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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Livability: Stories

by

Livability: Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9781596916555
ISBN10: 1596916559
Condition: Standard
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Awards

Winner of the 2009 Ken Kesey Award for Fiction
2009 "On Oregon" Book of the Year

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A collection of rich, powerfully human stories from the author of The Half-Life and the movies Old Joy ("one of the finest American films of the year" — New York Times) and Wendy and Lucy.

A tired man, struggling to overcome the loss of his wife in a car accident. Two old friends, hoping to rediscover their connection on a trip to the woods. A screenwriter hoping to hear news about the future of his film.

In Jon Raymond's deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters contend with the frustrations, longings, and mood swings we face every day. Artfully conveying the feeling of lived experience, these stories brim with gratifying sensory detail: the sound of a tree root snapping underfoot, the smell of a roast, the stillness of the air after music has stopped. And, with careful observations and a humane spirit, Livability gives us a portrait of America, full of characters finding ways to survive their own choices.

Published to coincide with the national release of Wendy and Lucy, these refined, elegiac stories are the work of a writer with a long and promising career ahead of him.

Review:

"These nine gorgeous stories from novelist and screenwriter Raymond find pallid Northwesterners testing the moral perimeters of their decent lives. In 'The Suckling Pig,' set around the preparations for a dinner party, the divorced middle-aged host hires two Mexican men for some yard work at his suburban house, then adds them to the guest list to spur on what turns out to be a transformative and class-blurring evening. The wayward protagonist of 'Train Choir' hopes to make it to Alaska and find work with the fisheries, but she gets caught stealing food for her dog, setting off a chain of mishaps that sinks her deeper into a perverse, solitary rut. In 'Young Bodies,' 17-year-old Russian migr Kendra sneaks into the store where she works to return the money she'd stolen, only to get locked in the mall for the night with an increasingly unsympathetic co-worker. A sense of fragility pervades these characters' lives, and as the upsets that threaten each of them simmer, Raymond reveals how close failure (and worse) lingers." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[T]he writing is superb, fluid, funny, unpredictable, and Raymond constructs some of the best effortless dialogue I've heard in a long time. But what truly connected me to this wonderful book was my feeling that it marks the beginning of a modern exploration of the urban Oregon mind." Matt Love, Powells.com's On Oregon blog

Review:

"These stories stick with me and rival my own memories of inertia, isolation and wild invention in the Pacific Northwest. And like real life, they head in one direction but always end up in another. Jon Raymond has an impressive ability to recognize the tales that we all tell ourselves, and then quietly lead us back to reality — excruciatingly familiar and usually rainy." Miranda July, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You

Review:

"[Raymond's] simple yet elegant writing style, with concise descriptions and well-paced action sequences, is taut and powerful." Library Journal

Review:

"Realism, perceptively delivered." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Raymond's work floats just beside the realm of possibility, often ending as a character is teetering dramatically on the precipice of something. With Raymond...we glimpse lives in suspension, and the effect, by the book's end, is dizzying." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The lives of the folks in Jon Raymond's Livability are clouded by longing and lit with rare flashes of grace." Vanity Fair

Review:

"In Livability...the myriad locales of the Pacific Northwest become characters unto themselves...rendered every bit as evocatively as their inhabitants, and have almost as much agency in Raymond's narratives." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"There is a raw immediacy to Raymond's narrative voice. It has a depressive quality that lends credence to his characterizations....He doesn't imbue his characters with a phony majestic state of grace but lays them out for us bare." Denver Post

Synopsis:

A collection of rich, powerfully human stories from the author of The Half-Life and the movies Old Joy (“one of the finest American films of the year”New York Times) and Wendy and Lucy.

A grieving man embarks on a long-imagined affair in the months following his wifes unexpected death. Two old friends attempt to rediscover their lost bond on a trip to remote mountain hot springs. Two teenagers, trapped in a mall after hours, push each other to new levels of honesty and sexual misconduct.

In Jon Raymonds deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters experience the deep longings and sudden insights of life in a modern, middle-sized citya world of rapidly changing neighborhoods, rising financial pressures, and chance encounters shaped by far-distant forces. Whether kids or carpenters, artists or drifters, all have arrived at a crossroads, seeking what they need to survive and finding what, if necessary, they are willing to live without. With poetic detail and a humane spirit, Livability draws a somber, wryly observed portrait of America now.

Synopsis:

A collection of rich, powerfully human stories from the author of The Half-Life and the movies Old Joy (“one of the finest American films of the year”—New York Times) and Wendy and Lucy.

A grieving man embarks on a long-imagined affair in the months following his wifes unexpected death. Two old friends attempt to rediscover their lost bond on a trip to remote mountain hot springs. Two teenagers, trapped in a mall after hours, push each other to new levels of honesty and sexual misconduct.

In Jon Raymonds deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters experience the deep longings and sudden insights of life in a modern, middle-sized city—a world of rapidly changing neighborhoods, rising financial pressures, and chance encounters shaped by far-distant forces. Whether kids or carpenters, artists or drifters, all have arrived at a crossroads, seeking what they need to survive and finding what, if necessary, they are willing to live without. With poetic detail and a humane spirit, Livability draws a somber, wryly observed portrait of America now.

About the Author

Jon Raymond is the author of The Half-Life, a novel, and co-writer of the films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, adapted from stories in this collection. He is an editor at Plazm Magazine, and his writing has appeared in Bookforum, Artforum, Tin House, The Village Voice, and other publications. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

reading4you, December 31, 2009 (view all comments by reading4you)
Excellant collection. Also, read his novel, The Half Life. Both put him on the road of being "Oregon's Best Writer". Truly splendid.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
nlerud, March 24, 2009 (view all comments by nlerud)
This book, basically, is why I love Oregon. Jon Raymond hits everything exactly right, from an entitled Lake Oswego subdivision to Lloyd Center to Newport in the middle of winter. Apart from the nail-on-the-head sense of place, the stories are also just good (the one about the artist and her boyfriend was forgettable, but "The Suckling Pig" makes up for that by being one of the most compelling stories I've read in a long time.) My vote is for Jon Raymond as the next (next?) Great Oregon Writer. His stuff rocks my world.
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(7 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596916555
Author:
Raymond, Jon
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Raymond, Jonathan
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Friends
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.28 x 5.62 x 0.76 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Oregon Book Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Literature Folklore and Memoirs

Livability: Stories Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596916555 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "These nine gorgeous stories from novelist and screenwriter Raymond find pallid Northwesterners testing the moral perimeters of their decent lives. In 'The Suckling Pig,' set around the preparations for a dinner party, the divorced middle-aged host hires two Mexican men for some yard work at his suburban house, then adds them to the guest list to spur on what turns out to be a transformative and class-blurring evening. The wayward protagonist of 'Train Choir' hopes to make it to Alaska and find work with the fisheries, but she gets caught stealing food for her dog, setting off a chain of mishaps that sinks her deeper into a perverse, solitary rut. In 'Young Bodies,' 17-year-old Russian migr Kendra sneaks into the store where she works to return the money she'd stolen, only to get locked in the mall for the night with an increasingly unsympathetic co-worker. A sense of fragility pervades these characters' lives, and as the upsets that threaten each of them simmer, Raymond reveals how close failure (and worse) lingers." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[T]he writing is superb, fluid, funny, unpredictable, and Raymond constructs some of the best effortless dialogue I've heard in a long time. But what truly connected me to this wonderful book was my feeling that it marks the beginning of a modern exploration of the urban Oregon mind." Matt Love, Powells.com's On Oregon blog
"Review" by , "These stories stick with me and rival my own memories of inertia, isolation and wild invention in the Pacific Northwest. And like real life, they head in one direction but always end up in another. Jon Raymond has an impressive ability to recognize the tales that we all tell ourselves, and then quietly lead us back to reality — excruciatingly familiar and usually rainy."
"Review" by , "[Raymond's] simple yet elegant writing style, with concise descriptions and well-paced action sequences, is taut and powerful."
"Review" by , "Realism, perceptively delivered."
"Review" by , "Raymond's work floats just beside the realm of possibility, often ending as a character is teetering dramatically on the precipice of something. With Raymond...we glimpse lives in suspension, and the effect, by the book's end, is dizzying."
"Review" by , "The lives of the folks in Jon Raymond's Livability are clouded by longing and lit with rare flashes of grace."
"Review" by , "In Livability...the myriad locales of the Pacific Northwest become characters unto themselves...rendered every bit as evocatively as their inhabitants, and have almost as much agency in Raymond's narratives."
"Review" by , "There is a raw immediacy to Raymond's narrative voice. It has a depressive quality that lends credence to his characterizations....He doesn't imbue his characters with a phony majestic state of grace but lays them out for us bare."
"Synopsis" by ,

A collection of rich, powerfully human stories from the author of The Half-Life and the movies Old Joy (“one of the finest American films of the year”New York Times) and Wendy and Lucy.

A grieving man embarks on a long-imagined affair in the months following his wifes unexpected death. Two old friends attempt to rediscover their lost bond on a trip to remote mountain hot springs. Two teenagers, trapped in a mall after hours, push each other to new levels of honesty and sexual misconduct.

In Jon Raymonds deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters experience the deep longings and sudden insights of life in a modern, middle-sized citya world of rapidly changing neighborhoods, rising financial pressures, and chance encounters shaped by far-distant forces. Whether kids or carpenters, artists or drifters, all have arrived at a crossroads, seeking what they need to survive and finding what, if necessary, they are willing to live without. With poetic detail and a humane spirit, Livability draws a somber, wryly observed portrait of America now.

"Synopsis" by ,

A collection of rich, powerfully human stories from the author of The Half-Life and the movies Old Joy (“one of the finest American films of the year”—New York Times) and Wendy and Lucy.

A grieving man embarks on a long-imagined affair in the months following his wifes unexpected death. Two old friends attempt to rediscover their lost bond on a trip to remote mountain hot springs. Two teenagers, trapped in a mall after hours, push each other to new levels of honesty and sexual misconduct.

In Jon Raymonds deft, nuanced stories, these and other characters experience the deep longings and sudden insights of life in a modern, middle-sized city—a world of rapidly changing neighborhoods, rising financial pressures, and chance encounters shaped by far-distant forces. Whether kids or carpenters, artists or drifters, all have arrived at a crossroads, seeking what they need to survive and finding what, if necessary, they are willing to live without. With poetic detail and a humane spirit, Livability draws a somber, wryly observed portrait of America now.

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