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The Accomplished Guest: Stories par Ann…

The Accomplished Guest: Stories (édition 2018)

par Ann Beattie (Auteur)

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794270,951 (4.09)2
"Set along the East Coast from Maine to Key West, this collection of stories explores unconventional friendships, frustrated loves, mortality, and aging"--
Titre:The Accomplished Guest: Stories
Auteurs:Ann Beattie (Auteur)
Info:Scribner (2018), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque
Mots-clés:ebook, short stories, maine

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The Accomplished Guest: Stories par Ann Beattie


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» Voir aussi les 2 mentions

4 sur 4
I have been reading Ann Beattie for almost 40 years. I haven't read everything but I have read 8 of her books. The latest is a collection of short stories and is one of her best. She gets into detail in a way that can be too much until you realize how humorous it is. She is very creative and each of her stories is unique. She does deal with aging boomers and all of the stories take place in east coast locales. If you have never read Ann Beattie then this is a perfect introduction to her body of work. Hopefully, you will enjoy her and take the time to go back and read from her 20 previous works. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jan 4, 2018 |
First: a confession. Back in 1986, or thereabouts. I learned of a lecture by Ann Beattie—at the time my number two most favorite writer—at Rutgers-Camden. I tried to get a ticket, but found it was sold out. So I devised a plan to see her before the lecture. I convinced a guard I was a stringer for a local paper in Philly who wanted to snag a few comments before her talk. I had three of Beattie’s books with me, and after asking a few questions, I took the books out of a bag and asked her to inscribe them. She graciously signed all three. I did write a brief article, and I did send it to the paper, but it was never printed. I resolved to tell her in person if I ever met up with her. This might be as close as I get.

Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Award collections, John Updike’s Best American Short Stories of the Century and Jennifer Egan’s Best Short Stories of 2014. She has also gotten numerous other awards. Her latest book, The Accomplished Guest is a collection of short stories with a variety of themes, voices, and situations.

Some of these visitors had interesting experiences getting to their destination. In “The Indian Uprising,” Beattie wrote, “I took the train. It wasn’t difficult. I got a ride with a friend to some branch of the Metro going into Washington and rode into Union Station. Then I walked forever down the train track to a car someone finally let me on. I felt like an ant that had walked the length of a caterpillar’s body and ended up at its anus. I sat across from a mother with a small son whose head she abused any time she got bored looking out the window: swatting it with plush toys; rearranging his curls; inspecting him for nits” (4-5). One of the most appealing traits of a Beattie story is the attention to details. Readers can easily place themselves in the train.

In “The Astonished Woodchopper,” Beattie explores those ubiquitous “little white lies” we all tell. She writes, “John had asked Jen not to tell Bee the details of his surgery, but of course she had—no doubt also cautioning Bee to lie if he asked her directly what she knew. White lies: as prevalent in this family as white noise on the highway that drifted across the meadow toward their house. He had wanted a more secluded house; Jen had said she like to be nearer to what she called ‘civilization’—the same environment she now damned as being filled with ‘idiot tourists and Maine-iacs in their tortoise shell SUVs, driving lunatics because they can imagine because they can’t imagine they go belly-up.’ Just the week before, a man had died, not at all protected by his SUV as it rolled” (51).

These stories have lots of fun and page upon page of humor. I really think Ann Beattie is an author who deserves much more attention. The Accomplished Guest is a grand beginning for many years of reading pleasure. 5 Stars

--Chiron, 07/11/14 ( )
  rmckeown | Aug 27, 2017 |
Here's one of my favorite authors sharing a new collection of her fine short stories. Her writing seems to be similar to many of my long-time favorite writers, her characters are aging and facing different problems in life. Many careers have come to a close, relationships have come and gone, and often thoughts of limitations and death come to mind ... I can relate. While this isn't my favorite collection — strange to think that her first collection, Distortions, is like forty years old — they are damn good. Some of the telltale Beattie elements don't show up as much as they once did, but her skill is still quite evident. ( )
  jphamilton | Aug 1, 2017 |
The Accomplished Guest: Stories by Ann Beattie is a highly recommended collection of thirteen previously published short stories. This collection explores aging, mortality, fragile bonds between people, fate, friendships, and family. In several of the stories people are meeting for a social event or going out to dinner. Most of the people are older, in their sixties and up, have been married multiple times and seem discontented, perplexed, and very removed from any true connection with other people, even while they are meeting with them. Beattie gives us glimpses into these lives with her immutable excellent prose and clear, astute voice. Not every story was a complete winner for me, but, nonetheless, this is an excellent collection.

The Indian Uprising: A former student visits her professor.
For the Best: A man heads to a holiday party where he expects to see his ex-wife.
The Astonishing Woodchopper: A couple is going to a wedding where tensions rise.
Anecdotes: An older self-centered mother overshares and hurts feelings.
Other People's Birthdays: A woman returns home to celebrate her sister's birthday.
Company: A professor has former students over for dinner.
The Debt: Middle aged frat brothers get together in Key West.
Lady Neptune: A wheelchair-bound woman attends a holiday party in Key West.
The Caterer: A caterer recruits help for a job and encounters problems.
The Gypsy chooses the Whatever Card: Women visiting in a coffee shop are interrupted by a robber.
The Cloud: A woman goes out to dinner with her uncle.
Hoodie in Xanadu: A woman forms a partnership with her neighbor who has transformed his living room into Xanadu.
Save a Horse Ride a Cowgirl: An older man feels at odds and out of place in the world.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribner. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Jun 12, 2017 |
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