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The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea (English Edition) von [Meeks, Christopher]
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The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea (English Edition) Kindle Edition

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Produktbeschreibungen

Kurzbeschreibung

Here is a story collection about love, death, humor, and the glue called family. In one narrative, a man wakes up one morning to find the odor of dead fish won't go away, but no one else can smell it. In another, a couple's visit with friends to watch the Academy Awards has the protagonist envying his friends' lawn and lifestyle. In these and eleven other stories, Christopher Meeks balances tragedy and wit. As novelist David Scott Milton explains, "In this collection, Christopher Meeks examines the small heartbreaks of quiet despair that are so much a part of all our lives. He does it in language that is resonant, poetic, and precise.... If you like Raymond Carver, you'll love Meeks. He may be as good--or better."

Synopsis

Here is a story collection about love, death, humor, and the glue called family. In one narrative, a man wakes up one morning to find the odor of dead fish won't go away, but no one else can smell it. In another, a couple's visit with friends to watch the Academy Awards has the protagonist envying his friends' lawn and lifestyle. In these and eleven other stories, Christopher Meeks balances tragedy and wit. As novelist David Scott Milton explains, "In this collection, Christopher Meeks examines the small heartbreaks of quiet despair that are so much a part of all our lives. He does it in language that is resonant, poetic, and precise...If you like Raymond Carver, you'll love Meeks. He may be as good--or better."

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 665 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 156 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: White Whisker Books; Auflage: First (1. Januar 2006)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B002K2RI1A
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #643.164 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Taschenbuch
Christopher Meeks, author of several children's books as well as a playwright, has put together an interesting collection of short stories in 'The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea'. Meeks is a good storyteller, and draws on the ordinary and mundane and combines it with the sublime and esoteric in new and fascinating ways.
In the first story, there is a new look on envy and keeping up with the Jones, as a couple visits their neighbours for an Academy Award party, but find the grass-is-greener life in that house isn't in fact the perfect bliss one might hope for; in another story (the one that gives title to the collection), an ordinary fishing trip turns into a psychological trip as significant revelations are made that leave the characters at a want for words.
Most of the stories look toward a darker impulse, a foreboding or ominous presence, or some other indication of limitation and mortality. 'The Scent' explores in some ways the psychological power of the sense of smell, but also the ways in which decay comes into our lives on a larger level. One can get from these stories a sense of love and sense of loss, a feeling of hope and the stab of despair. A remarkable aspect of these stories is their subtlety - the stories don't jump out with neon signs signifying meaning, but rather let the meaning seep into the more-ordinary tasks and situations of life.
Meeks is a good narrative writer, equally adept at description as well as a conversation and explanation. Each story has engaging characters who are familiar, yet with significant attributes that make them interesting to follow. I kept finding myself wanting more from each story, which is the mark of good writing for me, that the well has not run dry.
I look forward to further writings by Christopher Meeks.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8be09408) von 5 Sternen 52 Rezensionen
30 von 31 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8be410b4) von 5 Sternen 'You were just around for a series of coincidences and then you died.' 11. Januar 2006
Von Grady Harp - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Christopher Meeks bounces onto the literary scene as a vibrant new voice filled with talent and imagination. THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN & THE SEA is one of the finer collection of short stories that will rapidly rise to the top to of the heap of a battery of fine writers of this difficult medium.

Meeks writes about all the little bumps and stumbling blocks we all face in our contemporary journey through life. His stories deal with broken marriages, fractured dreams, death, brain damage, isolation, envy, frustrated communication - all topics that hardly sound like fodder for interesting stories, but in Meeks' polished hands these topics become the conversation of life in society today. They contain keen humor, pain as well as tenderness, and insights into topics that most other writers consider taboo.

There isn't a weak story in the thirteen works here, most having been published in literary magazines prior to this book form. 'Green River' is a family outing that reveals the dissolution of companionship in a few terse pages. 'He's Home' is a quick tale of a man, probably cyclothymic or bipolar, bringing flowers home to his wife only to find she has left him: his response to this lonely discovery explains the probable reasons for her departure. Meeks is able to travel back in time to explore personal idiosyncrasies as in 'The Rotary' and in 'Dear Ma'. In the latter he also manages to take us inside the mind of a failing senile woman (?Alzheimer's victim?) and is written with such finesse and grace that we actually find ourselves thinking in the way Dear Ma's deteriorating mind works. It is a jewel of a story. 'The Fundamentals of Nuclear Dating' is a funny tale that holds a bite and says a lot about our 21st century computer driven dating (read data gathering) consequences. 'Engaging Ben' is as keen an observation of current bonding as any story out there. Et cetera for the rest of the tales.

The odd and strangely wonderful and unique aspect of these is not only the fine writing of a terrific wordsmith, it is also the fact that Meeks is asking us or inviting us to look at the darker things in our lives that go bump in the night. Life in Meeks' stories is full of random coincidences that, depending on our state of vulnerability vs our state of awareness, can either uncover hidden pain or turn on a light to illuminate the elected darkness in which we have chosen to live. He peoples his stories with variations of us and our extended family of humanity and turns us inside out, showing us how our microsecond of life on this planet can be a time of significance or inadvertently squandered.

Biting and sassy, eloquent and intelligent, this collection of short stories is excellent reading. Meeks knows his craft: these tiny microcosms of living offer proof that his novels, soon to come, will be works to watch. Very Highly Recommended.

Grady Harp, January 06
19 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8be41108) von 5 Sternen Why can't all writers be like Christopher Meeks? 5. April 2006
Von Adam Daniel Mezei - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I'll admit that I'd started reading THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN AND THE SEA during an evening, becoming so engrossed in its chapters that I'd wanted to finish it off in one sitting. I couldn't -- Fairies and Dreamland were calling -- but that was the sole reason I hadn't.

Middle-aged Man is *that* compelling. Meeks has this uncanny ability to thrust you right into the center of his characters' sundry dilemmas, desires, and demands -- as if you're standing right there next to them, or sitting one bar stool over listening to their wonderful chats about wine, their musings about the wisdom of the next Shuttle launch, or their ebullient waxing about the velveteen smoothness of Breyer's coffee-flavored ice cream.

As an unrepentant reader, I simply crave books like Middle-aged Man. In general, I want my hard-copied prose to move me. I wish it to twist up my emotions up like a high-tensile spring, then tossing it hither-tither; only at the end to liberate it majestically, like the former occupation of Czechoslovakia: glorious, unencumbered, and free.

I'll only give you a smattering of Meeks' prosaic samples to whet your appetite:

"...a man who ran a steakhouse, but looked like he could run the country."

"...Californicated"

"...Plan your work, and work your plan."

Punctuated. Polished. Perfect!

Like I said, this is merely a smattering.

Within a compact 145 pp, Meeks manages to cram in a delectable smorgasbord of witty metaphors, sage middle-aged reflections, and the wisdom of a well-loved and well-lived man who possesses a depth well-beyond the deceptive chimera of a finite number of earth-years.

As I happily breezed through this read, pondering the magnitude of Meeks' mantra, I couldn't help but let a part of my mind drift towards what I staunchly felt was more than a handful of captivating film ideas. Producers? String a few of these stories together, and you've got the makings of the next MAGNOLIA. I digress...

I guess I can speak for most readers who are fatigued with all the spoonfed jujeune runaround which seems to adorn the spic-and-span oaken shelves of our box-store book emporia.

What we desperately need is more gritty, more hard-hitting, more so-viscerally-real-it-smarts copy that Meeks skillfully dishes up in this astounding collection of tales.

I'll certainly be keeping my eyes out for more from this scribe. In other words, count me in. Big time.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8be41540) von 5 Sternen "We're all slammed with the unexpected." 12. April 2009
Von Sam Sattler - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Nine of the thirteen stories in this first Christopher Meeks short story collection were first published in journals and literary magazines around the country, and anyone reading this little book will certainly understand why that happened. Meeks has a particular talent for getting into the heads of his characters and taking their doubts and concerns as seriously as the characters themselves take them. As a result, readers of Chris Meeks stories do the same.

Not all of these stories are about middle-aged people; some of the main characters are in their twenties, some in their thirties, but they have all reached a place where uneasiness about the future dominates their lives.

The stories are about relationships - between marriage partners, between couples choosing to live together rather than marry, between daters, and between family members of different generations. There are men and women unhappy about what their marriages have become, older men being pressured into marriage by younger women who are becoming more and more desperate to get it done, and older people simply trying to die with a little dignity. Some of the stories are funny, some are touching and sad, and one of them has a Hitchcock-like ending. What all the stories have in common, though, is the ease with which the reader slips into and out of them, along the way learning something about himself and his own state of mind.

My personal favorite, "Nike Had Nothing to Do with It," is an ironic tale about a man who heads out on a run to relieve his anger after the mother of his newborn daughter announces that their relationship is no longer working. What happens next is not what either of them expected when the day began.

Particularly touching are the stories about dying, "Dear Ma," in which an old woman hides more and more in her past as her days run out, and "The Rotary," in which a loyal and loving grandson receives an unexpected gift at his grandfather's deathbed. Meeks, however, manages to make serious points even when he uses humor in his stories. "Divining" is about a man who has become so "Californicated" that, even in all of his weirdness, he believes that he is the normal one and the rest of the world is out of step. And, in "Shooting Funerals," another of my favorites, a 38-year-old woman tries to reinvent herself by becoming the world's first "funeral photographer" - and is honestly surprised by the reaction she gets on her first job.

"The Middle-Aged Man & the Sea" is a very fine short story collection and I highly recommend it, especially to those readers who might be dipping seriously into the short story genre for the first time.

This modern day collection is an excellent place to start.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8be4190c) von 5 Sternen The art of storytelling 3. März 2006
Von FrKurt Messick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Christopher Meeks, author of several children's books as well as a playwright, has put together an interesting collection of short stories in 'The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea'. Meeks is a good storyteller, and draws on the ordinary and mundane and combines it with the sublime and esoteric in new and fascinating ways.

In the first story, there is a new look on envy and keeping up with the Jones, as a couple visits their neighbours for an Academy Award party, but find the grass-is-greener life in that house isn't in fact the perfect bliss one might hope for; in another story (the one that gives title to the collection), an ordinary fishing trip turns into a psychological trip as significant revelations are made that leave the characters at a want for words.

Most of the stories look toward a darker impulse, a foreboding or ominous presence, or some other indication of limitation and mortality. 'The Scent' explores in some ways the psychological power of the sense of smell, but also the ways in which decay comes into our lives on a larger level. One can get from these stories a sense of love and sense of loss, a feeling of hope and the stab of despair. A remarkable aspect of these stories is their subtlety - the stories don't jump out with neon signs signifying meaning, but rather let the meaning seep into the more-ordinary tasks and situations of life.

Meeks is a good narrative writer, equally adept at description as well as a conversation and explanation. Each story has engaging characters who are familiar, yet with significant attributes that make them interesting to follow. I kept finding myself wanting more from each story, which is the mark of good writing for me, that the well has not run dry.

I look forward to further writings by Christopher Meeks.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x8be419f0) von 5 Sternen You should be reading Christopher Meeks 3. Juli 2013
Von Kent Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Christopher Meeks is a master of capturing moments. The thirteen stories that comprise the collection, The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea, are all brief but none feel too brief. They feel instead like moments from the lives of real people, people who are interesting, wondering, fearful and trying to get along in this world. I believed and enjoyed each of these tales.

The moments described in these tales are pivot points in the characters lives but Meeks' real talent is in reminding the reader of the wonder contained in even the simplest of situations, the most seemingly mundane circumstances. Some of these moments are dark, others funny, many are wise, all are true. This is the highest work of fiction and Meeks prose makes the telling seem effortless. In the moment, the reader is captured by the story.

If I had to pick favorites from this collection I'd be hard pressed to come up with a list less than thirteen stories long, but the wryly titled story, "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea", the third tale in this volume, was the one that moved me from being a reader to being that guy who walks up to random strangers and says "Have you read Christopher Meeks? You should. He's very, very good!" Meeks' story "He's Home" is wonderfully scary while his lesson called "The Fundamentals of Nuclear Dating" is warm, witty and wise. "Engaging Ben" is, well, a very engaging story, one that reminded me of some of the best writing of T.C. Boyle. The story "Nike Had Nothing to Do With It" is one of the saddest little stories I've ever loved.

Meeks has a second collection of stories called Months and Seasons which I was delighted to add to my Kindle. And I'm delighted to find that Mr. Meeks has some novels out in the world as well. The Brightest Moon of the Century, Love at Absolute Zero, and Blood Drama all await me. I'm a lucky man.

The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea is a great set of short stories. I'd never heard of Christopher Meeks until I read this collection and now I'm a huge fan. I'm still going up to people and saying "Have you read Christopher Meeks? You should. He's very, very good!"
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