Poetry Madness
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | February 27, 2015

    Kazuo Ishiguro: IMG Kazuo Ishiguro's Playlist for The Buried Giant



    The eight songs on this playlist didn't "inspire" The Buried Giant, nor did I play them out loud while writing. And with the notable exception of... Continue »
    1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      The Buried Giant

      Kazuo Ishiguro 9780307271037

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

Last Stories and Other Stories

by

Last Stories and Other Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780670015979
ISBN10: 0670015970
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Supernaturally tinged stories from William T. Vollmann, author of the National Book Award winner Europe Central

In this magnificent new work of fiction, his first in nine years, celebrated author William T. Vollmann offers a collection of ghost stories linked by themes of love, death, and the erotic.

A Bohemian farmers dead wife returns to him, and their love endures, but at a gruesome price. A geisha prolongs her life by turning into a cherry tree. A journalist, haunted by the half-forgotten killing of a Bosnian couple, watches their story, and his own wartime tragedy, slip away from him. A dying American romances the ghost of his high school sweetheart while a homeless salaryman in Tokyo animates paper cutouts of ancient heroes.

Are ghosts memories, fantasies, or monsters? Is there life in death? Vollmann has always operated in the shadowy borderland between categories, and these eerie tales, however far-flung their settings, all focus on the attempts of the living to avoid, control, or even seduce death. Vollmann's stories will transport readers to a fantastical world where love and lust make anything possible.

Review:

"In the note to the reader that opens this huge collection, Vollmann (Europe Central) states, 'This is my final book. Any subsequent productions bearing my name will have been composed by a ghost.' Vollmann's fiction has always defied easy categorization. Here, he straddles, twists, and morphs action-adventure, horror, political thriller, fantasy, and literary fiction. What gives the book coherence is his singular style: elaborate and picaresque, with a rich vocabulary, an abundance of long and loopy sentences, and an irresistible energy. He's a yarn spinner, in the tradition of Lovecraft and Dinesin, and his subplots and digressions are woven elegantly into the main narratives. The 32 stories are grouped geographically for the most part. The three set in Bosnia and Herzegovina depict the horrors and insanity of war. The novella, 'The Treasure of Jovo Cirtovich,' set in Trieste, combines religion, myth, and romance into an 18th-century high seas adventure. Mainstays of horror and the supernatural figure prominently, and it's especially exciting to read these pop-fiction conventions treated with Vollmann's narrative richness. Related stories 'The Faithful Wife' and 'Doroteja,' both set in Bohemia, feature a ghost and a vampire, respectively. The longest piece in the book, 'When We Were Seventeen,' is set in the U.S.; it's a sweeping and sensuous tale of lust and longing, featuring a witch. Here's hoping that Vollmann changes his mind about this being the end. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Transporting [and] bizarrely beautiful...[these stories] call to mind no living writers, summoning instead Calvino, Marquez, Kafka....So mysterious are Vollmann's motivations, so sweeping his interests, so prodigious is his production, so vastly different is the thing he does from the thing that everyone else does that he may actually be a visitor from another dimension come to report comprehensively back to his home planet." Esquire

Review:

"A phantasmagoric book, blending bits of Lovecraft and Dreiser, David Foster Wallace and Scheherazade, Poe and the Brothers Grimm...builds to a suite of love stories, intended not to shock the unshockable but to trace the far reaches of this author's obsessions with sex and death." The New York Times

Review:

"Every story leaves someone behind, and so loss in itself, whether violent or beautiful, becomes an unrelenting thematic constant. In another writer's hands this would seem like a gloomy trudge, but Vollmann invigorates the subject with folkloric swashbuckling bluster...at best, the stories are odd, transportive, and of the blackest humor." The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Don't be afraid of the bricklike mass of this collection, or of Vollmann's forbidding reputation. Fear only the spectres and vampires that invest these 32 stories with highbrow goth." New York Magazine

Review:

"There are ghost and horror stories here, parables, tales, and tender, more memoiristic stories, all enriched by Vollmann's travels to the Balkans, Scandinavia, Japan, Trieste, Bohemia, Buenos Aires, Mexico. It's less a story collection than a dozen interrelated mini-novels wrapped around various continents." The New Republic

Review:

"A sprawling, enchanting casket of curiosities...these stories range from novella-length to just a single paragraph. In their elegant, elegiac meditations on death and the afterlife, we cross broad terrain, including geishas in ancient Japan, vampires in preindustrial Bohemia, and bombings in modern-day Sarajevo." Atlantic.com

Review:

"Creatively sourced, boldly imagined, and incandescently written supernatural stories....Throughout this ingeniously fabulist, erotic, musing, and satirical treasury, Vollmann gives monstrous and alluring form to the forces that haunt us, from desire and love to regret and loss, as he contemplates with ardor, sorrow, bemusement, and wonder the beauty and terror of life and death and the vast mystery of the hereafter." ALA Booklist

About the Author

William T. Vollmann has written nine novels, three collections of stories, six works of nonfiction, and a memoir. He has won the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction, a Whiting Writers Award, and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jeffreyralford, April 21, 2015 (view all comments by jeffreyralford)
Don't be daunted by the page count or seemingly impenetrable prose: the ghost stories in William T. Vollmann's Last Stories and Other Stories are some of the finest works in all of contemporary literature. These works feel lost in time, as if Vollmann's transcribing tales that have been passed on orally for generations. They'll creep over you in a fevered seep and change how you think about writing. This is the best book of 2014, hands down, and it's too bad critics let their deadlines force them into rushing past the collection. Spend a year reading Last Stories. The stories need to breathe, seethe, and metastasize.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670015979
Publisher:
Viking Books
Subject:
Literary
Author:
Vollmann, William T.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140731
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
704
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  2. All the Light We Cannot See
    New Trade Paper $16.20
  3. Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called... New Compact Disc $14.99
  4. The High Druid's Blade: The... Used Hardcover $15.95
  5. Robogenesis
    New Mass Market $12.00
  6. The Children Act
    New Mass Market $10.50

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals

Last Stories and Other Stories
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 704 pages Viking Books - English 9780670015979 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In the note to the reader that opens this huge collection, Vollmann (Europe Central) states, 'This is my final book. Any subsequent productions bearing my name will have been composed by a ghost.' Vollmann's fiction has always defied easy categorization. Here, he straddles, twists, and morphs action-adventure, horror, political thriller, fantasy, and literary fiction. What gives the book coherence is his singular style: elaborate and picaresque, with a rich vocabulary, an abundance of long and loopy sentences, and an irresistible energy. He's a yarn spinner, in the tradition of Lovecraft and Dinesin, and his subplots and digressions are woven elegantly into the main narratives. The 32 stories are grouped geographically for the most part. The three set in Bosnia and Herzegovina depict the horrors and insanity of war. The novella, 'The Treasure of Jovo Cirtovich,' set in Trieste, combines religion, myth, and romance into an 18th-century high seas adventure. Mainstays of horror and the supernatural figure prominently, and it's especially exciting to read these pop-fiction conventions treated with Vollmann's narrative richness. Related stories 'The Faithful Wife' and 'Doroteja,' both set in Bohemia, feature a ghost and a vampire, respectively. The longest piece in the book, 'When We Were Seventeen,' is set in the U.S.; it's a sweeping and sensuous tale of lust and longing, featuring a witch. Here's hoping that Vollmann changes his mind about this being the end. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Transporting [and] bizarrely beautiful...[these stories] call to mind no living writers, summoning instead Calvino, Marquez, Kafka....So mysterious are Vollmann's motivations, so sweeping his interests, so prodigious is his production, so vastly different is the thing he does from the thing that everyone else does that he may actually be a visitor from another dimension come to report comprehensively back to his home planet."
"Review" by , "A phantasmagoric book, blending bits of Lovecraft and Dreiser, David Foster Wallace and Scheherazade, Poe and the Brothers Grimm...builds to a suite of love stories, intended not to shock the unshockable but to trace the far reaches of this author's obsessions with sex and death."
"Review" by , "Every story leaves someone behind, and so loss in itself, whether violent or beautiful, becomes an unrelenting thematic constant. In another writer's hands this would seem like a gloomy trudge, but Vollmann invigorates the subject with folkloric swashbuckling bluster...at best, the stories are odd, transportive, and of the blackest humor."
"Review" by , "Don't be afraid of the bricklike mass of this collection, or of Vollmann's forbidding reputation. Fear only the spectres and vampires that invest these 32 stories with highbrow goth."
"Review" by , "There are ghost and horror stories here, parables, tales, and tender, more memoiristic stories, all enriched by Vollmann's travels to the Balkans, Scandinavia, Japan, Trieste, Bohemia, Buenos Aires, Mexico. It's less a story collection than a dozen interrelated mini-novels wrapped around various continents."
"Review" by , "A sprawling, enchanting casket of curiosities...these stories range from novella-length to just a single paragraph. In their elegant, elegiac meditations on death and the afterlife, we cross broad terrain, including geishas in ancient Japan, vampires in preindustrial Bohemia, and bombings in modern-day Sarajevo."
"Review" by , "Creatively sourced, boldly imagined, and incandescently written supernatural stories....Throughout this ingeniously fabulist, erotic, musing, and satirical treasury, Vollmann gives monstrous and alluring form to the forces that haunt us, from desire and love to regret and loss, as he contemplates with ardor, sorrow, bemusement, and wonder the beauty and terror of life and death and the vast mystery of the hereafter."
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.