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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Stories in the Worst Way

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Stories in the Worst Way Cover

ISBN13: 9780970942807
ISBN10: 097094280x
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

"In a world of literature that is sometimes too bogged down in style or overwrought with manipulative emotion, the work of Gary Lutz is dazzling and deeply entrenched in the realistic comedy of the human body. Thankfully, it was recently republished (read: salvaged!) by 3rd Bed, an experimental literary magazine from Rhode Island. It's a second chance for readers to discover this great writer." Kevin Sampsell, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Publisher Comments:

These crucial, often darkly hilarious arraignments and instigations place before us a parade of defectives and solitaries, all running through the heart's entire repertory in pursuit of a fitting catastrophe of the self.

In "Certain Riddances," a cordovanned and cuff-linked office crank pushes his way into a final round of interoffice harassments. The sour-mouthed teenager of "SMTWTFS" comes down with a case of pointed, retaliatory homosexuality. In "Devotions," an offcast from couplehood recounts, in extremis, the downturns of three desolating marriages. The word-shy apartment dweller of "Esprit de l'Elevator" lets himself out of his sleep just long enough to explain away his suspicious solitudes to his neighbors. In "Not the Hand but Where the Hand Has Been," a guilt-ravaged father pours the secrets of his grown daughter's life into the narrow columns of the index he is compiling on the cheap for a university-press book he is certain no one will ever read.

Review:

"If this were all Lutz had to offer, these sharp sad portraits of people in routinized, serial relations with their spouses and bosses and mattresses, his book would already be worth reading....But Lutz writes the most remarkable sentences, at once torqued and shimmering. It's for these that you should...read every last damaged word." Diana George, The Stranger (Seattle)

Review:

"Mordant debut collection of terse stories (some only a few paragraphs long), featuring a playful use of language in the service of a grim vision of contemporary life....There's no doubt that Lutz offers a distinctive, disturbing vision of an anomic world. But a little of this vision goes a very long way." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[These] 36 short stories...are unremittingly grim, pretentious and oblique. More character studies than narratives, the pieces involve unsavory, self-hating characters....The narratives themselves are static, if vivid, portraits....In spite of Lutz's flair with an airlessly ironic wit and occasional clever wordplay...these stories, all too unoriginally, live up to the collection's title." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Mr. Lutz comes from the same school as Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish, with the former's dirty-realist landscape and the latter's playful perversity. Yet he manages to create his own blend of the prosaic and the disordered, full of half-cliched twists and turns of phrase....Some [of his characters] reach a hypnotic pitch in their low-key soliloquies...but in the aggregate, the works they inhabit seem more like stylistic exercises than stories." Allen Lincoln, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Lutz's short, experimental pieces (some a mere 100 words) are sure to intrigue some and offend and baffle others....Lutz's unique style and approach should interest students of writing, but the general reader may finish each story thinking, 'Huh?'" Library Journal

Review:

"Many pieces are a quarter- or half-page in length, and these read more like character sketches, though even the longest stories fail to develop real time and place. Lutz's cleverness...isn't enough, on the other hand, to mitigate the misery of the lives he portrays." The Antioch Review

Review:

"Lutz's view of the world in these works is so dismal even chronically cheerful people will want to blow their brains out after reading them....Other than marveling at the inventive way he slices and dices the mother tongue, we'd prefer to spend our time carving weird musings into our own flesh with a butcher knife — at least those wounds may eventually scab over. Lutz's darkly depressing images doubtless will fester in the mind forever." Tucson Weekly

Table of Contents

Sororally 3
Waking Hours 8
Street Map of the Continent 14
Slops 17
Devotions 23
When You Got Back 28
Positions 31
Their Sizes Run Differently 34
Yours 40
SMTWTFS 41
Being Good in October 46
The Smell of How the World Had Ground Itself onto Somebody Else 47
Susceptibility 56
Rims 57
Esprit de l'Elevator 60
Claims 67
The Bride 69
Education 71
It Collects in Me 78
Certain Riddances 80
The Gist 87
The Pavilion 89
Priority 94
Recessional 97
Mine 107
Steep 109
The Daughter 111
That Which Is Husbander Than Anything Prior 113
People Are Already Full 120
The Preventer of Sorrows 122
Sleeveless 126
I Am Shy a Hole 127
Contractions 129
Onesome 140
For Food 144
Not the Hand but Where the Hand Has Been 149

What Our Readers Are Saying

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

moldenke, April 12, 2008 (view all comments by moldenke)
Lutz manages to tangle words into sentences that snort fear into syntax and then as the aroma of the language begins to curl the buds of the tongue it becomes clear that the reader is dining in a kind of lyrical greasy spoon, where even the pigs in a blanket are a mad capped ambrosia. If you ever really want to understand the sentence, read Lutz.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780970942807
Publisher:
3rd Bed
Location:
Providence, R.I.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
1st 3rd bed paperback ed.
Series Volume:
NASA TN D-5029
Publication Date:
September 1, 2002
Binding:
Trade Paper
Language:
English
Pages:
7, 152 p.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Stories in the Worst Way
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 7, 152 p. pages 3rd Bed - English 9780970942807 Reviews:
"Review" by , "If this were all Lutz had to offer, these sharp sad portraits of people in routinized, serial relations with their spouses and bosses and mattresses, his book would already be worth reading....But Lutz writes the most remarkable sentences, at once torqued and shimmering. It's for these that you should...read every last damaged word."
"Review" by , "Mordant debut collection of terse stories (some only a few paragraphs long), featuring a playful use of language in the service of a grim vision of contemporary life....There's no doubt that Lutz offers a distinctive, disturbing vision of an anomic world. But a little of this vision goes a very long way."
"Review" by , "[These] 36 short stories...are unremittingly grim, pretentious and oblique. More character studies than narratives, the pieces involve unsavory, self-hating characters....The narratives themselves are static, if vivid, portraits....In spite of Lutz's flair with an airlessly ironic wit and occasional clever wordplay...these stories, all too unoriginally, live up to the collection's title."
"Review" by , "Mr. Lutz comes from the same school as Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish, with the former's dirty-realist landscape and the latter's playful perversity. Yet he manages to create his own blend of the prosaic and the disordered, full of half-cliched twists and turns of phrase....Some [of his characters] reach a hypnotic pitch in their low-key soliloquies...but in the aggregate, the works they inhabit seem more like stylistic exercises than stories."
"Review" by , "Lutz's short, experimental pieces (some a mere 100 words) are sure to intrigue some and offend and baffle others....Lutz's unique style and approach should interest students of writing, but the general reader may finish each story thinking, 'Huh?'"
"Review" by , "Many pieces are a quarter- or half-page in length, and these read more like character sketches, though even the longest stories fail to develop real time and place. Lutz's cleverness...isn't enough, on the other hand, to mitigate the misery of the lives he portrays."
"Review" by , "Lutz's view of the world in these works is so dismal even chronically cheerful people will want to blow their brains out after reading them....Other than marveling at the inventive way he slices and dices the mother tongue, we'd prefer to spend our time carving weird musings into our own flesh with a butcher knife — at least those wounds may eventually scab over. Lutz's darkly depressing images doubtless will fester in the mind forever."
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