Cloudbursts: Collected and New Stories

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From one of America’s most prolific and interesting writers comes this collection of short stories. Most of his stories are set in the Western states and depict the lives of families who function emotionally to the west of normalcy. Each story and family is unique, although the stories feel chronological and biographical. The first stories are set in early adolescence. The stories have the ambiance of dusty roads and pickup trucks. This also means that many of the stories are not politically correct; there are hints of misogyny and racism. Although the story “On A Dirt Road” quite turns the tables on a chauvinist husband. From the story “The Refugee”: “A calming spell of defeat overtook him as he lay on his back looking up at the sail as it passed the stars. Though he recognized them all, he was somewhat absorbed as they flowed in one side of the sail and out the other with a purpose—though not his, of course; he had no purpose.” Like many of the big, seemingly invincible heroes of McGuane’s stories, there is an underlying vulnerability that is well crafted and deeply understood.

McGuane’s masterful command of the story and language is eminently readable. Many stories will be familiar to readers of Esquire and The New Yorker. If there is such a thing, McGuane is a born storyteller. This will be an essential addition to any library and a welcome addition to the guest room’s bedside table.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 576 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-Mar-06
ISBN 9780385350211 Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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