The Sadness of Beautiful Things: Stories
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
An exquisite new collection of short stories from award-winning author Simon Van Booy. Over the past decade, Simon Van Booy has been listening to people's stories. With these personal accounts as a starting point, he has crafted a powerful collection of short fiction that takes readers into the innermost lives of everyday people. From a family saved from ruin by a mysterious benefactor, to a downtrodden boxer who shows unexpected kindness to a mugger, these masterfully written tales reveal not only the precarious balance maintained between grief and happiness in our lives, but also how the echoes of personal tragedy can shape us for the better. "Van Booy's stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking." —Los Angeles Times "Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart." —Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/02/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525504863
ASIN:
B079KTRKCX
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11
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Grouped Work ID:
092797dd-001f-c616-1128-49f758544110
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Needs Update?:
Yes
Date Added:
Sep 27, 2018 16:28:11
Date Updated:
Jun 26, 2019 10:40:38
Last Metadata Check:
Jun 22, 2019 00:55:24
Last Metadata Change:
Feb 07, 2019 18:50:09
Last Availability Check:
Jun 22, 2019 00:55:27
Last Availability Change:
Jun 19, 2019 10:16:48

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The Sadness of Beautiful Things
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title
The Sadness of Beautiful Things
fullDescription
An exquisite new collection of short stories from award-winning author Simon Van Booy.

Over the past decade, Simon Van Booy has been listening to people's stories. With these personal accounts as a starting point, he has crafted a powerful collection of short fiction that takes readers into the innermost lives of everyday people. From a family saved from ruin by a mysterious benefactor, to a downtrodden boxer who shows unexpected kindness to a mugger, these masterfully written tales reveal not only the precarious balance maintained between grief and happiness in our lives, but also how the echoes of personal tragedy can shape us for the better.

"Van Booy's stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking." —Los Angeles Times

"Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart." —Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2018

        I'm a big fan of Van Booy's smart fiction, and his second story collection won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. So check out this new group, inspired by strangers' anecdotes, showing how life can be shot through with sudden moments of joy or sorrow.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2018
        Stories of brief bonds forged in unlikely places.In his latest collection, Van Booy (Father's Day, 2016, etc.) examines the threads that tie people together. Such threads take different forms: a meaningful blanket, a fateful ride, an anonymous gift. In "The Pigeon," a man shares a meal with his would-be mugger. In "The Saddest Case of True Love," a postcard reminds a man of a chance encounter years earlier. Many stories in the book feel thin. "The Pigeon" is more scene than story. "The Hitchhiker" takes a similar structure and feels similarly underdeveloped. On the other end of the spectrum is "Not Dying," a standout. There, Lenny tries desperately to protect his wife and daughter even as he loses his grip on the world around him. He contemplates the likelihood of a pending apocalypse and ends up arriving at some profound insights. Death, not love, is "the forever part," he thinks. "Love was just something tiny and bright with eternity on all sides." Van Booy points out twice that these stories are based on real people's lives: first in the preface and, later, with more specifics, in an author's note to "Not Dying." The purpose of these gestures is unclear; they don't add dimension to the flat characters, and the more dynamic characters, like Lenny, feel real enough as is. In any case, one of the book's eight stories could not have been based too closely on reality. "Playing with Dolls" is the sole foray into science fiction and future technologies. While it shares some similar themes with the other stories, it makes for an odd fit.A slim collection featuring tales of loneliness and longing based, largely, on real people.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 27, 2018
        Van Booy’s latest (after 2017’s Father’s Day) is a thoroughly satisfying story collection inspired by personal anecdotes the author has heard from strangers. The sometimes otherworldly tales showcase misery tinged with a silver lining of hope. In “Playing with Dolls,” a couple whose daughter died in an accident brings home a robot replica of her. In “The Green Blanket,” an elderly man with melancholia is successfully treated by a doctor who prescribes magical eyewear. In “The Doorman,” a world-famous musician and a blind pianist are connected through the pianist’s recently deceased doorman. Van Booy also explores how encounters with strangers can haunt someone’s life: in “The Hitchhiker,” a man on his way to Scotland for a job makes a connection with the woman who gives him a ride but fails to act on it, and in “The Saddest Case of True Love,” a man receives news of a death from a woman who once showed him around Florence. Van Booy sometimes takes a maudlin turn, as in “The Pigeon,” an unconvincing story about a boxer who chooses to take the man who mugged him under his wing. But Van Booy succeeds more often than he falters, making this a vivid collection. Fans of heartfelt stories with a hint of science fiction will find much to enjoy.

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shortDescription
An exquisite new collection of short stories from award-winning author Simon Van Booy.

Over the past decade, Simon Van Booy has been listening to people's stories. With these personal accounts as a starting point, he has crafted a powerful collection of short fiction that takes readers into the innermost lives of everyday people. From a family saved from ruin by a mysterious benefactor, to a downtrodden boxer who shows unexpected kindness to a mugger, these masterfully written tales reveal not only the precarious balance maintained between grief and happiness in our lives, but also how the echoes of personal tragedy can shape us for the better.

"Van Booy's stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking." —Los Angeles Times

"Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart." —Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a...
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