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Tales of Falling and Flying

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  119 reviews
"Ben Loory's stories are little gifts, strange and moving and wonderfully human. I devoured this book in one sitting." --Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

A dazzling new collection of stories from the critically acclaimed author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for The Day

Ben Loory returns with a second collection of timeless tales, invit
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Penguin Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  462 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Ben Loory
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Some reviews:

A profile story in the LA Times:

A few interviews:
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took me about three stories to find the rhythm of Ben Loory's cooky, brilliant, weird, wonderful writing style - then I stopped questioning what was happening and just went where his imagination took me - and I adored this. This collection of very short short stories reads unlike any I have read before and I absolutely, totally loved it. I sped through it in two sittings and then was a bit mad at myself because I made it end so soon - but the stories were so addictive! Thankfully he has writt ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. They each left me feeling...some kinda way, lol. My favorite was by FAR "Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun". INCREDIBLE, it brought tears to my eyes. I'd buy a framed poster of this story and put it on my wall to be read whenever I felt like stopping and thinking. My only advice, buy the hard copy. This is a book you need to be able to hold. ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Nope. Not my cup of tea (or any other beverage for that matter!). What was this that I just read, really? Someone's deliria diary?

It made me feel as if my brain will escape out of my head via ears right now. Was the author tipsy/medicated thinking this up? Did he just look up random things in a dictionary, take random words and combine them into stories? It's like watching someone else's dreams or listening to drunk rambling. A real jumble of miscellania.

Felt very disjointed. I'm sure it was sup
Bud Smith
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one has some of my favorite short stories ever in it 'Elmore Leonard', 'The Dodo', 'the sword', 'war and peace', 'the squid who fell in love with the sun', 'the rock eater' ... the stories in this book are all really great, but those ones in particular are extra sublime.

Something magic happens when you get comfortable with a story not having to adhere to a set of rules. Ben Loory is my favorite contemporary writer of short fiction. His stuff is so open. There's never anything to hide behin
Peter Tillman
OK, I've read maybe two-thirds of the stories. I liked “The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun” (3.3 stars) and the others I've read ranged from good to eh. The stories are all very short, and a couple with a sting in the tail reminded me of O'Henry.

This is my first encounter with Loory, and I might read more, but the book is due back today. Overall, 2.7 stars, maybe?

You may well like them more, but you might want to see if your library has a copy. And read a few at a time, is my advice.

Kerry Dunn
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
I'm afraid if I were to use all the adjectives that apply to Ben Loory's stories, someone would roll their eyes, because how could it be possible that ALL these adjectives are apt? I would be called hyperbolic and fawning. But then I would hope that the eye roller would read the stories and understand and then agree with me. So here goes: wonderful, magical, funny, heartbreaking, surreal, fantastic, anthropomorphic, scary, melancholy, joyful, playful, insightful, prophetic, fabulistic. Ok I'll s ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was the most charming thing I've read all year - maybe ever?

This collection of quirky shorts from Ben Loory is a delight - be prepared to let go of the why, and just embrace the moment of "well of course that just happened!". They are short shorts, and most of them would work across all age groups - though older readers will absolutely bring more depth to these stories.

Absolutely lovely.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's great to see Loory up to his old tricks again. With this new collection of stories there is no shortage of heart, imagination or adventure. ...more
Joan Concilio
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-read
I picked up a copy of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (which happened to be autographed, though I didn't know it at the time!) at a used bookstore because it had a beautiful cover and those amazing rough-edged pages. I ended up being totally mesmerized by Ben Loory's writing and couldn't wait to read something else by him, but at the time he didn't have any other books and it kind of slipped my mind.

Fast-forward to a couple months ago. I'm browsing a bookstore and see a beautiful cove
Tom Li
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This collection of flash fiction opened my eyes and left an indelible impression on me. Never before have I devoured stories as quickly as I have with this wonderfully quirky book.
Christopher Swann
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These tales or fables read like minimalist Beckett, if Beckett had been taught how to write by Aesop, Isak Dinesen, and someone with the faith in humanity of Dickens. They are puzzling, wise, always clever, and often just plain funny, but they all make you think. Great sophomore outing. Revised from 4 to 5 stars because I keep thinking about them.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ben Loory is a fabulist, a writer of fabulous fables. Each is a kind of elegy, an elemental poem that takes words to unexpected places, tickles the mind, and leads to thoughts of the impossible. Each story is a teacher. Ray Bradbury was right when he said this guy can write. We are the beneficiaries of his talent and all of us should be so rewarded.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ben Loory is a genius.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this even better than his first collection, the tone was just really working for me this time. Very unique and worth checking out (and if you don't like it, it's a short read). ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book you give to the people you love.
Mark Leidner
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like late James Tate poems with much longer runways.
Todd Petty
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read Tales of Falling and Flying in three sittings. That took some discipline on my part. The book is fun and compelling enough that I could have finished it all at once, but it's also impactful and resonant enough that I wanted to give myself time in-between sittings to think about the stories, the characters, and the quiet mastery with which Ben Loory invites readers into the fantastic world he's created. This project, like all of Loory's work, is uplifting and occasionally harrowing, joyful ...more
Sarah Booth
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I got an advanced copy of this and read it voraciously. These are fun fast bits of fantasy and surrealism that are satisfying as fairy tales and also on a deeper psychological level. They make you want to not only read more of the author but also to sit down and write yourself. You think "if I allowed myself to write unabashed, this is how I'd do it." This is a very very satisfying book of stories that I'll be giving copies of to friends. ...more
Jenny Robinson
I did the audio on this book. The actor was great but I wish I had actually turned the pages. This is one of those books you leave laying around and randomly grab to read a story now and again. Each story appears simplistic but has so many underlining meanings that make you think. Basically you can see each as simple or you can see the as so complex you are left thinking about the alternative meaning after. Very thoughtful stories.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Good stuff! Loved this collection of wacky tales. Favorites: 'The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun', 'The Man, The Restaurant, and the Eiffel Tower', 'Spiders', 'The Astronaut', and 'The Woman, the Letter, the Mirror, and the Door'. Ben Loory is an intriguing writer. I'll be seeking out more of his work, definitely.
Kyle Muntz
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There's a strange kind of magic in these stories. I'm not clear if it's better than Loory's first collection (which is one of my favorites), but it's just as readable, and it's still incredible how Loory does so much in such a small space. ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read and a breath of fresh air from those more serious novels.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
fun, unique, silly, nonsensical. like a bunch of goofy dream sequences.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
With deceptively plain language and within just a few pages a story, Loory paints little universes in which a little magic and imagination overrule everyday reality. Easy to read, hard to forget.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very short stories and I do like short stories. None of which made any sense even in an slightly abstract way. They were more like those odd little what the heck dreams with no beginning or end . A nice little collection that would suffice while waiting in a Doctor’s office or the line at the DMV.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE Ben Loorys short stories! And this one did not disappoint. I just wish there were more books from him.
Jayde Meng
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I LOVED this collection. Favorites include: The Sloth, The Porpoise, The Dragon, The Ocean Next Door, The Writer, and The Lemon Tree. But my absolute favorite has to be The Squid Who Fell In Love With the Sun. Some of Ben Loory's stories can make you feel empty after reading them, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but my favorite ones were the ones that made me feel full. They remind me of Raymond Carver's poem Happiness, or the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente.
Loory writes with eve
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and these funky little stories, so much. The ones I went back and re-read several times before finishing the book include: "The Ambulance Driver," "War and Peace," "The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun," "Toward the Earth," "Death and the Lady," "The Porpoise," "The Ocean Next Door," and of course, "Elmore Leonard," which you can read here: if you want a sample of this wonderful work. I'm sure a few others are available online if you dig.

Sean Carman
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just for fun, and with no idea where this might go, I'm going to compare this book to the last book I finished, Swann's Way, the first volume of Marcel Proust's celebrated seven-volume epic, In Search of Lost Time.

For starters, the sentences in Ben Loory's book are much, much shorter. Proust's sentences can go on and on, sometimes for more than a page, a series of clauses elegantly subordinated to one another, like stairs on a spiral case, that always lead the reader to a beautiful place, a balc
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fiction files redux: Tales of Falling and Flying by Ben Loory 6 19 Jul 02, 2017 02:30AM  

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Ben Loory is the author of the collections Tales of Falling and Flying and Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, both from Penguin Books. His fables and tales have appeared in The New Yorker, BOMB Magazine, Fairy Tale Review, and A Public Space, and been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts. He is also the author of a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus.


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