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Or at least throw at the ones without stories to tell. McClanahan would thrive in Mr. McClanahan draws in the same fund of material that inform his other collections: There's a darker side to some of these tales. But in Stories V! McClanahan's project is anchored in the oral storytelling tradition where the beginnings and endings of stories are loose, almost unfixed, so they can be married to other stories, embroidered to other adventures, depending on the audience, the setting, the storytellers mood.

Some of the stories have alternate endings. Some of the stories are endings. The author's voice is so consistent, so strong, that the reader never doubts for a second that it's the same voice telling all of these stories, and that the voice belongs to the author.

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At the end of the collection, McClanahan tells us he is done with stories, and will be moving on to larger projects, including a book about his wife, Sarah. I'll miss these quirky Brautiganesque books of stories with their misanthropic covers and charming yet chilling tales of life in Rainelle. One story, however, includes directions to his house, and I imagine driving out there someday, knocking on his door and asking the author for one more story.

Jun 12, Mark Staniforth rated it really liked it. You'd be seriously hard-pushed to find a better value book all year: There are some searingly good stories here, not least Jenny Sugar , a gut-wrenching sad story of a kid trying and failing to cope with the tragic death of a class-mate, and Nicky , in which the author struggles to You'd be seriously hard-pushed to find a better value book all year: There are some searingly good stories here, not least Jenny Sugar , a gut-wrenching sad story of a kid trying and failing to cope with the tragic death of a class-mate, and Nicky , in which the author struggles to cope with a guilty childhood secret.

It strikes me if you had to hold up an example of fiction that perfectly fits the e-format it's this: Sep 10, Charlie L rated it it was amazing. Awesome collection of stories. Great with endings, especially the double-endings that change the dynamic of the collection pretty well creating uncertainty: My only criticism is that their shortness does suggest a lack of something: The stories do go through an arc, but I' Awesome collection of stories.

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The stories do go through an arc, but I'd like to see a deeper arc in how it examines the main characters. I'd like to see more after the stories' primary turns.


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Regardless, this is very good work. It balances plot with characterization in a way that makes both important and significant. Some plot-heavy stories make characterization shallow, but these are not like that. These stories are significant. Nov 27, Gavin Breeden rated it really liked it Shelves: First I want to note that the book cover has nothing to do whatsoever with the stories. I think it's a joke. Here's a collection of bizarre stories of small-town life. The narrator of these stories is also named Scott McClanahan and so the lines between fiction and reality are pretty blurred here, which is fun.

In tone these stories are like cousins to the Southern Gothic stuff. Weird people doing strange things in West Virginia fill these pages. Not all the stories were mind-blowing, but the First I want to note that the book cover has nothing to do whatsoever with the stories. Not all the stories were mind-blowing, but the collection as a whole is something pretty special, I think. It really sort of changed my perception about what a short story collection can look and feel like.

The stories were funny at times, but also pretty dark. Mar 25, Sasha rated it it was amazing. Jan 10, Stacey Teague rated it it was amazing.

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It was hard to believe, but there were. Sep 30, Mandy rated it it was amazing Shelves: The last writer to read was some guy named Scott McClanahan. I didn't know who he was, and I was ready to start the long trip back home. The show had started late and I was getting tired. But then this Scott McClanahan guy started talking and just made me forget all of that. Afterwards I bought this book from a table at the back of the room. I just finished reading it this morn This past Saturday I managed to catch the Future Dead Friends tour when it stopped in Indianapolis. I just finished reading it this morning.

Feb 03, Brian rated it it was amazing Shelves: Aug 08, Nick rated it it was amazing. And I picked up all the rest of his books and I expect finish them very soon.


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The way Scott McClanahan tells these stories is elegant without being self-absorbed and eloquent without being pretentious. It's as if he's somehow able to cut out the rigamarole of having to communicate an idea to you, and instead, the ideas and concomitant emotions just appear in your mind.

Reading these stories is as engaging as catching up with I picked up this book immediately after reading Stores I and Stories II. Reading these stories is as engaging as catching up with your best friend after not having seen them in months, and just as rewarding. Apr 25, Andrew rated it really liked it Shelves: You might think you understand linked short-story collections and metafiction, but you don't--not until you've read Stories V! These stories--by turns honest, surprising, cunning, restrained, magical, and gritty--unflinchingly blur the lines between genre thanks to McClanahan's strong, persuasive narrative voice.

There is space for thought, humour, agony and interpretation.

It is not merely a man preaching to the choir about tolerance in the familiar 'Terrorists', or the contagious, infecting, poisonous nature of capitalism in its alternative ending, 'The Second Ending to Terrorists. He shows you this West Virginia he inhabits, but allows you to understand it for yourself.

This is probably best demonstrated in the disorientating transformations and revelations in 'Sex Tapes'. McClanahan knows that leaving some ambiguity can draw the reader in closer, and have them formulate their own ideas themselves, which usually means the thought will stick. Out there on the internet, McClanahan is building a following. Reading this collection, I can see why. Word is also circulating about McClanahan's ability to give a memorable live performance of his work.

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The descriptions of these events make him sound like a kind of Stewart Lee of readings, infiltrating the audience, touching them and whatnot. It is the same when you read the work silently to yourself. For me, I dined on the words as I dined on Bukowski's. And they seemed to be off the same menu.

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Both portray an outward swagger that does not fear or hide. The Writing, one last time: The writing in Stories V! I choked on my water and started coughing, "What!? You're the daughter of the King and Queen. You took an interest about Humans ever since you were a What started off as a so-called "interest" soon g Dirty Stepbrother ; k. You know exactly what that means. Wrong number my dude [Vkook Txting