The Dinner Party and Other Stories

The Dinner Party and Other Stories

Book - 2017
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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour .

These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker , are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists.

Each of these stories burrows deep into the often awkward and hilarious misunderstandings that pass between strangers and lovers alike, and that turn ordinary lives upside down. Ferris shows to what lengths we mortals go to coax human meaning from our very modest time on earth, an effort that skews ever-more desperately in the direction of redemption. There's Arty Groys, the Florida retiree whose birthday celebration involves pizza, a prostitute, and a life-saving heart attack. There's Sarah, the Brooklynite whose shape-shifting existential dilemma is set in motion by a simple spring breeze. And there's Jack, a man so warped by past experience that he's incapable of having a normal social interaction with the man he hires to help him move out of storage.

The stories in The Dinner Party are about lives changed forever when the reckless gives way to possibility and the ordinary cedes ground to mystery. And each one confirms Ferris's reputation as one of the most dazzlingly talented, deeply humane writers at work today.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, c2017
ISBN: 9780316465953
031646595X
Branch Call Number: FIC Ferr
Characteristics: 246 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: The dinner party
The valetudinarian
The pilot
A night out
The breeze
Ghost town choir
More abandon (or whatever happened to Joe Pope?)
Fragments
The stepchild
Life in the heart of the dead
A fair price

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d
dupree905
Apr 02, 2018

Loved the last story but not much else.

r
rexhazell
Jan 02, 2018

Great book and interesting stories. Highly recommended to short story lovers.

HMWLibrary2017 Jul 14, 2017

It's a good thing I'm not depressed and in a healthy relationship otherwise "The Dinner Party" would have made me jump out the window. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ferris's take on modern love is brutal and immensely entertaining.

x
xiaojunbpl12
May 23, 2017

My partial favor giving to "Life in the Heart of Dead", for the familiar sights and humor leading to journey into human soul. "The Pilot" had a similar effect on me though, it's not on the same notch.

The rest are vignettes giving me mixed feelings. I couldn't help being repulsed by exaggeration and extreme, more than awed by the unexpected.

I prefer "A Fair Price" to "More Abandon". "The Valetudinarian" is a masterpiece.
If my understanding of male characters isn't too limited, my appreciation of stories on family and relationship is less. I prefer "A Night Out"s linear approach to "The Breeze" juxtaposition of real and imagined.

The title story was a turnoff when I first read it, now I thought about, it may not be so petty. Similarly, "Fragments" and "The Stepchild" turned out to be quite substantial.

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