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The United States of McSweeney's: Ten Years of Lucky Mistakes and Accidental Classics

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Since 1998, McSweeney's 'Quarterly Concern' has been emerging from various kitchens, attics and an old laundromat roughly four times a year - or definitely at least three. Almost 100,000 stories have been submitted, usually in manila envelopes. Approximately 400 of those stories were selected for publication. This title presents eighteen of them. Since 1998, McSweeney's 'Quarterly Concern' has been emerging from various kitchens, attics and an old laundromat roughly four times a year - or definitely at least three. Almost 100,000 stories have been submitted, usually in manila envelopes. Approximately 400 of those stories were selected for publication. This title presents eighteen of them.


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Since 1998, McSweeney's 'Quarterly Concern' has been emerging from various kitchens, attics and an old laundromat roughly four times a year - or definitely at least three. Almost 100,000 stories have been submitted, usually in manila envelopes. Approximately 400 of those stories were selected for publication. This title presents eighteen of them. Since 1998, McSweeney's 'Quarterly Concern' has been emerging from various kitchens, attics and an old laundromat roughly four times a year - or definitely at least three. Almost 100,000 stories have been submitted, usually in manila envelopes. Approximately 400 of those stories were selected for publication. This title presents eighteen of them.

55 review for The United States of McSweeney's: Ten Years of Lucky Mistakes and Accidental Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    And so McSweeney's is 10 years old (or was in 2009, it's now 11 years old) and they celebrate with (yet another) "Best Of" collection. This is the fifth (there may be more) "Best Of McSweeneys" books to come out in the last 5 years and, ironically, it's a collection of stories that aren't really the best that McSweeney's offers. Most of the offerings in this book have been reprinted before in previous "Best Of" books by McSweeneys - at least 5 stories appear in "Best Of Vol 2", so this collectio And so McSweeney's is 10 years old (or was in 2009, it's now 11 years old) and they celebrate with (yet another) "Best Of" collection. This is the fifth (there may be more) "Best Of McSweeneys" books to come out in the last 5 years and, ironically, it's a collection of stories that aren't really the best that McSweeney's offers. Most of the offerings in this book have been reprinted before in previous "Best Of" books by McSweeneys - at least 5 stories appear in "Best Of Vol 2", so this collection is uninspired at best. And then from Nick Hornby's intro (he's the editor) he says that he hasn't read most of McSweeney's, he just buys them and puts them on a shelf. Great, an editor who hasn't even bothered to read the issues! Hornby also mentions that since most of McSweeney's are like ornaments, this book was meant as a normal book to be read as normal. Well, if he's at all familiar with McSweeney's (and that statement says to me that he isn't), he'll know that nearly all of the issues are regular hard and paperback books. Occasionally you'll get something like the newspaper issue, or the junk mail issue, but on the whole they're just regular books so there's really no excuse for not reading them as such. Hornby gripes aside, what's inside? There are a couple of highlights - AM Homes' "Do Not Disturb" is about a marriage enduring the wife's cancer battle and is mesmerising. Homes is a tremendous writer. Tom Bissell's "God Lives in St Petersburg" is a haunting tale of lost souls in a village in Uzbekistan. Ismet Prcic's "Porcus Omnivorous" is an excellent story of a man who escaped war in the Slavic states only to encounter his enemies once again in America. And that's about it really. There are a whole lot more but they aren't really that great. What about "The Mysterious Stranger" by Joyce Carol Oates (McSweeney's 21), "The Flying Machine" by Marc Bojanowski (22), "The Guy Who Kept Meeting Himself" by Ryan Boudinot (28), "It's Nice When Someone is Excited To Hear From You" by Brian Blaise (29), "Diamond Aces" by Carson Mells (30), "Survivor" by Douglas Coupland (31), "Raw Water" by Wells Tower (32), "The Wreck of the Beverley B" by TC Boyle (34), or "Alarm" by Roy Jacobsen (35)? With Hornby choosing mostly stories that have appeared in previous Best of McSweeney's books, this book just feels like a lazy effort. I would direct readers keen to discover McSweeney's to avoid "Best Of" compilations and just dive right in. Pick up the latest issue. It'll give you the full flavour of what McSweeney's is all about and is ten times better than reprinted stories from years gone by. So avoid this book, it's really not that great, but McSweeney's really is a great publication and I heartily point you toward their latest issue - onwards!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mihaela B.

    Povestirile în sine sunt OK, dar am întâlnit diverse greșeli de redactare: un zeu care nu este recunoscut ca zeu sau măcar ca gen masculin, nici măcar din context, ceea ce duce la o lipsă de logică în fragment; lipsă și de concordanță a numelui unui personaj, când Mătură, când Broom; etc.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Koen Crolla

    If books had ingredient lists, this one's would just read ``pretension (from concentrate)''. If books had ingredient lists, this one's would just read ``pretension (from concentrate)''.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anneke van Dijken

    Na een paar verhalen gelezen te hebben waar ik niets mee kon, heb ik hem terug in de kast gezet.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Some stories were very good, some were very strange and some were so stylised they were dull and I didn't bother finishing them. The ones near the start were generally good, but it went downhill for the second half. Some stories were very good, some were very strange and some were so stylised they were dull and I didn't bother finishing them. The ones near the start were generally good, but it went downhill for the second half.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tiredstars

    I dunno; I enjoyed it I guess? It seemed better than the other McSweeney's anthology that I part-read. I didn't finish it in less than three months though, so it can't have exactly filled me with enthusiasm. Lots of lonely, isolated or deluded people, lots of people dying, not much joy, love or success. Maybe it is just short stories I don't get on with. I dunno; I enjoyed it I guess? It seemed better than the other McSweeney's anthology that I part-read. I didn't finish it in less than three months though, so it can't have exactly filled me with enthusiasm. Lots of lonely, isolated or deluded people, lots of people dying, not much joy, love or success. Maybe it is just short stories I don't get on with.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  8. 5 out of 5

    Horia

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andoriia

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sanne

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maria Arbone

  13. 4 out of 5

    Regina Yoma

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caspar Terra

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth Fowler

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrei B

  17. 5 out of 5

    Darrenl

  18. 5 out of 5

    Oxana

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cătălin Chiru

  21. 4 out of 5

    Vindaloo

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  23. 5 out of 5

    Darryl

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Kirkus-Lamont

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Disneyq

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nico

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Scott Walker

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michele Davis

  30. 4 out of 5

    Molly

  31. 4 out of 5

    Stujallen allen

  32. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

  33. 4 out of 5

    Joe Shamah

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

  35. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Automatissun

  37. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie Lyerly

  38. 4 out of 5

    Daintysasquatch Sterling

  39. 5 out of 5

    Steven Farmer

  40. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  41. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Magennis

  42. 4 out of 5

    Paul Jones

  43. 5 out of 5

    Trish

  44. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

  45. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

  46. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  47. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  48. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

  49. 4 out of 5

    Leighton

  50. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

  51. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

  52. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  53. 5 out of 5

    Ashok

  54. 5 out of 5

    T

  55. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

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