, short-stories, us
Most stories were engaging. Some were gripping. Some were unsettling. Perhaps all were well-crafted. Not exactly my kind of stories, hence, four stars instead of five.
Dec 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
See my review in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Something is out there: Stories by Richard Bausch 1 5 Mar 11, 2010 04:34PM  
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An acknowledged master of the short story form, Richard Bausch's work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, The New Yorker, Narrative, Gentleman's Quarterly. Playboy, The Southern Review, New Stories From the South, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Pushcart Prize Stories; and they have been widely anthologized, including The Granta Book of the Ame ...more
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