Clark's Reviews > Sixty Stories

Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme
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's review
Dec 22, 2009

really liked it
Read in October, 2009

It's pretty easy to see why this author was a game-changer for short stories. These stories are all wildly experimental and for that matter, wildly hit-or-miss. The best stuff is emotionally jarring, hilarious and so clever that you will wish that you had thought of it. The worst is basically incomprehensible (at least to me. lit scholars might do better). Highly recommend these stories: "Me and Miss Mandible", "Will You Tell Me?", "Game", "Robert Kennedy Saved From Drowning", "Daumier", "Our Work and Why We Do It" and "The Death of Edward Lear".

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by DB (new) - rated it 3 stars

DB Your review is completely on point, these stories are totally hit and miss. Some were obviously experimental just for the sake of being so. While I appreciate the ambition, it led to a very uneven reading experience. Barthelme has the chops, and maybe in his other works he is able to hone in on what made his great stories great. This is the only collection of his Ive read, and to be honest it didnt have me rushing out to pick up another.

Clark I think that's pretty fair. I think that for most readers it becomes a pro/con game in which you have to ask if the really brilliant stuff merits the slogs through mediocre material. I also wonder how many of the stories that were incomprehensible to me would have made more sense if I had the energy to reread them.

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