The Best American Short Stories 2007

The Best American Short Stories In his introduction to this volume Stephen King writes Talent does than come out it bursts out again and again doing exuberant cartwheels while the band plays Stars and Stripes Forever Talent can

  • Title: The Best American Short Stories 2007
  • Author: Stephen King Heidi Pitlor
  • ISBN: 9780618713486
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Paperback
  • In his introduction to this volume, Stephen King writes, Talent does than come out it bursts out, again and again, doing exuberant cartwheels while the band plays Stars and Stripes Forever Talent can t help itself it roars along in fair weather or foul, not sparing the fireworks It gets emotional It struts its stuff In fact, that s its job Wonderfully eIn his introduction to this volume, Stephen King writes, Talent does than come out it bursts out, again and again, doing exuberant cartwheels while the band plays Stars and Stripes Forever Talent can t help itself it roars along in fair weather or foul, not sparing the fireworks It gets emotional It struts its stuff In fact, that s its job Wonderfully eclectic, The Best American Short Stories 2007 collects stories by writers of undeniable talent, both newcomers and favorites These stories examine the turning points in life when we, as children or parents, lovers or friends or colleagues, must break certain rules in order to remain true to ourselves In T C Boyle s heartbreaking Balto, a thirteen year old girl provides devastating courtroom testimony in her father s trial Aryn Kyle s charming story Allegiance shows a young girl caught between her despairing British mother and motherly American father In The Bris, Eileen Pollack brilliantly writes of a son struggling to fulfill his filial obligations, even when they require a breach of morality and religion Kate Walbert s stunning Do Something portrays one mother s impassioned and revolutionary refusal to accept her son s death And in Richard Russo s graceful Horseman, an English professor comes to understand that plagiarism reveals about a student than original work can.New series editor Heidi Pitlor writes, Stephen King s dedication, unflagging hard work, and enthusiasm for excellent writing shone through on nearly a daily basis this past year We agreed, disagreed, and in the end very much concurred on the merit of the twenty stories chosen The result is a vibrant assortment of stories and voices brimming with attitude, deep wisdom, and rare compassion.

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    1 thought on “The Best American Short Stories 2007”

    1. blech. i did wonder why the series editor kept going on and on about the "so-called death" of the american short story in her introduction. and then assured the reader that, um, it was going to get better. i didn't realize she was actually warning us that this crop was kind of crap! i DID wonder whether the anthology suffered because stephen king selected for it this year. i mean, i really like him, actually, but i don't think he's got lots of TASTE. whichever, i couldn't help but be disappointe [...]

    2. I slogged through the first five stories in this book and was about to toss the entire collection away in disgust. Even the John Barth story was outright awful, and so I denigrated Stephen King's taste in stories and vowed to never buy this collection again.However, round about page 85, I hit Joseph Epstein's "My Brother Eli" and things began looking up. In fact, every story after that point ranged from decent to really damn good. The Gold Star Stories:William Gay, "Where Will You Go When Your S [...]

    3. THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2007 EDITED BY STEPHEN KING: International bestselling author Stephen King takes the stage with a different kind of performance: instead of being the creator and writer, he is the director, selected as the editor for the 2007 edition of the ever popular Best American Short Stories series. But don’t pick this book up expecting to find blood and gore, or a sense of horror and a feeling of terror that you are more used to when reading the editor’s own work; in th [...]

    4. I love the idea of Stephen King editing this collection, but I had a really hard time mustering any interest in the majority of these stories. Alice Munro's story is brilliant. Besides that, there were a few that were okay, and then there were some that I was completely disappointed by. Eileen Pollacks' story "The Bris," for example, is based on an interesting idea--a son goes to tend to his dying father, only to find out that in fact his father is not Jewish, as he had always believed, and that [...]

    5. I've never read one of these yearly anthologies before. I picked this up because Stephen King chose the ones for this year. I wanted to see what kind of stories he included.I really liked:Riding the DoghouseSolid WoodWaitL. DeBard and AlietteI really disliked:Pa's DarlingToga PartySans FarineAll the others I liked to varying degrees. Can't help but wonder what made them decide these were the "best," but taste is inexplicable.

    6. I started loving this book from the very first story by Louis Auchincloss (who I had never heard of) entitled 'Pa's Darling'. What a great title. Four of the first six stories made me say 'Wowww' out loud when I finished them. If I saw Stephen King I'd kiss his feet to thank him for selecting these great stories.

    7. Twenty stories from the New Yorker and other periodicals. All these stories are good, all are soundly written, all feel drawn from the same well. This last will not make sense to most, and that's fine, but there's a similarity that left me underwhelmed with the collection while retaining an appreciation for individual story and author.

    8. I'm extremely wary of 'literature' as it is defined in the 21st Century. Too many wankers, too many people writing to impress other wankers, too much navel gazing and 'stylish' writing standing in for, you know, something actually happening. But with Stephen King at the helm of this thick book of literature, I thought I might actually find some stories like grandfather used to make. Profound and entertaining instead of turgid, fulsome and tedious. What I got was a rather strange mix. The ones th [...]

    9. I asked a friend if he had read anything by Karen Russell and he responded by giving me two of the Best American Short Stories anthologies, one of which is this one from 2007. Unfortunately, most of the stories in here are pretty bland. I don't know if that's due to Stephen King being a poor editor or 2007 just being a mediocre year for short stories; either way, most of the stories in this collection are not bad but not astounding, either. The problem with this anthology is that almost all of t [...]

    10. It’s difficult to review a collection of unrelated short stories, which is why I usually don’t. This is one of the better ones, oddly despite King’s upping the number of fantasy/horror offerings. I thought the addition of fantasy-tinged stories in Amy Tan’s 1999 outing is what made it one of the better collections, but here it didn’t quite work for me, despite my usually enjoying Stephen King’s own fantasy and horror.What King may have brought to this collection that worked, however, [...]

    11. This is the first disappointment I've gotten from the Best American Short Stories Series. Stephen King proved to be a heavy-handed editor to say the least. While no story could be classified as out-right horror, they almost all contained horrific elements: a girl with her face shot off propped up in an abandoned farm house, a suicide pact, castration, biological warfare, girls raised by werewolves even the obligatory Alice Munro story (she's been included in almost every year I've read) has murd [...]

    12. I'm about 1/2 way through this, but wanted to jot down some of my thoughts so far.It's been a long time since I read a collection of short stories, so I'm not sure what I was expecting. With that said, I'm finding the stories very "academic" - meaning, I keep waiting for my 10th grade English teacher to show up at the door with a thematic test for me on these, which I fear I would fail miserably. I get the feeling there must be more meaning to these stories than I see right away, otherwise why w [...]

    13. This really didn't click for me until about the sixth story, My Brother Eli by Joseph Epstein, but after that they were pretty great with two exceptions. Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You by William Gay which I really wanted to like for the title alone and Sans Farine by Jim Shepard, a more boring story about the rise of the guillotine I cant imagine.Lauren Groff's L. Debard and Aliette: A Love Story and Stellar Kim's Findings and Impressions pack more punch into 25 pages or le [...]

    14. I loved this book!! My favorite stories were "Balto" by T.C. Boyle, "Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You" by William Gay, "Wake" by Beverly Jensen (I especially loved that one), "Findings and Impressions" by Stellar Kim, "The Boy in Zaquitos" by Bruce McAllister"Dimension" by Alice Munro"The Bris" by Eileen PollackWhat I particularly liked is that the selections were not all grim and disturbing, as if contemporary fiction has to bother you in order to be good. All of these storie [...]

    15. I try and try, but I still can't seem to fall in love with the short-story format. Add this to my unfinished pile, although I did make a valiant attempt.

    16. I borrowed this book from the library for a short vacation. I usually find that I’m the first person up in the morning during family vacations, so it’s nice to have a short-story book on hand to occupy myself while I wait for the rest.Well, this book was a real disappointment. I read about 8 short stories before I completely gave up. All of these stories could be characterized as “dysfunctional-family stories”. What a bunch of weird people! How about the dad who’s a famous judge who re [...]

    17. I picked this book up at the local library book sale. I've never been much of a short story reader, but I enjoyed this collection quite a bit. As expected I preferred some of the stories to others, but that's the beauty of short stories - even the ones you don't like as much don't take a ton of time to read. On the flip side, that's a drawback to short stories - the ones you like are over too quickly.

    18. For me, this was not a strong collection. There were 2 standouts: "L. DeBard and Aliette: A Love Story" by Lauren Groff and "Findings & Impressions" by Stellar Kim. I also enjoyed "Dimension" by Alice Munro.

    19. An uncommonly good collection of short stories in the 2007 edition - no surprise, really, that I would feel that way as many favorite authors were included - Lauren Groff, Karen Russell, Richard Russo, Alice Munro. There were also quite a few I hadn't heard of and enjoyed a lot as well.

    20. Still amazing, but the other BASS books I've read have been better. Good songs, but not the best track list.

    21. Three stars for the best stories not for the average quality of the book as a whole!At first, I thought I'd figured out what a Best American edited by Stephen King was going to look like: straightforward told tales, with a point of drama or literary shock that would catch your attention, and hopefully cover over for other awkwardnesses in the writing. That was my impression for the first half of the book. By the end though, it was yet another year (now 2 past!) of Best American Short Stories. Pe [...]

    22. It's been some time between when I read this collection and when I'm writing the review, but in any case I remembered liking The Best American Short Stories 2007 just fine. I'll do my best to recall some of the outstanding stories in this collection. Here goes. Lauren Groff's story "L. DeBard and Aliette: A Love Story" is about a Polish swimmer who teaches a young woman to swim and who has an affair with her that means torment for both of them; heartbreaking. Aryn Kyle's "Allegiance" might be th [...]

    23. Rarely am I disappointed with these collections. Some of the stories in this volume didn't wow me as much as others, but still, always an enjoyable escape into the form.

    24. In her foreword, Heidi Pitlor talks about what her first year as Series Editor was like (replacing the almost irreplacable Katrina Kennison), reading literally thousands of short stories published in American magazines in 2006 and whittling those thousands down the the hundred or so she passed on to Guest Editor Stephen King. It sounds like she was up to the task, but there's not a terrible amount of insight into the process (and perhaps, after all these years, there's not much a new Series Edit [...]

    25. Short stories at their best are fine fiction, distilled.This is a collection I've revisited many times, simply to re-savour the essence of time and place, but mostly just to appreciate a work well done, even in those stories that portray something so agonizing that you can hardly bear to not turn away, but still you soldier on, because that's where the story keeps on going, as in Alice Munro's "Dimension". That story left the hugest impression on me.Other favourites: "Horseman" which introduced [...]

    26. I've always been put off by books that were all about the doom and gloom. I can understand that not everything is sunshine and daisies, but I read for the escapism and I want to leave the harshness of real life at the door, so to speak.I actually had to read this book for class, and despite the fact that I didn't personally like it very much, I must admit that I would have never tried it if I hadn't had to read it.The story I had to read was John Barth's "Toga Party", which deals with one couple [...]

    27. I had been a regular reader of the "Best American Short Stories" collections for years, until I finally decided that I was reading these stories more out of a force of habit than out of real interest. The stories were well written and all, but they lacked almost any imagination or spontaneity, and was very hard to relate to either the characters or the plot lines. This has been a trend in American writing for some time, where stories are all products of the same fiction workshop mentality. Even [...]

    28. When I was a kid, even before I wanted to be a musician, I wanted to be a short story writer. Not an author or the more generic title of "writer," but specifically a short story writer. As an adolescent, I would sit in my room and read the short stories of O. Henry, Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe and pretty much anyone else I could get my hands on. I certainly read lots of novels and probably more nonfiction than someone my age would usually read but, it was the short stories that mad [...]

    29. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been boycotting short stories for the last couple of years. It's hard to explain why. I actually prefer semi-ambiguous endings, and I prefer the literary and lyrical over the straight-up entertainment type of reading. But I began to feel that every short story I read was "too writer-ly," that the author was being weird just to be weird, or that the ambiguity of the larger meaning of the story was dissatisfying rather than stirring or thought-provoking. Oh, [...]

    30. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this. With Stephen King as the editor, maybe I was expecting some really lurid creepy stories. Well I wasn't too surprised to discover that few of the short stories here were of that type.I'm not very good at expressing how I feel about things I read, but some standouts for me:In "Toga Party", John Barth gives two different takes on dying and getting old. Both takes seem shocking, but one of them also has an endearing quality.In "Balto", b [...]

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