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The Varieties of Romantic Experience: Stories

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The Varieties of Romantic Experience: Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For years Robert Cohen has been praised by reviewers and readers alike for his masterful prose and his exuberant and penetrating comic vision. "The New York Times" has even called his writing redemptive — so satisfying as to "remind readers why they continue to cast their lines into the shrinking lake of contemporary fiction...his prose is not merely gorgeous, it's also terrifically funny; his humor is the ghastly variety embedded in everyday life."

Now, the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of "Inspired Sleep" delivers a collection of ten dazzling stories that not only show off Cohen's exhilarating prose and startling ironic humor but also provide a platform for his virtuoso range of tone and style and his ongoing investigation of the hazy, bedraggled American sensibility.

In "Oscillations," a man verbally paralyzed by his obsession with language retreats to a special institute, where he will relearn the art of communication. "Points of Interest" is an ingenious and timely exploration of the boundaries between life and art, as told through the revolving — and dizzyingly revealing — perspectives of its three self-absorbed protagonists. The title story features a hilariously out-of-touch psychology professor whose introductory lecture becomes an inadvertent confession of his own long, disastrous career of sexual mistakes. And in the more somber, moving "The Boys at Night," a suburban teenager, on the fringes of a family crisis, makes his first tentative forays into maturity, discovering how accidents at once reveal, imperil, and sustain us.

In each of these stories, the characters must wrestle with the slippery, invisible curtain between the world and their own fevered misapprehensions of it. What results is the urgently serious comedy we call Romanticism — the yearning of the mind for contact with the actual, which is always receding from view. That these characters' desires and anxieties are familiar to us is the second thing we realize upon reading these stories. The first is how much we're laughing.

Review:

"[An] introspective and illuminating [collection] in which [Cohen] sidesteps the usual cliches of his subject with a wide array of intriguing and unusual situations. The hilarious title story is a perfect example....Most of the stories revolve around cleverly formulated premises, but Cohen also demonstrates a deft sense of control over narrative voice, and his dry, sardonic sense of humor serves him well throughout." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Charming...with the perfect pitch of Chekhov satire...Cohen can extend a series of metaphors like taffy." Ken Kalfus, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"The formidable comic energy of Robert Cohen's new short-story collection derives from the collision of his magnificently self-deceiving characters with the unforgiving world they inhabit....Cohen balances this robust black comedy with moments of quietly profound feeling." Stephen Amidon, Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)

About the Author

Robert Cohen is the author of three novels, The Organ Builder, The Here and Now, and Inspired Sleep. His work has been awarded a Whiting Writers' Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers Award, The Ribalow Prize, and The Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Harpers, GQ, The Paris Review, Atlantic Unbound, and Ploughshares. He teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Table of Contents

Contents

The Next Big Thing

The Varieties of Romantic Experience: An Introduction

Points of Interest

The Bachelor Party

Adult Education

Oscillations

A Flight of Sparks

The Boys at Night

Between Hammers

Influence

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743229623
Subtitle:
Stories
Author:
Cohen, Robert
Author:
Cohen Robert
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Fiction : Short Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Series Volume:
no. 1766
Publication Date:
Feb 2002
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 16.544 oz

Related Subjects

The Varieties of Romantic Experience: Stories
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Product details 224 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743229623 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[An] introspective and illuminating [collection] in which [Cohen] sidesteps the usual cliches of his subject with a wide array of intriguing and unusual situations. The hilarious title story is a perfect example....Most of the stories revolve around cleverly formulated premises, but Cohen also demonstrates a deft sense of control over narrative voice, and his dry, sardonic sense of humor serves him well throughout."
"Review" by , "Charming...with the perfect pitch of Chekhov satire...Cohen can extend a series of metaphors like taffy."
"Review" by , "The formidable comic energy of Robert Cohen's new short-story collection derives from the collision of his magnificently self-deceiving characters with the unforgiving world they inhabit....Cohen balances this robust black comedy with moments of quietly profound feeling." (read the entire Atlantic review)
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