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Bark: Stories [Kindle Edition]

Lorrie Moore

Kindle-Preis: EUR 10,42 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Praise for Lorrie Moore’s
“When Moore opens her sentences out, as she is able to do whenever the rhythm or emotional pitch of a tale demands it, one realizes just how much she is able to encompass, and how tenderly she renders the passage of time. A single Moore sentence can span lives…Even as Moore tells us precisely what we don’t want to hear, she does so in a voice we can’t stop listening to. Moore does not make us feel better; she hurts us. But she hurts us in vital, generous ways, and it is testament to the brilliance of her writing that we let her.”
                                                -Sam Byers, Times Literary Supplement

"Reading the luminous stories in Lorrie Moore's collection is like spending another insanely perfect afternoon with your smartest, most acerbic, tough-minded but loving and loyal friend.  Moore is that necessary writer who brilliantly observes the dead-on sorrow and hilarity of our day-to-day.  But she's not out to glibly poke fun (though you'll laugh out loud and urgently read sentences to friends) or to glorify gloom; instead, in each of these eight stories, her characters—flawed, middle-aged, divorced, divorcing—are loath to entirely give up.”
--Victoria Redel, MORE magazine

“[A] powerful collection about the difficulty of letting love go.”
                                                -Heller McAlpin, Washington Post
“Moore is not only a brilliant noticer.  She is also brilliant at noticing those things that ‘one was supposed not to notice,’ namely our seemingly limitless cruelty, apathy, and violence…The initial surprise of Moore’s effervescent, jarring stories ultimately yields to a response that, far from mystification, is its mirror opposite: enlightenment.”
                                                -Nathaniel Rich, The Atlantic
“Melancholy and funny…Lorrie Moore is real.  Her stories are poignant, and they tackle the things you try not to think about, but with real lightness, so the realness isn’t abjectly depressing.”
                                                -GQ Magazine
“Short fiction master Lorrie Moore’s new volume of stories  registers a dark, quirky take on the new-millennial zeitgeist…Moore’s unsparing insights, coupled with her laserlike wit, beam through in ways that surprise, shock, sadden, and cajole on every page...Moore’s wacky, lovable, light-seeking characters move like skittish deer from the safety of the woods to open fields where dangers lurk but life’s saving wonders also reside:  a silly joke, a good book, a glass of wine, a favorite song, a shared meal, a sudden kiss.”
                                                -Lisa Shea, Elle
“After all these years, Lorrie Moore still dazzles…For all their genuine sadness and existential angst, these powerfully, almost savagely, human stories shine with a spirit of playfulness and the logic of love…Moore interweaves public failures with individual, private ones to create a seamless tragicomic fabric and reminds us that laughing is sometimes like choking, which is a lot like crying.”
                                                -Bonnie Jo Campbell, O: Oprah Magazine
“No admirer of Moore’s will go away either overloaded or unsatisfied, and the book lets us contemplate and savor just what makes her work unique…Moore didn’t invent the breed, but she may be the chief contemporary chronicler of those whose dread makes them unable to turn off the laugh machine.  It’s commonplace to call Moore ‘funny,’ but that’s not quite right.  P. G. Wodehouse is funny.  Moore is an anatomist of funny…In a world according to Moore—the ‘planet of the apings,’ as one character thinks of it—who could ask for more?”
                                                -David Gates, New York Times Book Review
“Gaunt, splendid…What an irresistible bunch of characters she conjures up…We still need Lorrie Moore to work hard at making us laugh, to remind us that we’re frauds, we’re all just acting. To unzip words for us and let their sounds and meanings and pun potentialities jingle out like coins.  To point out the silver linings…She never lies to us.  She never tells us the water’s fine.  She says, Dive in anyway, “swim among the dying” while you can.  Learn how to suffer in style.”
                                                            -Parul Seghal, Bookforum
“The short form is her true forte.  Her talent is best exhibited in the collection’s longest stories (each around 40 pages); her comfort with that length is indicated by her careful avoidance of overplotting, which, of course, dulls the effect of an expansive short story, and by not allowing the stories to seem like the outlines of novels that never got developed.”
                                                -Booklist (Starred Review)
“One of the best short story writers in America resumes her remarkable balancing act, with a  collection that is both hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes in the same paragraph…In stories both dark and wry, Moore wields a scalpel with surgical precision.”
                                                -Kirkus (Starred Review)
“These stories are laugh-out-loud funny, as well as full of pithy commentary on contemporary life and politics.”
                                                -Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Moore once again brings her acute intelligence and wit to play….The language has a fizzy rhythm that will have the reader turning the pages.  Smart, funny, and overlaid with surprising metaphor…Highly recommended.”
                                                -Library Journal (Starred Review)


A new collection of stories by one of America’s most beloved and admired short-story writers, her first in fifteen years, since Birds of America (“Fluid, cracked, mordant, colloquial . . . Will stand by itself as one of our funniest, most telling anatomies of human love and vulnerability.” —The New York Times Book Review, cover).
These eight masterly stories reveal Lorrie Moore at her most mature and in a perfect configuration of craft, mind, and bewitched spirit, as she explores the passage of time and summons up its inevitable sorrows and hilarious pitfalls to reveal her own exquisite, singular wisdom.

In “Debarking,” a newly divorced man tries to keep his wits about him as the United States prepares to invade Iraq, and against this ominous moment, we see—in all its irresistible wit and darkness—the perils of divorce and what can follow in its wake . . .

In “Foes,” a political argument goes grotesquely awry as the events of 9/11 unexpectedly manifest themselves at a fund-raising dinner in Georgetown . . . In “The Juniper Tree,” a teacher visited by the ghost of her recently deceased friend is forced to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a kind of nightmare reunion . . . And in “Wings,” we watch the inevitable unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians, neither of whom held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths, as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead-ends-ville and the workings of regret . . .

Here are people beset, burdened, buoyed; protected by raising teenage children; dating after divorce; facing the serious illness of a longtime friend; setting forth on a romantic assignation abroad, having it interrupted mid-trip, and coming to understand the larger ramifications and the impossibility of the connection . . . stories that show people coping with large dislocation in their lives, with risking a new path to answer the desire to be in relation—to someone . . .

Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives in a heartrending mash-up of the tragic and the laugh-out-loud—the hallmark of life in Lorrie-Moore-land.

This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1644 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 209 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0307594130
  • Verlag: Knopf (25. Februar 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00F1W0DWC
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #174.552 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.7 von 5 Sternen  126 Rezensionen
27 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen I really wanted to love this collection 6. März 2014
Von G. Dawson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I'm a fan of short story collections, and I read a lot of them. I was excited to hear that Lorrie Moore had a new collection out, and I was looking forward to loving this book. Unfortunately, I found many of the stories to be disjointed and difficult to connect with on an emotional level. I can appreciate Moore's writing, which is clearly expert, but too many of these stories lack heart, and they seem filled with unnatural dialog. The two longest stories--Debarking and Wings--are the best in the collection, in my opinion, because they are long enough to make the characters seem human and alive. The shorter stories generally lack direction and purpose. If you're interested in short stories, I recommend you try George Saunder's Tenth of December or Alice Munro's Dear Life instead.
25 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Maybe not Moore's best, but still wonderful 20. Februar 2014
Von P. Mann - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I love short stories but am never entirely sure how to review books of them. Giving the plot or a brief summary for each story seems kind of pointless and often redundant given that that information is usually available on the site anyway. In this case, I've decided instead to respond to some of the points others have made in their reviews.

Some have noted that some of the stories seem dated. Yes, they do. It's a fair point. Stories of the Democratic convention of 2008 or the war in Iraq may eventually pale, but I think they're still fresh enough not to seem hopelessly antiquated.

It's been noted that the book is short. Yes, and I wish it were longer. But I don't know that it's fair to knock a book for its length if the quality is there. I believe it is here.

The endings have been faulted here. I have to confess that I don't really understand this complaint. One of the many beauties of the short story is the diversity of endings. Sometimes, short stories wrap everything up with a nice bow. Other times, they simply end. And there are a variety of possibilities in between. I did not have a problem with the endings.

Some have said that these stories don't represent Moore at her best. Agreed. But even Moore at less than her best is wonderful to read. Indeed, her stories always (including here) seem welcoming. As someone else put it, and I second the point, Moore is a master at drawing you in, at giving you a full character in a paragraph. A student of the craft of short story writing would do well to study these, and those who simply enjoy reading should be rewarded.

Finally, my favorite of the lot is "Foes," in significant part because the distance between the events in the story (Barack Obama's election) are sufficiently distant to allow a more objective reading experience, meaning that whatever emotions I may have, one way or the other, about that election did not interfere with my enjoyment of the story.

I know this is a nontraditional review, but I really do have trouble writing reviews of collections. So perhaps I'll end with this point: I really enjoyed this collection, and, though some stories were clearly better (for me) than others, I did not find a clunker in the lot.
17 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not my Favorite Moore, but Her Voice is Still There 9. Februar 2014
Von Susan Anderson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Lorrie Moore is one of my all-time favorite writers and Birds of America is one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. I have to say that Bark was probably my least favorite of all of Moore's books. I love Moore's weird characters and humor, but some of these stories just felt too out there to me. They were also incredibly politically-charged, which I'm not generally a fan of. But worst, the book felt about 8 years too late. Has she just been hanging on to these stories for that long? Sadly, it was short, too. Really, really short... I wanted more Moore!

However, if you're a Lorrie Moore fan, you should definitely read this. Her voice is still there with her quirky humor that feels so real. The characters are, for the most part, the types of characters you'd expect from Lorrie Moore's writing and I did find myself laughing and saying "Yes!" often, which is what I love about Moore. I just didn't feel that way throughout the entire book, like I did with Birds of America.

I'll read anything from Lorrie Moore and I hope she comes out with another book soon!
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen At Times the Stories Are Cheever-Like 9. Februar 2014
Von M. JEFFREY MCMAHON - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Full disclosure: I've been a fan of Lorrie Moore's short stories since the early 1990s, find her sardonic humor and wit are part of her appeal; the other part is that she has the rare talent to pack enough thematic and psychological complexity in a short story that I would typically expect in a novel (I'm thinking of her masterpiece "Real Estate" from her earlier collection Birds of America).

Like most collections, Bark has some hits and misses so I find it absurd to tack off stars if a few stories don't rise to the level of excellence that I expect from a master like Moore. And also it is true, as other reviewers have written, that some of the stories feel over a decade old.

But having said that there are enough highlights in this book to make it compelling reading and worthy of recommending. My very favorite story, the first one, "Debarking," is about a romance between a sympathetic, nebbish, neurotic divorcee Ira and Zora who has a mind-baffling, at times ambiguous, at times disturbing relationship with her teenage son that is so unsavory on so many levels that it impedes Zora's ability to carry on a real relationship with Ira or any man. It's hard to know how pathological Zora's connection is with her son but we are left with layers of ambiguity to sift through in a 37-page story that had me wanting for more, perhaps a 150-page novella.

Other stories with similar power are "Wings," about a stagnant couple who haven't grown beyond their years of playing "rock stars," and the final story, suggestive of her vintage works, the collection's funniest tale, "Thank You for Having Me," which takes place at a country wedding in which the musician is the ex husband of the bride.

Getting a collection in which I like a little more than half the stories which are better than most collections out there compels me to give this book a very high recommendation.
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not the best, but you could read worse 12. März 2014
Von Victoria G. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Thinking about writers having a "recipe" for their stories is a little depressing, but it's also why we love them. I expect humor from Lorrie Moore--dark and full of puns. I also expect loss, embarrassment, emotional turmoil, people who can't get started, who look at the world around them and can't imagine how they fit into it. So why don't I just reread Self Help, yeah? Nope. Not good enough. I am a reader, and readers are insatiable people. We chew and swallow and reach for another. We want repetition and not repetition. We want something like Self Help, but of course not too much like it, because then we'd have to criticize the staleness, wonder with grand pretension if Moore has anything left in her, if the creative well has run dry. We'd say silly things like, "Not even Lorrie Moore is Lorrie Moore!", and it might actually be a little true.

There's a part of me that's still not completely sure why this wasn't a home run. For lack of a less tired expression, I can't put my finger on it. When something doesn't meet my expectations, I ask myself, in a spell of democratic goodwill, Were my expectations unreasonable, or did the author let me down a bit? In this case, it might be a healthy dose of both. I haven't read Birds of America yet, but basically everyone wet themselves over it, so I got to thinking that Moore can do no wrong. She's far too clever and witty to become a cliche. She doesn't suffer from common writerly insecurities or obstacles. That's a problem of mere mortals. Clearly, Moore wields a pen of the gods. Oh, what's that you say? She's got a new collection coming out, after 15 years? Well, of course it's going to be perfect, I've already decided. I mean, nothing's changed since 1990 right? I think I'll preemptively write a positive review now to, you know, save time...

But no, the stories laid flat for me. They didn't seem aggressive enough--altogether less bark and less bite than I expected. I wondered while I read, where is the gripping urgency of a writer who has a bone to pick with the world? Where is the sharp sense of one's being violated, ruthlessly, by life and all its cruelties and failures? I wanted to feel how the socially acceptable can be grotesque when considered in an alternative light. I wanted Moore to leave nothing un-tortured, present no element without immediately perverting it in the next sentence. I mean, what more can a girl ask for?

But there are a handful of stories in this slim 8-story collection that I'd just tag plain unmemorable: "Paper Losses," "Referential," "Thank You For Having Me," and sort of "The Juniper Tree" (though that one tows the line). Not to say really any part of them is "bad," but I had to go back and remind myself what they were about, often skimming three quarters of the story before something triggered my memory. Which means nearly half the collection disappeared into the black hole-like parts of my brain. I'd remember mini episodes from the stories--flickering, hardly a seeable image at all--without a clue which story they came from. I felt like I was being mildly antagonized by the indistinctness of it all. Like when you (or maybe just me) walk into an office on a mission to find a particular person working in a cubicle and suddenly you're faced with banks of nondescript cubicles, and the melodrama of sameness engulfs you (My God, is ANYONE unique in this world?!), and you wonder with childish indignation why employees don't get their "doors" cheerfully decorated and personalized by the office equivalent of an RA. Then maybe you (read: me) wouldn't be wandering the floor like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off. That kind of indistinctness.

Nevertheless, like that deranged person who seems to live on trains, "Debarking" got me chuckling in public. Take, for instance, this passage:

"He did not like stressful moments in restaurants. They caused his mind to wander strangely to random thoughts, like 'Why are these things called napkins rather than lapkins?' He tried to focus on the visuals, on her pumpkin-colored silk blouse, which he hesitated to compliment her on lest she think he was gay. Marilyn had threatened to call off their wedding because he had too strenuously admired the fabric of the gown she was having made; then he had shopped too long and discontentedly for his own tuxedo, failing to find just the right shade of 'mourning dove,' a color he had read about in a wedding magazine. 'Are you homosexual?' she had asked. 'You must tell me now. I won't make the same mistake my sister did.'"

Love it. L-O-V-E it. Even if a story has little to show for plot, humor is kind of like that big blow up mattress thing that firefighters set up next to burning buildings so people can jump to safety...Humor Saves.

About "The Juniper Tree" - I'm going to read it again after some time has passed (heck probably the whole collection too), but on the first read, this just seemed kooky. Short and kooky. I know it's more than that though. It conveys the sad inevitability of moving on. Or maybe not moving on, but just being at a different point in your life than someone you were once close to, and so you're not able to really comprehend that person anymore. Or you can comprehend them, all too well, but they're receding from life, and you're going forward, which is an action that requires one to disassociate, to pretend you don't understand. Or this story says nothing about any of that. I'm the kind of reader whose own reverie often impinges on whatever I'm reading, whether it actually relates to the book or not.

"Wings" was like good in terms of writing but a dud in terms of story. I finished it and thought, Really? That's it? I can't possibly be the first person to say this story was a cliche. I'm not giving any details, but like, this is a plot that's been plotted before...

I liked "Foes" and "Subject to Search." Both involve 9/11 and the war in the narrative and seem to focus on the ways people were compromised by these events. There's a part of me (a little part I'd like to beat into submission for the sake of my devotion to Moore), that can't help calling it a tad contrived though. Moore chose extraordinary circumstances to enter that political dialogue, and I often find the extraordinary less genuine. But the stories were, nonetheless, interesting.

In conclusion: Yes this wasn't to die for, no I'm not divorcing Lorrie Moore.
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