See You in Paradise: Stories

See You in Paradise Stories The first substantial collection of short fiction from a writer with enough electricity to light up the country Ann Patchett I guess the things that scare you are the things that are almost normal ob

  • Title: See You in Paradise: Stories
  • Author: J. Robert Lennon
  • ISBN: 9781555976934
  • Page: 387
  • Format: Paperback
  • The first substantial collection of short fiction from a writer with enough electricity to light up the country Ann Patchett I guess the things that scare you are the things that are almost normal, observes one narrator in this collection of effervescent and often uncanny stories Drawing on fifteen years of work, See You in Paradise is the fullest expression yet of JThe first substantial collection of short fiction from a writer with enough electricity to light up the country Ann Patchett I guess the things that scare you are the things that are almost normal, observes one narrator in this collection of effervescent and often uncanny stories Drawing on fifteen years of work, See You in Paradise is the fullest expression yet of J Robert Lennon s distinctive and brilliantly comic take on the pathos and surreality at the heart of American life In Lennon s America, a portal to another universe can be discovered with surprising nonchalance in a suburban backyard, adoption almost reaches the level of blood sport, and old pals return from the dead to steal your girlfriend Sexual dysfunction, suicide, tragic accidents, and career stagnation all create surprising opportunities for unexpected grace in this full hearted and mischievous depiction of those days weeks, months, years we all have when things just don t go quite right.

    • See You in Paradise: Stories - J. Robert Lennon
      387 J. Robert Lennon
    • thumbnail Title: See You in Paradise: Stories - J. Robert Lennon
      Posted by:J. Robert Lennon
      Published :2019-09-22T15:03:43+00:00

    2 thoughts on “See You in Paradise: Stories

    1. J Robert Lennon is the author of a story collection, Pieces For The Left Hand, and seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland He holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper s, Playboy, Granta, The Paris Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere He has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Prize Stories The O Henry Awards, and his story The Rememberer inspired the CBS detective series Unforgettable He hosts the podcast Writers at Cornell, and co hosts another, Lunch Box, with poet Ed Skoog His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, and The London Review of Books, and he lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches writing at Cornell University.

    2. Five big fat stars to this one. People are weird and sometimes awful, and life is really confusing and a lot of totally inexplicable stuff happens. So does a lot of boring stuff. This is stories about that, many of which made me guffaw, some of which made me recoil. Take it slowly, read one a day. If you like things to be cheery, nice or sensible, maybe don't read it at all.

    3. These were well-constructed, well-written stories, but most of them had no emotional resonance for me. There was one I really liked, though: A Stormy Evening at the Buck Snort Restaurant. It had so many layers in such a short story. It was about class differences, and about how thoroughly and tragically we can misunderstand each other. But most of all it was about the savage darkness that lives beneath the surface in all of us, even the neatest, cleanest, middle-class, middle-aged civilized ladi [...]

    4. None of the stories leap out as better than the others, per se - I don't know that there's one where you'll go "OH WOW!" and post it up as a banner example of Lennon's work. Instead, each of the stories spins together into the whole and makes this collection that oh-so-rare example of being greater than the sum of its individual parts. And those individual parts are all good. They are not connected, they are not linked - they are just all solid pieces of short fiction. And reading them on a porc [...]

    5. This was a thoroughly enjoying read. For fans of Sam Lipsyte or George Saunders, you really can't go wrong. Like the two above authors, Lennon definitely has a wheelhouse in terms of characters he's interested in. They are usually men, sometimes involved in very imperfect marriages or relationships, more likely than not to be in the lower-middle age of their late 30s, trying to do the right thing but usually falling on their face, sometimes quite poignantly so. For a story collection, it's prett [...]

    6. Being a fan of Lennon's novels I was looking forward to reading this but was disappointed by the first story. I don't understand put that one first, as for me it was the weakest in the collection. The collection, however, did dramatically improve. And some stories like "Zombie Dan," "Farewell Bounder" and "Total Humiliation in 1987" were excellent. The book would have been worth reading for these stories alone. I couldn't help comparing some of the stories to those of George Saunders - especiall [...]

    7. Portal, is the first short story found in See You in Paradise.  A magical shimmering thing in a suburban family's backyard causes a giddy era of family bonding.  Unfortunately the era soon comes to an end and realism returns.  The combination of reality and fantasy combined with the magical feeling of memories of happier times is subdued by the reality of teenagers and the end of enchanted times.A good review of this book can be found in the NYT Sunday Book Review 18 Jan 2015.I listened to th [...]

    8. A solid collection, mostly domestic stories with a dark creepiness lurking, which provide much of the narrative momentum. Light on weight and epiphany for my tastes, but a good collection that gets better as it goes.

    9. This a fun and obscure collection of short fiction, mainly featuring misanthropic characters in unfortunate situations. A few stories play with magical realism, adding to the overall quirky spirit. Many of J. Robert Lennon’s characters are introspective and sometimes melancholy individuals at notable points in their lives. But more important than their outward entanglements are the underlying insightful messages. These can sneak up on you and flip around the takeaway of a tale due to the autho [...]

    10. These stories are so strange and surreal. Lennon has such a unique writing style that I'm dying to read more of. However, I think that the first three stories were the weakest and I almost abandoned the collection completely because of them. Fortunately, "Hibachi" turned the collection around. "Hibachi" and "Weber's Head" were my favorites.Also, I think I've found my new favorite description of a woman."Ruperta was an arrangement of pleasing roundness, wide round eyes nestled in wide round glass [...]

    11. An outstanding collection of short stories - nearly all of which I wish were full novels. Zombies stands out in my mind, but I really enjoyed almost the entire collection of these unhappy relationships. Will be checking out more of Lennon's work.

    12. A lot of short stories collections are funny but easy. It’s very simple to get a story out in 10 to 15 pages – you set up a scenario, get people to care about the characters and then hit them with the ironic twist. And a lot of the time, that’s enough. Until, that is, you read a short story collection like J. Robert Lennon’s See You in Paradise.This thing is irony plus. Sure, he follows the basic formula, sets the scene, makes you care, etc. etc but THEN, the magic happens when Lennon de [...]

    13. Fun, silly with a touch of surreal - that's what comes to mind when I think about these stories. The subject matters tend to lean towards the dark but with such wry wit they rarely feel heavy. A story will take a normal subject matter and then just twist it - like Zombie Dan. Where your old high school buddy, who had become a real asshole, gets turned into a Zombie by an overzealous mother and then starts sleeping with your girlfriend, what's a guy to do? Or the story Portal. When your kids disc [...]

    14. Considering that the fourteen stories collected in See You in Paradise were written over a period of fifteen years, the consistency of J. Robert Lennon's work is impressive. In the best of the stories here, Lennon mixes the mundane with the surreal, the domestic with the fantastic, the bleak with the comedic. Highlights include stories about: a backyard magic portal that doesn't work quite right; the transformative power of a hibachi grill in the home; the unforeseen dangers of revivifying dead [...]

    15. Lennon's short stories capture our peculiarities and blow them up, sometimes pushing darkness to the absurd. Three stories are fantastical. In Portal, family members change after exploring alternative worlds together; Zombie Dan questions the authenticity of how we live; Wraith provides an inventive way of dealing with depression. The other stories, rooted in mostly in the world as we know it, cover similar territory - dysfunctional couples, individualism, shame, family dynamics. Surprisingly, I [...]

    16. Entertaining! And isn't that what we came for? Much to love about this eclectic collection. I'll be honest, I'd read Lennon before and was, at times, more annoyed than impressed. Comparatively, See You in Paradise carries a truer, more original appeal. Lennon didn't seem like he was trying too hard to win me over. He just did. The writing is clean and thought-provoking with occasional cliff-hanger endings. I grew to admire the unique blend of magical realism, sci-fi, comedy and standard literary [...]

    17. Full disclosure - I won an advanced copy of this thanks to the Giveaway program and Graywolf Pressd I couldn't be happier, because I haven't been more delighted with a collection of short stories in years! The stories that appear in J. Robert Lennon's, See You in Paradise: Stories are a real treat. From the absurd to the sublime to the downright bizarre he tilts the axis on the human condition just enough to show the reader something familiar in a new and interesting way. While all of the stori [...]

    18. I was not a big fan of Mr. Lennon's book Castle (just found it too disturbing), but I am so glad that I decided to try these short stories. Even though there were several which reminded me too much of some of the creepiness of George Saunders (who I do NOT care for), several were great: No Life, The Wraith, The Accursed Items, and Farewell, Bounder are my favorites. Farewell, Bounder was a real surprise for me, who always has to know if the dog dies in moviesbut this is a remarkable story. I now [...]

    19. Several of these (e.g. Portal, Zombie Dan, The Wraith) are the sorts of stories I wish I had succeeded in writing. And most of the rest, while not quite in my sweet spot, were worth reading as well. As is often the case in single-author collections, though, the themes that it is easy to overlook when reading one story at a time, once in a while, become overwhelmingly obvious. In this case, that theme would be hyper-competent women paired unhappily with bumbling man-children. As a bumbling man-ch [...]

    20. Caveat: I kind of bounced around with these stories, and never actually completely read the whole collection (though I read the majority). The stories themselves were imaginative, unusual and surprising. My favorite was Zombie Dan, mostly due to the jaw-droppingly weird ending. There is a certain lack of context in these stories, even a disjointedness, that left me feeling unbalanced, which was wearying. It's an interesting collection, well worth occasional perusal.

    21. Loved this collection for its depth and diversity. Some stories resonated more then others, but the author knows how to give quick descriptions that are evocative, and definitely has a "less is more" style. My favorite story was "Hibachi," which ironically I read in a Japanese restaurant. The title story was also one of my favorites, mostly because it took risks and certainly made a strong and clear statement about relationships. Can't wait to read more by this author.

    22. For the first time in a long time, I found myself reluctant to turn the pages because I didn't want the book to end. Each short story is a wacked out microcosm that show how absurdity, implausibility and real life are just a spectrum, Lennon's characters and their honest to god humanity shines through, even in the zombies (yes this book has zombies!). He keeps it painfully real, a tough feat in the realm of speculative fiction, and he owns every word of it. Absolutely brilliant book.

    23. A portal to another universe discovered in a suburban backyard. A dead loser friend who is brought back to life. A roommate who sculpts a more-than-lifelike replica of his own head out of clay. A list of accursed items. These are the stories that inhabit J. Robert Lennon’s collection of short fiction, which draws on 15 years of work. These pieces are delightfully odd, charmingly bizarre, and darkly comic.

    24. A terrific collection of way off the wall short stories by a darkly imaginative writer with a wry sense of humor and a taste for the weird and the unsettling. Clever, creepy and massively entertaining stuff that is at times laugh out loud funny. Some science fiction, some fantasy, some horror and a whole lot of just plain strange and disturbing.

    25. Got it from the library. Read the first 2 stories and skimmed through the 3rd, which is the book's title. Wasn't sucked in and decided to move on to other things. The stories are supposed to be a bit dark I guess. Very normal stuff with a twist. I just felt too apathetic toward the characters to keep reading.

    26. I am late to J. Robert Lennon, but having finally gotten to this arch, dark and terrifically clever collection of stories, I can't wait to read more of him. Fans of the work of George Saunders who've yet to read See You in Paradise, this is your book. There are a couple of stories that faintly miss the mark, but the majority hit an Americana-blood-red bullseye.Thanks Req :)

    27. Powerful sense of place for those from Central NY; but even more important was the power of the characters you didn't need to like to get caught up with. Some desperate sadness like Raymond Carver, lots to think about still.

    28. Another book I picked up after judging its cover. I would say it was 3.5 stars overall. First story was "weakest" as others noted so keep reading. Stories overall were very imaginative; kind of dark and quirky and uncomfortable. I enjoyed it.

    29. Some of the stories in this book were quite good, but most didn't really grab me. The book portrays such a bleak look of modern society that it depressed me. Interesting, but plan something fun to lift your spirits after reading this.

    30. Absolute shite. Did not finish as book was thrown across the room. Lennon is apparently of the school of writers who doesn't believe in a beginning, a middle and an end for a story.These stories do not end. They just stop.

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