Bark

Bark

Stories

Book - 2014
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In these eight masterful stories, Lorrie Moore, in a perfect blend of craft and bewitched spirit, 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 hilarity 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 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 unraveling of two once-hopeful musicians who neither held fast to their dreams nor struck out along other paths as Moore deftly depicts the intricacies of dead ends and the workings of regret.

Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of 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 Lorrie Moore-land.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Bond Street Books, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780385682343
Characteristics: 192 pages ; 22 cm

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u
uncommonreader
Oct 28, 2015

There are some high points and some low points in this collection of eight short stories about dislocated people. It seems unfortunate that such a good writer does not have/use better subject matter.

k
kathylou
Feb 12, 2015

The writing is fine and sometimes funny. As much as I like quirky short stories, I found that most of these just didn't make much sense.

k
kelliyfults
Nov 29, 2014

as biting with humor as A.M. Homes. I cringed and smiled while admiring Lorrie Moore's ability to expose human nature... devoured in one sitting!

rowanquincy Jun 20, 2014

What a dreary book! I only made it halfway through before I gave up on it and this author.

o
okbookgirl
May 04, 2014

Brilliant stories by one our best contemporary writers. These contain humour and heartbreak in equal measure. Moore writes of lives that are sometimes dismaying and sometimes heartening, often within minutes. Moore is both a keen observer and a master storyteller.

ChristchurchLib Apr 21, 2014

"Though the characters in the eight short stories in this collection may be struggling through troubled lives -- whether dealing with divorce or failed careers or mental illness -- they do so with humour, intelligence, and a robust sense of irony. Their situations are realistic and perceptively depicted, sometimes uncomfortably so. The stories vary in length; some are set around distinct political events in the recent past (the invasion of Iraq, President Obama's election), but through them all author Lorrie Moore "brilliantly observes the dead-on sorrow and hilarity of our day-to-day" (MORE magazine)." Fiction A to Z April 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/dfef437d-ef88-41c9-a7e1-229a907a8f88?postId=8ed16493-2fe1-4059-b706-6d0ff80212e7

ksoles Apr 09, 2014

Although Lorrie Moore fans will have likely already encountered many of the eight stories that comprise her latest collection (four appeared in "The New Yorker"), familiarity does not, in Moore's case, breed contempt. Her opening story, "Debarking," (first published in 2003) for example, in which the newly divorced Ira begins a relationship with a quasi-insane pediatrician, Zora, as U.S. troops muster to invade Iraq, collides past with present. Time has added a layer of dramatic irony to a masterpiece of a story, creating a devastating feeling in the heart of the reader.

"Debarking" shines as the collection's hit: linguistic wit and slapstick comedy couple with sad moments of solitude in the face of war and culminate in a shockingly perfect ending. But each story in "Bark" recommends itself. The longest of the bunch, “Wings,” depicts the uneven relationship between KC and Dench and invites readers to ponder the dangers of co-dependence, the nature of time and the worth of marriage's daily absurdities. In "Referential," the collection's dark horse, a mother and her ex-boyfriend, Pete, visit her institutionalized, suicidal son on his 16th birthday. The story does not impress or satisfy as instantly as the others but it may leave the biggest impression, haunting the reader long after its end.

A deftly wrought variety of stories that collude hilarity and heartbreak.

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v
vickiz
Mar 29, 2014

... the high branches nuzzling in the late March breeze, speaking tree to tree of the thrilling weather.

v
vickiz
Mar 29, 2014

Why March? How about a month named Skip? That could work.

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S4Plib
Jan 07, 2015

S4Plib thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 80

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