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Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories

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Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780307265210
ISBN10: 0307265218
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Following his widely acclaimed Project X and Love and Hydrogen — "Here is the effect of these two books," wrote the Chicago Tribune: "A reader finishes them buzzing with awe" — Jim Shepard now gives us his first entirely new collection in more than a decade.

Like You'd Understand, Anyway reaches from Chernobyl to Bridgeport, with a host of narrators only Shepard could bring to pitch-perfect life. Among them: a middle-aged Aeschylus taking his place at Marathon, still vying for parental approval. A maddeningly indefatigable Victorian explorer hauling his expedition, whaleboat and all, through the Great Australian Desert in midsummer. The first woman in space and her cosmonaut lover, caught in the star-crossed orbits of their joint mission. Two Texas high school football players at the top of their food chain, soliciting their fathers' attention by leveling everything before them on the field. And the rational and compassionate chief executioner of Paris, whose occupation, during the height of the Terror, eats away at all he holds dear.

Brimming with irony, compassion, and withering humor, these eleven stories are at once eerily pertinent and dazzlingly exotic, and they showcase the work of a protean, prodigiously gifted writer at the height of his form. Reading Jim Shepard, according to Michael Chabon, "is like encountering our national literature in microcosm."

Review:

"Following the novel Project X and Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories, Shepard's new collection takes in landscapes as diverse as 1986 Chernobyl in 'The Zero Meter Diving Team,' to 1840s down under in 'The First South Central Australian Expedition.' It's clear that Shepard has done his research in these 11 first-person tales-be it on Alaskan tidal waves for a story about a man contemplating a vasectomy while reliving a childhood tragedy in 'Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay' or Sherpas and the Chang Tang tundra in 'Ancestral Legacies,' and his precision gives the poignant longing and human emotion of the stories room to resonate. Save for 'Eros 7,' about a lovelorn Soviet Cosmonaut set during the US/Russian space race, all are the stories are told by men, often with few female characters. At the core, each is essentially an exploration of familial relationships between men-be it the ill-fated trio of brothers working at the nuclear reactor or the unhappy adolescent camper calling home to find out about his mentally disturbed younger brother in 'Courtesy for Beginners.' Shepard's far-flung explorations get very close to the male heart." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Jim Shepard's new collection of short stories leads off with two pages of acknowledgments in which he cites dozens of books, many of them obscure: 'Wild Flowers of Greece,' 'The Oxford History of Australia 1770-1860,' 'The Guillotine and the Terror,' etc. He wants us to know that his tales have solid groundings in fact, that his imagination comes into play in such choices as which historical details... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Like You'd Understand, Anyway serves as testament not only to Jim Shepard's talents but also to the power of the short story itself, forged from the world with a sharp eye and a careful ear, serving no agenda but literature's primary and oft-forgotten one: the delight of the reader." Daniel Handler, New York Times

Review:

"These wildly diverse stories share a fascination with the inevitable cost of familial obligation and the inescapable fallout from disaster, both natural and human-made." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Shepard has an appetite for the strange and foreign, and the collection ranges impressively across time and place." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Freakishly erudite, Shepard writes fiction that glories in the sheer too-muchness of life — its superabundance of emotion, incident and sensory delight. Virtuoso work." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Brimming with irony, compassion, and withering humor, these 11 stories seem both eerily pertinent and exhilaratingly exotic, showcasing the work of a gifted writer at the height of his form.

About the Author

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and two previous collections of stories. He teaches at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Abby, July 2, 2008 (view all comments by Abby)
I have read many short story collections and this is definitely in my top five. The stories contain a fantastic array of characters and situations. I thought it was a collection of Jim Shepard's best but it isn't, it is his latest. Very entertaining reading.
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(5 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307265210
Subtitle:
Stories
Author:
Shepard, Jim
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Short stories, American
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070925
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.62x5.92x.86 in. .82 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307265210 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Following the novel Project X and Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories, Shepard's new collection takes in landscapes as diverse as 1986 Chernobyl in 'The Zero Meter Diving Team,' to 1840s down under in 'The First South Central Australian Expedition.' It's clear that Shepard has done his research in these 11 first-person tales-be it on Alaskan tidal waves for a story about a man contemplating a vasectomy while reliving a childhood tragedy in 'Pleasure Boating in Lituya Bay' or Sherpas and the Chang Tang tundra in 'Ancestral Legacies,' and his precision gives the poignant longing and human emotion of the stories room to resonate. Save for 'Eros 7,' about a lovelorn Soviet Cosmonaut set during the US/Russian space race, all are the stories are told by men, often with few female characters. At the core, each is essentially an exploration of familial relationships between men-be it the ill-fated trio of brothers working at the nuclear reactor or the unhappy adolescent camper calling home to find out about his mentally disturbed younger brother in 'Courtesy for Beginners.' Shepard's far-flung explorations get very close to the male heart." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Like You'd Understand, Anyway serves as testament not only to Jim Shepard's talents but also to the power of the short story itself, forged from the world with a sharp eye and a careful ear, serving no agenda but literature's primary and oft-forgotten one: the delight of the reader."
"Review" by , "These wildly diverse stories share a fascination with the inevitable cost of familial obligation and the inescapable fallout from disaster, both natural and human-made."
"Review" by , "Shepard has an appetite for the strange and foreign, and the collection ranges impressively across time and place."
"Review" by , "Freakishly erudite, Shepard writes fiction that glories in the sheer too-muchness of life — its superabundance of emotion, incident and sensory delight. Virtuoso work."
"Synopsis" by , Brimming with irony, compassion, and withering humor, these 11 stories seem both eerily pertinent and exhilaratingly exotic, showcasing the work of a gifted writer at the height of his form.
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