Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme Online

Sixty Stories
Title : Sixty Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141180939
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 451

With these audacious and murderous witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupation of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to theWith these audacious and murderous witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupation of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts. Like all of Donald's work, the sixty stories collected in this volume are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.

Sixty Stories Reviews

  • s.p

    I spent this past summer with Barthelme’s Sixty Stories never far from my side as my most recent ‘dashboard book’. The stories contained in this hilarious and bizarre collection are rarely more than 5-10pgs in length, making them a perfect companion to turn to whenever you find a few spare moments where you want to simple get-in-and-get-out while still walking away with a headful of ideas to chew on. The stories are as varied as the horizon viewed through a travelling car, often as pretty [...]

  • Glenn Russell

    Dazzling collection of postmodern blisters and blasters, usually as short as three, four or five pages but some as long as twelve pages, stories written in dialogue or lists or letters or narrative, covering topics from highbrow culture to the lowbrow scuzzy, from the everyday to the sensational and historic, an innovative collection from one of the most perceptive wordsmiths ever to put pen to paper or fingers to typewriter. Many are the stories I found wickedly astute, including these two:REPO [...]

  • Tim

    The first thing I ever read from the field of cognitive linguistics, which has stayed with me till the present moment, was Mark Turner's notion that "one reads Shakespeare in order to have a brain that has read Shakespeare." The original context was something about Hirsch's crap about cultural literacy and a rebuttal of the notion that we read Shakespeare simply to attain a few cultural benchmarks (blech), as if cocktail party conversation were the final arbiter of literary merit and purpose. An [...]

  • Sarah Smith

    Sometimes I feel like a huge misfit writing fiction. I have some language-level obsession that doesn't always translate very well into "shit happening," which, let's face it, is crucial to a story. I think I always put more elbow grease into sentences and images, and particular cadences that please me. All of which is my roundabout way of praising Don Barthelme for writing stories that hit the aforementioned balls out of the park. Take heart, poets attempting to write fiction. The stories in thi [...]

  • Christopher

    I refuse to review this until you read it or I re-read it. Suffice to say, for now, that this guy knows what's the story. There are, surprise, 60 stories here. And I thought 3 maybe 4 were misses or fouls. That leaves 56 maybe 57 homers. Some of them barely left the yard but many of them were way, way gone. Why am I continuing with this trite analogy? Perhaps it's because I can't play with the jacks. I am not well.At the sentence level, Barthelme's ear is phenomenal. At the idea level, he's both [...]

  • صان

    داستان‌هاش به‌شدت به سلیقه من نزدیکه.داستان هایی با اتفاقاتی عجیب و که خیلی طبیعی و معمولی بیان می‌شن، داستان‌هایی که توش هرچیزی رو ممکنه پیداکنی، داستان‌هایی با کلی ساختارشکنی و کارای جدید و جالب و خلاق، که نمی‌شه حتا به بعضیاش گفت داستان!بعضی از داستان‌هاش ممکنه زیاد د [...]

  • FrancoSantos

    Espectacular antología de Donald Barthelme. Historias muy experimentales, fragmentadas, simbólicas, reales, que resaltan las verdaderas relaciones humanas. Después de leer Sixty Stories ya no me quedan dudas de que Barthelme es uno de mis cuentistas favoritos.Relatos inolvidables: "A Shower of Gold", "Me and Miss Mandible", "Game", "The Balloon", "Robert Kennedy Saved from Drowning", "Report", "Views of My Father Weeping", "On Angels", "The Sandman", "Kierkegaard Unfair to Schlegel", "Daumier [...]

  • Michael

    I was half way through the book when I realized that these stories serve as a kind of Rorschach Test, always in movement, always mind-boggling, and forever inspiring. Some of the "dialogues" can seem overly long and pedantic, but when it comes to Barthelme, can there be such terms? They seem to be much of the point. As an earlier review mentioned, these short pieces have the tendency to rip your mind to shreds, without any hope for recovery throughout. Many stories in this collection bear the ma [...]

  • MJ Nicholls

    Barthelme is the short story writer for me. I loved these mad, witty, clever but not clever-clever, surreal and speculative stories. Barthelme has a style and range utterly unique to him and uses a fragmented, avant-garde approach to tell his cryptic and weirdly moving stories.I can't pick a favourite from these. They were dazzling, one and all. Hooray for discovering new writers!

  • Ben Winch

    How can I justify my indifference to Donald Barthelme? I’m not sure I can. No doubt these stories are/were innovative, unique, at times wildly inventive. They’re also, for the most part, easy to read, not daunting, but on the other hand not inviting―not to me anyway. For a few weeks I dipped into 60 Stories with moderate enjoyment, but soon noticed it was my “go to” books in times of distraction, when something more demanding would have tested my fractured concentration. Don’t get me [...]

  • Mala

    This collection of stories came highly recommended from a reliable source, but I'm sorry to say, I could only make it through about 10%. Maybe I'm overly traditional, but Barthelme's gimmicks (improper punctuation, garish non-sequiturs, smarty-pants diction) didn't impress me much. Too clever by half. That being said, I know a number of people who would really enjoy his work (i.e. I know a number of people who are better at having fun than me.) The stories are short. Give them a try if you like [...]

  • Carl

    Here's an odd coincidence: Carl, that's me, finishes reading The Beetle Leg by John Hawkes and then immediately picks up Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme. The first story contains a character named Carl who talks about being a fan of The Beetle Leg by John Hawkes.

  • Hadrian

    I've been reading through these for the past couple weeks, picking out good ones like berries.About a third of these are too rambling or incoherent to understand, but the rest, as a general rule, are brilliant. My favorites are the Balloon, Robert Kennedy, the Captured Woman, On Angels, Cortes and Montezuma, and The Death of Edward Lear.

  • Sofia

    Borges for depressed people.

  • James

    They sit down together. The pork with red cabbage steams before them. They speak quietly about the McKinley Administration, which is being revised by revisionist historians. The story ends. It was written for several reasons. Nine of them are secrets. The tenth is that one should never cease considering human love, which remains as grisly and golden as ever, no matter what is tattooed upon the warm tympanic page (so ends the story Rebecca, page 279).The above passage is the rarest of examples of [...]

  • A.J. Howard

    For the past couple of years, I have kept word documents that keep track of the individual short stories or long essays I read. I say to myself I do this so I can keep track of what I read and recognize writers who've I encountered before. While this is true, the main reason I keep these lists is because I am a bit compulsive when it comes to keeping track of unnecessary things. Seriously, I have never been able to get myself to keep up with my check balance book but my music on my external hard [...]

  • Panagiotis

    Ο Τζόναθαν Μπάρθελμ  τοποθετήθηκε στον αναγνωστικό μου διάβα ως ένα τοτέμ συγγραφικό, ένας άνθρωπος με εντυπωσιακές ικανότητες στην μικρή φόρμα, που ακόμα μνημονεύεται ως από τους μεγαλύτερους Αμερικάνους δεξιοτέχνες διηγηματογράφους. Λίγο αργότερα, έχοντας στην κατοχή [...]

  • Guttersnipe Das

    Donald Barthelme, Sixty StoriesPenguin, 1982introduction by David Gates (2003)When I was 20 I tried to read Nabokov, and couldn’t, and knew it was my problem, not his. When I was 25 I could read Nabokov. I couldn’t read Barthelme until I was 40. (There are real benefits, it turns out, to not dying young.) Maybe it helped that I had read Beckett, Lispector, Lydia Davis in the meantime. Probably it helped even more that I had suffered serious disappointments and intermittently drank too much. [...]

  • John

    This selection remains the essential one for the situational brilliance, streetwise high-mindedness, worldly moaning and groaning, revivified commonplaces, and startling perfection of phrase that -- taken all in all -- defined a late-20th-Century master. No one with an ear for the language will want to skip the discoveries Donald Barthelme made in American Eglish. No one seeking to get their minds around the ever-more-citified complications of our existence, and to find what may yet amount to th [...]

  • Margarida

    Pode o absurdo ser melancólico? E divertido? E comovente? Pode ser esta uma das melhores colectâneas que já li?

  • Spencer

    well, i didn't finish sixty stories, but i did get about 3/4 of the way through it and it took me a while, so i feel duty-bound to document it. one of the traits i admire most in writers is the ability to extend themselves out of veiled autobiography and write in and through the eyes of someone else. one of the traits i most disdain in writers is a tendency towards the esoteric, ignoring the critical elements of a good story. Barthelme is both of these writers. the stories with real characters a [...]

  • Carla

    A City of Churches read only

  • Dan

    Postmodern humor of a sort that might remind readers of the work of writers like Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon or Robert Coover. Barthelme's fictions are formally experimental, employing unconventional methods of storytelling and frequently depicting unreal situations. Narrators in a few of them are unreliable; in others, narration is completely absent, the "stories" consisting entirely of unattributed dialogue.Along with stories selected from earlier Barthelme collections such as Unspeakable Pr [...]

  • Darran Mclaughlin

    This guy is a genius and it is a tragedy that he is not better known or more commonly read. He is a great original and one of the best examplars of the good qualities of postmodernism. His writing is so fresh, so full of brio, wit and zip. His prose is so carefull considered at a sentence by sentence level that I can only compare him to Samuel Beckett in this respect. The stories are so unpredictable and wayward that he recalls Kafka. The intricacy, intelligence and originality recalls Borges. T [...]

  • Charlie N

    With the exception of a couple of stories, particularly "Game," I found this collection of stories to be affected, precious, and irritatingly obscure (like the New Yorker magazine in which they so often appeared). Perhaps he meant to write gibberish. If so, what a strange way to burn heartbeats before you die. If not, it's a discourtesy to the reader to hide behind such a strange veil. Maybe the way to approach his work is to think of it as a messy collection of experimental attempts. Just like [...]

  • Mohamad

    سه داستان اين كتاب فقط از ديالوگ بين دو نفر تشكيل شده. دو داستان نقيضه هايي از كتاب اوژني گرانده و بتمن است. يك داستان بيست صحنه ظاهراً بي ربط از زندگي برادرِ جان اف كندي است. با اين تفاصير مي شود گفت بارتلمي نويسنده اي پست مدرن است كه شخصيت، توالي زماني، دستور زبان و طرح را مردو [...]

  • Pantelis

    Mildly psychotropic, strangely amusing, menacing in a comfortable way If you spend too much time with this author the expression in your face reminds that of Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation".

  • Tripp

    You wouldn't think to find a heart beneath the glittering surface of such postmodern stories, would you? Yet there it is. In part, this unexpected gift is due to the poignant and just plain funny ways Barthelme will build a sentence. Consider "Rebecca," about Rebecca Lizard's effort to change her "ugly, reptilian, thoroughly unacceptable last name" and her love for Hilda. Yes, Rebecca is a lizard, though she's also a person. Is that a problem to reconcile? Not for Barthelme. And so, near the end [...]

  • Holly Grigalunas

    Am I giving this 5 stars because I feel like I should? I don't know. First read this a really long time ago, picked it up again after a recent Saunders bender, natch. Holds up.

  • Chris

    I’m not sure what the hell POSTMODERNISM actually means, but I do know that some of my favorite authors or novels are classified as such. David Foster Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, Don Delillo. I’ve occasionally heard another name bandied about, less well-known but highly influential. That would be Donald Barthelme.I want to say that Barthelme’s relation to those other guys is quite shallow, and he does feel entirely unique, but in places it hews very closely to what will become Brief Interview [...]