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The Whole Story and Other Stories

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The Whole Story and Other Stories Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"What whole story? The point of Ali Smith's new collection would seem to be that there is no such thing. Experience is infinitely divisible; perspectives shimmer and refract....Smith's vision, like her prose, is startlingly fresh; her stories are short and suggestive. No longer a young Turk (she is now over forty), Smith has moved smoothly into place as one of Britain's most important and established writers." Brooke Allen, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the critically acclaimed author of Hotel World comes a collection of uniquely inventive stories that thread the labyrinth of coincidence, chance, and connections missed and made.

What happens when you run into Death in a busy train station? (You know hes Death because when he smiles, your cell phone goes dead.) What if your lover falls in love with a tree? Should you be jealous? From the woman pursued by a band of bagpipers in full regalia to the artist whos built a seven-foot boat out of secondhand copies of The Great Gatsby, Smiths characters are offbeat, charming, sexy, and as wonderfully complex as life itself.

Review:

"Switching back to short fiction after a highly successful debut novel (Hotel World), Smith crafts 12 sharp, unsettling stories tuned to a frequency just beyond the range of reality. The collection begins with 'The Universal Story,' about a man who buys up used copies of The Great Gatsby for his sister; she plans to use them to build a paper boat. Engaging as it is in itself, this narrative is just the pretext for a meditation on the nature of storytelling, which Smith undertakes by shifting her focus to marginal characters and then to a meandering fly. Other, similarly inventive and whimsical conceits dominate the collection. In 'May,' for instance, a woman falls in love with a tree on a neighbor's property that literally becomes a rival for her husband's affection, while in 'Gothic,' a bookstore clerk has to deal with a series of odd and occasionally threatening customers. A frequent preoccupation is the way art and literature work on the imagination. Smith pokes cheeky fun at contemporary art in 'The Shortlist Season,' in which the protagonist visits a gallery and has a curiously physical reaction to what she sees ('Perhaps, I thought to myself, I could have tests for art intolerance, like patch tests'). Some of the conceits are rather airy, but the combination of Smith's startlingly inventive story lines and her ability to get into the hearts and heads of her often squirrelly characters makes her tales oddly affecting. Smith forces readers to examine their assumptions, particularly as readers and consumers of their own fictions. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"One of Britain's major talents....Startlingly accomplished." The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"Smith is a gifted and meticulous architect of character and voice." The Washington Post

Review:

"Smith proves herself an experimental writer even your mother could love." Elle

Review:

"'The Heat of the Story,' the volume's finest, is a droll and touching tale....It achieves grandeur with measured effects, astutely figurative language...and a refreshing lack of cataclysm or melodrama." Mark Kamine, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A joy to read." Sunday Times (London)

Review:

"She's street-savvy and poignant at once....There's a kind of stainless steel clarity at the center of her fiction." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Smith proves herself an experimental writer even your mother could love." Elle

About the Author

Ali Smith is the author of Hotel World, which was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize in 2001 and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award in 2002. Her first collection of stories, Free Love, won the Saltire First Book Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award. Born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1962, Smith now lives in Cambridge, England.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400075676
Author:
Smith, Ali
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Scotland
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
1260
Publication Date:
March 9, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.02x5.24x.52 in. .46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Whole Story and Other Stories Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9781400075676 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Switching back to short fiction after a highly successful debut novel (Hotel World), Smith crafts 12 sharp, unsettling stories tuned to a frequency just beyond the range of reality. The collection begins with 'The Universal Story,' about a man who buys up used copies of The Great Gatsby for his sister; she plans to use them to build a paper boat. Engaging as it is in itself, this narrative is just the pretext for a meditation on the nature of storytelling, which Smith undertakes by shifting her focus to marginal characters and then to a meandering fly. Other, similarly inventive and whimsical conceits dominate the collection. In 'May,' for instance, a woman falls in love with a tree on a neighbor's property that literally becomes a rival for her husband's affection, while in 'Gothic,' a bookstore clerk has to deal with a series of odd and occasionally threatening customers. A frequent preoccupation is the way art and literature work on the imagination. Smith pokes cheeky fun at contemporary art in 'The Shortlist Season,' in which the protagonist visits a gallery and has a curiously physical reaction to what she sees ('Perhaps, I thought to myself, I could have tests for art intolerance, like patch tests'). Some of the conceits are rather airy, but the combination of Smith's startlingly inventive story lines and her ability to get into the hearts and heads of her often squirrelly characters makes her tales oddly affecting. Smith forces readers to examine their assumptions, particularly as readers and consumers of their own fictions. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "What whole story? The point of Ali Smith's new collection would seem to be that there is no such thing. Experience is infinitely divisible; perspectives shimmer and refract....Smith's vision, like her prose, is startlingly fresh; her stories are short and suggestive. No longer a young Turk (she is now over forty), Smith has moved smoothly into place as one of Britain's most important and established writers." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "One of Britain's major talents....Startlingly accomplished."
"Review" by , "Smith is a gifted and meticulous architect of character and voice."
"Review" by , "Smith proves herself an experimental writer even your mother could love."
"Review" by , "'The Heat of the Story,' the volume's finest, is a droll and touching tale....It achieves grandeur with measured effects, astutely figurative language...and a refreshing lack of cataclysm or melodrama."
"Review" by , "A joy to read."
"Review" by , "She's street-savvy and poignant at once....There's a kind of stainless steel clarity at the center of her fiction."
"Review" by , "Smith proves herself an experimental writer even your mother could love."
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