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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
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Sorry Please Thank You: Stories

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Sorry Please Thank You: Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780307907172
ISBN10: 0307907171
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The author of the widely praised debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe returns with a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories.

 

A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have what it takes to be a hero? . . . A company outsources grief for profit, its slogan: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.”

 

Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, and in Sorry Please Thank You he fills his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in this new collection we have resounding proof that he has arrived (via a wormhole in space-time) as a major new voice in American fiction.

Review:

"In his new story collection, Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe) draws from both sci-fi and literature to conjure a world of emotionally stunted people, unable or unwilling to cope with reality and the love or loss that it entails. With somewhat mixed results, the book charts eclectic territory, from a zombie in a megamart to a new pharmaceutical drug that generates a sense of purpose, and explores retreats from reality and emotion. In 'Standard Loneliness Package,' Yu imagines a technology that transfers guilt, heartbreak, and other bad feelings onto the employees of an 'emotional engineering firm' based in India. In 'Adult Contemporary,' which recalls George Saunders, a man trying to buy a new life realizes that he's a character in someone else's story. Less successful stories delve into the workings of fiction itself; Yu wrestles with ethics as he imagines himself as a character struggling against his author in 'Human for Beginners.' At their best, the tales amusingly send up American consumer culture, but Yu's fondness for self-reference and literary games leads to some dead ends. While Yu's imaginative allegories are mostly too obvious to be genuinely thought provoking, they're nonetheless an impressive sendup of contemporary life. Agent: Gary Heidt, Signature Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

CHARLES YU is the author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. He received the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award for his story collection Third Class Superhero. He has also received the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award.

Table of Contents

Sorry

Standard Loneliness Package (page 3)

First Person Shooter (page 33)

Troubleshooting (page 39)

Please

Hero Absorbs Major Damage (page 53)

Human for Beginners (page 85)

Inventory (page 89)

Open (page 131)

Note to Self (page 139)

Thank You

Yeoman (page 155)

Designer Emotion 67 (page 173)

The Book of Categories (page 183)

Adult Contemporary (page 193)

All of the Above

Sorry Please Thank You (page 217)

What Our Readers Are Saying

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

Ellie B, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by Ellie B)
This is a collection of incredibly geeky, incredibly smart stories. The stories are full of ‘what if’s, questions about consciousness and existence. It is quite remarkable how much meaning Yu can pack into such short pieces. Some of them read almost like Buddhist meditations.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307907172
Author:
Yu, Charles
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Short Stories
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.19 x 1.02 in 0.74 lb

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Sorry Please Thank You: Stories Used Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780307907172 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his new story collection, Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe) draws from both sci-fi and literature to conjure a world of emotionally stunted people, unable or unwilling to cope with reality and the love or loss that it entails. With somewhat mixed results, the book charts eclectic territory, from a zombie in a megamart to a new pharmaceutical drug that generates a sense of purpose, and explores retreats from reality and emotion. In 'Standard Loneliness Package,' Yu imagines a technology that transfers guilt, heartbreak, and other bad feelings onto the employees of an 'emotional engineering firm' based in India. In 'Adult Contemporary,' which recalls George Saunders, a man trying to buy a new life realizes that he's a character in someone else's story. Less successful stories delve into the workings of fiction itself; Yu wrestles with ethics as he imagines himself as a character struggling against his author in 'Human for Beginners.' At their best, the tales amusingly send up American consumer culture, but Yu's fondness for self-reference and literary games leads to some dead ends. While Yu's imaginative allegories are mostly too obvious to be genuinely thought provoking, they're nonetheless an impressive sendup of contemporary life. Agent: Gary Heidt, Signature Literary Agency. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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