To ask other readers questions about The Collected Stories , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Collected Stories. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Collected Stories. Sep 02, Tim rated it it was amazing.
This book kicked my ass. I was reading it while it was cold, and several of the stories use cold as part of the feeling, and I was reading it during some serious emotional turmoil, and much of the book deals with emotional turmoil, but usually subdued, quiet turmoil, boiling beneath the surface and coming out in the stupid little ways it usually does in real life. This guy knew how to capture the embarrassing feelings of futility and shame and hyper self-awareness that I'm scared of and hate fee This book kicked my ass.
This guy knew how to capture the embarrassing feelings of futility and shame and hyper self-awareness that I'm scared of and hate feeling. But I couldn't stop. It was so good. Sometimes I could only read 5 pages at a time because it was too close to home. View 1 comment. Apr 03, Mary rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , Yates makes my soul weep. View all 13 comments. Jun 06, Andrew added it Shelves: american-fiction , american-short-stories.
Richard Yates was a man of my Dad's generation, a group of anxious men too young to qualify for the Greatest Generation and too old to be hippies. And damn could he write about that generation. Yates' world is full of rich, humane portraits of whole classes of people I've never met, drunk World War II vets and blue collar Jersey housewives in the '40s and Depression-era New York street kids.
And yet, unlike his contemporary Updike, Yates was never a flashy writer. His turns of phrase Richard Yates was a man of my Dad's generation, a group of anxious men too young to qualify for the Greatest Generation and too old to be hippies.
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His turns of phrase aren't especially witty and I don't find myself reeling at his technique. Instead, he just relied on a remarkable ear for dialogue and a deep feeling for the unexpressed desires of the people around him, a little like the sort of thing Cassavetes was doing in his films a little later. There are a great many recurring elements in Yates' stories You feel like he only had so many stories in him, and he had to borrow from his other stories from time to time.
In a less talented writer this would be a dealbreaker, but with this man, it's just a minor annoyance.
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Sep 01, Kimberly Faith rated it it was amazing. I identify so deeply with the writing of Richard Yates and am ashamed to just now read his collected stories.
To read the stories is to admit that Yates drew the bulk of his material from his life experience: World War II, tuberculosis, Hollywood screenwriting, failed marriages, and a dash of current events. He compares his adventures to those of F. Scott Fitzgerald fun for Fitzgerald nuts like me.
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From his salty-hut of a writing studio by Malibu beach to the drama of Beverly Hills and the glamour of expensive hotel-bar cocktails after a day of work, he makes me miss LA only I know that it is his LA and not a shade close to the one I had. The collection has a wonderful introduction by Richard Russo, a writer clearly inspired by Yates.
In the introduction, Russo recalls that his former student at the Iowa Writer's Workshop, John McNally, collected used copies of Yates books so that he could hand them to anyone who hadn't discovered what a terrific writer he was yet. I find this charming and funny as Yates is brilliant but certainly not for everyone.
Just like Mother
His greatest gifts are his keen observation and his ability to humiliate his characters. He will not look away from a character's worst suffering. And, the suffering is almost always sourced from loneliness and the variant directions of trouble that one feeling can push us towards. And little did I know until now, that Yates died not too far from me in Alabama when I was ten-years-old. He'd been teaching while in poor health at the University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa. I like to imagine that all those childhood trips to see Bama games in Tuscaloosa also held the sight of an aged Richard Yates passing me by.
I doubt it but it's a nice thought. One last anecdote before quotes is that in college my mom took an active interest in what I was reading.
Dear Richard Yates, where are the goddamned epiphanies that I paid for? – The War on Loneliness
She put down her pot boilers and was floored by books like The Bell Jar and stories by Harold Brodkey. Sylvia Plath considered her book a pot boiler and while it may be overly modified for my now MFA-critic self, it still holds a dear place for me.
I doubt my mom admitted her new favorite reading to her P. A friends she was the President but it's remarkable how many women of her time looked for mystery novels less out of their craving for the macabre but their fear of how nuanced realism would make them feel. I have friends to this day that I'm sure my writing and others writing depresses.
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I can't imagine not being able to witness. I didn't realize until a bit after the time of my mom's reading my library that she wasn't just trying to be a friend to me but she was truly marveling over what she had missed by denying her own curiosities for fear of being defined by them. Below are favorite quotes culled from "The Collected Stories" but there are so many more I would have shared were it not for space and not boring you: "She never seemed to lose her temper, but it would almost have been better if she did, for it was the flat, dry, passionless redundancies of her scolding that got everybody down.
Start a story off with "Craig crushed out his cigarette and lunged for the typewriter," and there isn't an editor in the United States who'll feel like reading your next sentence. So don't worry: this is going to be a straight, no-nonsense piece of fiction about a cabdriver, a movie star, and an eminent child psychologist, and that's a promise.
But you'll have to be patient for a minute, because there's going to be a writer in it too. I won't call him "Craig," and I can guarantee that he won't get away with being the only Sensitive Person among the characters, but we're going to be stuck with him right along and you'd better count on his being as awkward and obtrusive as writers nearly always are, in fiction or in life.
I'm talking about something else. Because you see there are millions and millions of people in New York--more people than you can possibly imagine, ever--and most of them are doing something that makes sound. Maybe talking, or playing the radio, maybe closing doors, maybe putting their forks down on their plates if they're having dinner, or dropping their shoes if they're going to bed--and because there are so many of them, all those little sounds add up and come together in a kind of hum.
But it's so faint--so very, very faint--that you can't hear it unless you listen very carefully for a long time. But out mother was ours: we were hers; and we lived with that knowledge as we lay listening for the faint, faint sound of millions. Perhaps a sense of well-earned peace like this was the best part of life itself, the part that made all the rest endurable. But she had always tried to know enough not to kid herself--self-deception was an illness--and so after a couple of drinks she was willing to acknowledge the real nature of those evenings alone: she was waiting for the telephone to ring.
I didn't much like the dependable typist at Botany Mills, or the grudging potato peeler, or the slow, tired woman who frowned over the ironing board to prove how poor we were. And I didn't want to be married to anyone, ever, who said things like, "Oh, you can take care of what? Dec 28, Philippe Malzieu rated it it was amazing. I did not know Richard Yates before finding this book in a bookseller in Provence. This short novels are a true happiness. Mad Men athmosphere with frigid blonde women and neurotic men.
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It is perfectly written. For a lover of American literature it is the missing link between Tennessee William and Raymond Carver. A true discovery. View all 8 comments. Story: This book brings together stories that were published in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love, as well as several previously unpublished stories. Almost without an exception, each of these stories features one of the following: struggling writers, tuberculosis, the army, siblings, and cheating husbands and wives.
Opinion: I find it hard to say anything meaningful about Yates, because anything I do say will never live up to what this man has written. If you've read Revol Story: This book brings together stories that were published in Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love, as well as several previously unpublished stories.
If you've read Revolutionary Road and if you haven't, you should be right now you know what's in store for you: sadness, stories that betray your sense of hope, characters who will break your heart. From my plot description you probably get the impression that the settings and characters are repetitive, but that's where the magic lies.
Even though several stories take place in a TB ward full of sick men, they all paint a different picture. The only thing they have in common is how incredibly depressing they are, and when a book can evoke that much emotion, it's golden. Oct 30, Bojan Gacic rated it really liked it. The short comment only regards ''The Uncollected Stories'' Returning to Yates is both pleasure and a privilege. A collection of nine stories, discovered at James Madison University, bears no novelties, but reaffirm why we enjoy the painful exactness of his prose.
As the most stifled and hidden American novelist he further establishes himself as a supreme chronicler of human disappointment. View 2 comments. Jul 16, Robert rated it it was amazing Shelves: short-stories , richard-yates. The best of these stories - and many of them are wonderful - ring painfully, awkwardly, authentically true. Yates was a master of dialogue and an uncanny observer of the fragility of the human ego.
I only have 3 books left in his oeuvre to read and that sort of makes me sad, but I also have Blake Bailey's big fat Yates biography on hand to plow through afterward. So that gives me comfort. It is a must-read for fans of the short story form, 5 stars. Nov 09, Miriam rated it really liked it.