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The Dinner Party: Stories
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2017
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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year: The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists.
Each of these stories burrows deep into the often awkward and hilarious misunderstandings that pass between strangers and lovers alike, and that turn ordinary lives upside down. Ferris shows to what lengths we mortals go to coax human meaning from our very modest time on earth, an effort that skews ever-more desperately in the direction of redemption.
There's Arty Groys, the Florida retiree whose birthday celebration involves pizza, a prostitute, and a life-saving heart attack. There's Sarah, the Brooklynite whose shape-shifting existential dilemma is set in motion by a simple spring breeze. And there's Jack, a man so warped by past experience that he's incapable of having a normal social interaction with the man he hires to help him move out of storage.
The stories in The Dinner Party are about lives changed forever when the reckless gives way to possibility and the ordinary cedes ground to mystery. And each one confirms Ferris's reputation as one of the most dazzlingly talented, deeply humane writers at work today.
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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/02/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316466387
ASIN:
B01M155JOY
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Ferris. (2017). The Dinner Party: Stories. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joshua Ferris. 2017. The Dinner Party: Stories. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joshua Ferris, The Dinner Party: Stories. Little, Brown and Company, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Ferris. The Dinner Party: Stories. Little, Brown and Company, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 17:55:31
Date Updated:
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        Joshua Ferris is the author of the novels Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and a collection of stories, The Dinner Party. He was a finalist for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the PEN/Hemingway Award. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. He lives in New York.

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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year: The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists.
Each of these stories burrows deep into the often awkward and hilarious misunderstandings that pass between strangers and lovers alike, and that turn ordinary lives upside down. Ferris shows to what lengths we mortals go to coax human meaning from our very modest time on earth, an effort that skews ever-more desperately in the direction of redemption.
There's Arty Groys, the...
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title
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fullDescription
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year: The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists.
Each of these stories burrows deep into the often awkward and hilarious misunderstandings that pass between strangers and lovers alike, and that turn ordinary lives upside down. Ferris shows to what lengths we mortals go to coax human meaning from our very modest time on earth, an effort that skews ever-more desperately in the direction of redemption.
There's Arty Groys, the Florida retiree whose birthday celebration involves pizza, a prostitute, and a life-saving heart attack. There's Sarah, the Brooklynite whose shape-shifting existential dilemma is set in motion by a simple spring breeze. And there's Jack, a man so warped by past experience that he's incapable of having a normal social interaction with the man he hires to help him move out of storage.
The stories in The Dinner Party are about lives changed forever when the reckless gives way to possibility and the ordinary cedes ground to mystery. And each one confirms Ferris's reputation as one of the most dazzlingly talented, deeply humane writers at work today.
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      • premium: False
      • source: Praise for Joshua Ferris's THE DINNER PARTY:
      • content: Praise for Joshua Ferris's THE DINNER PARTY:
      • premium: False
      • source: Heller McAlpin, NPR.org
      • content: Ferris finesses the line between tragedy and comedy, and his sly wit often surfaces in sarcastic, offbeat ways...The Dinner Party provides a fine showcase for his work.
      • premium: False
      • source: Eliot Schrefer, USA Today
      • content: Ferris is an incisive observer, and his descriptions of even the most quotidian situations are elegant and fresh.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kevin Nguyen, GQ, Best Books You'll Read In May
      • content: The Dinner Party is a collection of stories about quiet, domestic chaos... I love it. The titular story finds a couple awaiting the arrival of dinner guests who never materialize.... equal parts Cheever and Carver....a strong set of stories about infidelity, jealousy, and neurotic insecurity.
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Magazine, Top 10 Spring Books preview
      • content: Ferris's three novels have earned him a reputation as a high-concept high-wire artist, always working the line between comedy and tragedy, the domestic and the outlandish. His stories, by comparison, are compact gems of timing and everyday absurdity, and finally, here they are in one place. Hollywood satire, marriage-ending secrets, cracked minds, broken families: Ferris renders contemporary life as a parade of sad clowns.
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Observer, 10 Most Anticipated Books of Spring
      • content: A collection that show[s] humanity at its most awkward and insightful.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: [These stories] explore the fraying psychologies of their protagonists by way of dark humor and understated tragedy. In the excellent, surreal title story, the fissures in a childless couple's marriage become unbridgeable divides after their close friends fail to attend a dinner party... contain moments of sharp levity and intense insight...[Ferris is an] immense talent.
      • premium: False
      • source: Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair
      • content: Ferris invites you to make a meal out of his mordant tales about life's quicksilver changes.
      • premium: False
      • source: Thomas Gebremedhin, Wall Street Journal Magazine
      • content: This season's standout short-story collections are masterful exercises in brevity, proving that sometimes less really is more.... Novelist Joshua Ferris returns with his first, highly anticipated story collection. Each entry showcases his customary wit and understanding.
      • premium: False
      • source: Michael Alec Rose, BookPage
      • content: Throughout these 11 stories, the range of settings and characters makes for a recurring sense of surprise...Reading a collection of short stories by an emerging master of the form is one of the great literary pleasures, especially when the writer treats them as a set of variations on a powerful theme. A steady ground bass pulses through all of Ferris' narratives: the fatefulness of our lives, the uncanny and often hilarious ways in which our fragile hearts and massive egos determine our destinies.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Millions
      • content: The collection pulls together stories that promise the, 'deeply felt yearnings, heartbreaking absurdity, and redemptive humor of life,' for which Ferris is so well known.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Valetudinarian,
      • content: The title story, a remarkable, John Cheever-esque tale, shows a couple preparing dinner for their friends ....[These stories] widen Ferris' range and prove stunning feats of compassion, such as
      • premium: False
      • source: Michael Schaub, A Best Book of May pick in Men's Journal
      • content: Displays his gift for dark humor.
      • premium: False
      • source: Greg Hudson, Sharp
      • content: Ferris's pitch is perfect. These moments of crisis and compassion, humanity and wit, are perfect episodes of some television series that doesn't need serialization to make you want to keep coming back for more. They aren't chapters, leading to some conclusion, they are moments, shading, changing, building lives.
      • premium: False
      • source: PRAISE FOR TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR:
      • content: PRAISE FOR TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR:
      • premium: False
      • source: Stephen King
      • content: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour is beautifully written. It's also funny, thought-provoking, and touching. One hesitates to call it the Catch-22 of dentistry, but it's sort of in that ballpark. Some books simply carry you along on the strength and energy of the author's invention...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 6, 2017
        The stories in this collection, the first from Ferris, bestselling author of Then We Came to the End, explore the fraying psychologies of their protagonists by way of dark humor and understated tragedy. In the excellent, surreal title story, the fissures in a childless couple’s marriage become unbridgeable divides after their close friends fail to attend a dinner party. A bereaved Florida widower is sent a prostitute as a birthday present in “The Valetudinarian,” an equally great story, while a desperate aspiring screenwriter struggles to make inroads at an industry party in “The Pilot.” Despite its magnificent start, subsequent entries like “Fragments” and “The Breeze” read like lesser versions of earlier, better stories. “More Abandon” is a deleted scene from the author’s debut novel that probably should have stayed on the proverbial cutting room floor. Nevertheless, even the weaker stories contain moments of sharp levity and intense insight, reminders of the heights the author can achieve when he is able to sustain his immense talent. Agent: Julie Barer, the Book Group.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 15, 2017
        Grimly humorous urban morality tales of men behaving badly and marriages on the rocks.In a collection of 11 previously published short stories, six of which appeared in the New Yorker, Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, 2014, etc.) continues the trick of fitting a bleak moral vision into what feels like the setup for a comedy. In the title story, a nasty husband who thinks he knows exactly how his boring evening will play out gets a big surprise from his dinner guests. Similar comeuppance is visited on the protagonist of "A Night Out," whose attempts to hide his serial cheating from his wife are derailed permanently. Both stories unfold as if they were farces, yet in the end they are tragedies. Another pair of stories feature the inner monologues of deeply neurotic protagonists, Woody Allen-esque guys who overthink their ways to disaster, whether among successful film people at a chic Hollywood party ("The Pilot") or with a laconic mover at a storage unit ("A Fair Price"). While most of Ferris' marriages are heading for divorce, he predicts continued heartbreak for a fatherless boy in "Ghost Town Choir" and depicts the long-term effects of broken families in "The Step Child." "On, astonishingly, six other occasions, when his parents met other people, and fell in love, and married, and ordered the instant integration of two families' lives, their laundry, and their lore (and, to often disastrous effect, their DNA)--the Morgans, followed by the Dinardos and the Teahans, on his mother's side; the Winklows, the Andersons, and that insufferable Lee clan, on his father's--he had...[wanted] nothing more than to return to the bunk bed in his first room, where all the linens and the wall shadows had been under a single, steady proprietorship." Ferris has mastered a kind of fictional sucker punch, and he'll get you every time.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 15, 2017
        Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, 2014) has a sure hand when it comes to the nuances of interpersonal relationships. He knows the thin line between awkward and easy, and when silence between two people can be a sign of strain or comfort. Ferris walks this territory so well that we often see our own complicated selves reflected in his writing. His characters in this collection of stories may or may not be in relationships, but it doesn't matterthey're almost all lonely and mired in self-doubt. In A Night Out, Tom and Sophie's marriage is on thin ice, a fact made worse by an unfortunate series of circumstances that sinks him into deeper trouble as the evening wears on. In Life in the Heart of the Dead, a fortysomething man finds that his life is of little consequence as he spends an afternoon on a guided tour of Prague. Though Ferris' assured collection may seem laced with hints of despair, the stories are full and rounded, sad but often also tinged with humor and rich in empathy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2017

        One of The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 writers and a National Book Award finalist, Ferris piques our interest by going short for the first time. These pieces explore what happens after the big crash-and-burn moments in our lives. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2017

        This collection captures the male perspective of a complex and emotional world. The stories speak of unhappiness, trauma, mistrust, deception, and love. Many of Ferris's male subjects have been damaged by early childhood events and repeated disappointments. The choices they make in their current lives are dictated by experiences of the past. They often seem mystified by others in their lives, especially women. The main protagonist's perception of an event doesn't always accurately reflect reality. This results in a variety of unexpected outcomes. From the failed dinner party in the title story and the search for the meaning of life on a walking tour of Prague, to the middle manager who never got a life, each story captures a glimpse of the inner workings of the human psyche. Multi-prize-winning novelist Ferris (To Rise Again at a Decent Hour) provides insights small and satisfying in these bite-sized stories that evoke real life and bottomless human emotion. VERDICT Fiction lovers, especially fans of the short form, will appreciate this anthology. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/16.]--Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
Stories
popularity
525
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
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