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Sorry Please Thank You: Stories
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2012
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

From the National Book Award–⁠winning author of Interior Chinatown, comes a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories.
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have what it takes to be a hero? . . . A company outsources grief for profit, its slogan: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.”
 
Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, and in Sorry Please Thank You he fills his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in this new collection we have resounding proof that he has arrived (via a wormhole in space-time) as a major new voice in American fiction.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/24/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307907189
ASIN:
B00735H69S
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Charles Yu. (2012). Sorry Please Thank You: Stories. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Charles Yu. 2012. Sorry Please Thank You: Stories. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Charles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You: Stories. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Charles Yu. Sorry Please Thank You: Stories. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2012.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. 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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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText:

        CHARLES YU is the author of four books, including Interior Chinatown (the winner of the 2020 National Book Award for fiction), and the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (a New York Times Notable Book and a Time magazine best book of the year). He received the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award and was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the HBO series, Westworld. He has also written for shows on FX, AMC, and HBO. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and Wired, among other publicationsTogether with TaiwaneseAmerican.org, he established the Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Writing Prizes, in honor of his parents.

      • name: Charles Yu
imprint
Vintage
publishDate
2012-07-24T00:00:00-04:00
isOwnedByCollections
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title
Sorry Please Thank You
fullDescription

From the National Book Award–⁠winning author of Interior Chinatown, comes a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories.
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have what it takes to be a hero? . . . A company outsources grief for profit, its slogan: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.”
 
Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, and in Sorry Please Thank You he fills his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in this new collection we have resounding proof that he has arrived (via a wormhole in space-time) as a major new voice in American fiction.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Review of Books
      • content: "What Charles Yu does very well--it is a long list, but this may be its most notable entry--is to create strange and disturbingly normal alternate realities. In his first novel, How To Live Safely In a Science Fictional Universe, Yu conceived of Minor Universe 31, a universe filled with people widely, albeit unhappily, using time machines. He took sci-fi theories and ran them through a sort of literary normalizer, applying ample wit, pop-culture references, psychological insight, metaphorical flair, and a vital sweetness (his young, isolated protagonist, in search of his father, even has a stray dog for a pet). Overflowing with quasi-scientific jargon, the novel was exciting and funny and, at times, downright spooky, much like the quantum theories that Yu invoked. But most of all, for a story about a time travel mechanic, it was unfailingly realistic. . . . In his new collection of stories, Sorry Please Thank You, Yu no longer constrains himself to the pre-requisites...
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "There's some of the cerebral gamesmanship of Jonathan Lethem, the resigned sadness of Kurt Vonnegut, the Phil Dickian paranoiac distrust of consumer culture. But Yu's voice, sensibility and approach are unique, especially in the ways he wrings humor and pathos out of stripped-down syntax and seemingly passive protagonists . . . The stories deliver more than their fair share of bitter laughs, philosophical conundrums and existential gut punches."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 14, 2012
        In his new story collection, Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe) draws from both sci-fi and literature to conjure a world of emotionally stunted people, unable or unwilling to cope with reality and the love or loss that it entails. With somewhat mixed results, the book charts eclectic territory, from a zombie in a megamart to a new pharmaceutical drug that generates a sense of purpose, and explores retreats from reality and emotion. In “Standard Loneliness Package,” Yu imagines a technology that transfers guilt, heartbreak, and other bad feelings onto the employees of an “emotional engineering firm” based in India. In “Adult Contemporary,” which recalls George Saunders, a man trying to buy a new life realizes that he’s a character in someone else’s story. Less successful stories delve into the workings of fiction itself; Yu wrestles with ethics as he imagines himself as a character struggling against his author in “Human for Beginners.” At their best, the tales amusingly send up American consumer culture, but Yu’s fondness for self-reference and literary games leads to some dead ends. While Yu’s imaginative allegories are mostly too obvious to be genuinely thought provoking, they’re nonetheless an impressive sendup of contemporary life. Agent: Gary Heidt, Signature Literary Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2012
        Science fiction goes postmodern in this story collection from Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, 2010, etc.). Using various narrative strategies (though all but one of these 13 stories is written in the first person), Yu explores provisional identities (including those of a character named Charles Yu) in multiple universes, typically employing a conversational style that makes for easy reading even when the themes are troubling or the formalistic elements challenging. In one story, "Note to Self," a writer begins writing "Dear Alternate Self," before the response he receives suggests that his alternate self may simply be another dimension of himself, and then, later, that the person to whom he's actually writing is the reader: "We are correspondents corresponding in our corresponding universes. Is that what writing is? A collaboration between selves across the multiverse?" Where some stories just seem like gamesmanship, literary parlor tricks, one of the shorter and best ones, "Open," strikes an existential chord in its meditation on words and what they signify, in its epiphany that "It was like we were actors in a play with no audience." A couple stories offer heroic epics for the video game generation, while the longest, "Human For Beginners," begins as a chapter in a self-help book on dynamics within extended families, proceeds into an inquiry on the identity of Charles Yu, and culminates in unanswerable questions such as "What is possible? What is conceivable? Do all worlds have rules? Do dreams?" A collection of playful stories that often have a dark undercurrent. Far out, man.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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

        February 1, 2012

        Expect the author of the weirdly imaginative How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe to come up with stories that are...weirdly imaginative. Here, a company outsources grief for profit ("Don't feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you"), and an employee working the night shift at a big-box store has an easier time with a zombie than the girl he wants to date. Since Science Fictional Universe was a New York Times Notable Book, a Discover and Indie Next pick, no. 22 on Amazon's Top 100 of 2010, and more, this should get attention; with a five-city tour.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2012
        In his buzzed-about debut, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (2010), Yu experimented with literary narration in a digressive novel about time travel. His whimsically sad and comically inventive first story collection delivers more of his satiric obsession with nerd culture and science as he explores losers, loners, and lovers in the digital age. The CEO of a pharmaceutical company speaks before potentially soon-to-be-laid-off employees about the company's research into depression. A space officer whose wife is expecting their first child is promoted to yeoman, a position with a job description that implied he'll die during his first week. An unhappily married couple discovers a door in their apartment that leads to an alternate reality where they theoretically experience happiness. And in the title story, a desperate man pens a suicide note to a hypothetical lover in the hopes that someone will long for him, if even only posthumously. Yu's bold, playful voice evokes a computer-era Donald Barthelme, but his stylistic journey into the vast universe that is the human mind is refreshingly distinctive.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

popularity
123
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shortDescription

From the National Book Award–⁠winning author of Interior Chinatown, comes a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories.
A big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have what it takes to be a hero? . . . A company outsources grief for profit, its slogan: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.”
 
Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, and in Sorry Please Thank You he fills his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and...

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