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The Bostons

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  47 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Carolyn Cooke's stories have been featured in several volumes of PRIZE STORIES: THE O. HENRY AWARDS and THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES. Her highly anticipated debut collection tells hilarious and often savage truths about people struggling within the confines of history, society, and class.
Mr. Sargent, the aging Brahmin aesthete of the title story, scribbles his epiphani
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2001 by Mariner Books
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Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I always forget how much I actually enjoy reading short stories. That said, I wish I could have been more comfortable with these.

Literate short stories demand more of a reader. Words have to be more carefully chosen because the author tells the story in just a few pages. Carolyn Cooke's sketches of people are poignant, depressing, touching, and insightful. I found them, on the whole, truthfully disturbing. If you prefer a story with a middle, beginning, and end, these stories will baffle you.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a really interesting collection of stories about the reclamation of life in very sordid, sometimes-haunting but not depressing ways. The echoes of characters' and their fates gird this collection cohesively and allow the stories to slip past overt themes. It seems, to me, any "coldness" the stories might carry with them owes much to the idea that these stories are in no small part about individuals who are living knowing lies often in service to undiscovered or unrealized desires. These ...more
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Don't get me wrong, good solid writing here, and clarity too but every single one of these short stories was awful. I was left with a sad sense that no one really cared for others in this world, and that they were all living the sorry lives that discover the grass is not greener on the other side, or still yearning for the 'courage' to leap with the sincere belief that life would be all daisies if they could. Awful. Depressing. Not quite soul-sucking, but on it's way.
Rebekka Istrail
Oct 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: New Englanders who enjoy fiction
This collection of short stories is a promising debut.
I enjoyed the variety in characterization, the familiarity of the scenes of Boston and Maine, the allusion to the fading grandeur of some "blue blood" families, and the soft humor often mingled with sadness. It will be interesting to see how the author stitches together characters, scenes, and themes in future novels.
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
THis was "okay". Can't say I'd recommend it. Consists of individual chapters which are loosely tied into each other with character relationships but difficult to keep track of the connections. Most of the chapters are ordinary stories of ordinary people with ordinary problems. Well written but was not overly captivating.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Interlaced stories, some disturbing and violent. Abandonment and isolation of the psyche, characters silently pleading to live and breathe. Haunting and beautiful. My first read was dissatisfying, my second lead me to a deeper appreciation and to create a map of the connections between the characters and places in this group of short stories.
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was ok
Written by a high school friend of one of our members. We liked the characters, and found them very realistic, but the group found the stories’ endings odd. Overall, not well liked by the group (although critically acclaimed).
Oct 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: recommended
I like how the stories/characters are interconnected, and as previously mentioned, I was a little disappointed in the ending. Maybe I am more ashamed that I wanted resolution with the characters; A happier ending.
Kara Chiasson
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
While the collection had some high points, I really struggled to get through it. I was a bit disappointed.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
It’s kind of strange: the linked stories were the ones I liked best, individually, but still, I’m not sure quite sure what I make of the links.
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Over Cooked.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
These were...stories? Yeah, stories. Stories about people. places? Doing...things?

Is this going to be on the exam?
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Nov 01, 2011
Robert Voedisch
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Cynthia Stillinger
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Charlotte Gordon
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Jun 19, 2009
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it
I highly recommend "Dirt-Eaters" and "The Sugar-Tit." You can skip over the rest.
Jessie Sexton
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Aug 06, 2017
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