The Times Are Never So Bad: A Novella and Eight Short Stories

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Some write fast in multiple drafts, others write slow and edit as they go. Whatever works for you, just get it done. I firmly believe publishing is the most important step to becoming a writer. Instead, what if you got feedback from a writing friend or even by our Becoming Writer community? One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.

Do you like to write short stories? What is your favorite part? Let me know in the comments! You have six other steps to do that. Dubus scrive magnificamente. Leggi, e, come per magia, il film si srotola davanti agli occhi in un rigorosissimo, magnifico, bianco e nero. Jackie, dal college, gli scrive una lettera.

Il padre non torna, rimane a giocare a carte al Club. Un cretino fa una battuta su negri che vanno a nuotare con ginnatrici appese al collo.

Un tempo ha avuto moglie e figli. Insieme a vagonate di frigoriferi e lavatrici, sono arrivati i film View all 4 comments. Mar 24, Brian rated it it was amazing Recommended to Brian by: Kris. Andre Dubus is a master of short fiction. His characters, all of them, have emotional weight and importance. It is almost impossible to make secondary characters in a short story flushed; Dubus does it so effortlessly he makes it look easy. It isn't. As much as I like many of Updike's short stories there are times when his characters are completely inaccessible to me.

Dubus' writing is as good as Updike's, but I'm never reading about someone with whom I can't relate. In this collection, all Andre Dubus is a master of short fiction.

Andre Dubus

Thanks again to Kris and Moira for pointing me in the direction of Dubus. I'm reading his works slowly, savoring them and enjoying the thought of returning to them again and again throughout the years. Storie come luci e ombre dello spirito Storie di cui senti l'incrinazione delle voci , il momento in cui le azioni e i sentimenti non procedono di pari passo View all 7 comments. Truth be told, I bought this just to read the lead novella, "The Pretty Girl," because I'd never read any of Dubus' work.


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This is, in short, a novella of domestic violence, featuring Ray, a workout fanatic and fisherman; and Polly, his waitress wife, now estranged from him. It is told in the first person, but shifts from Ray to Polly and back to Ray, and then, confusingly, a short stretch with Ray's brother at the end. I don't want to give away the ending, but suffice to say this is not a sweet Truth be told, I bought this just to read the lead novella, "The Pretty Girl," because I'd never read any of Dubus' work. I don't want to give away the ending, but suffice to say this is not a sweet and uplifting tale.

It has many good points: Dubus is a master at getting inside people's heads and telling a story in their voices, and Ray's casual brutality and lack of insight make him a chilling figure. But there were also stretches of philosophical literary thumb sucking in Polly's voice that slowed down this story for me and kept me from giving it the highest marks. It is, perhaps, an honest depiction of how an abuser can feel he is a worthwhile human being and a woman can feel she is trapped by her life and circumstances, but it also had a depressing overlay and in the end, I never really understood what made these characters tick.

So, a little meh. Ci sono i bravi scrittori, e poi ci sono i Maestri. La ragazza carina Benedicimi padre Addio Leslie in California Il ragazzo nuovo Il capitano Misteri dolorosi Anna Storia di un padre "Vado alla scrivania, curvo la schiena, e mi dico: cinquanta parole vanno bene. Anche venti, Andre, basta che arrivi a sapere come ci Ci sono i bravi scrittori, e poi ci sono i Maestri. Anche venti, Andre, basta che arrivi a sapere come ci si sente a essere il tuo personaggio.

Jun 09, Charlie Watts rated it it was amazing Shelves: short-story-collections. Rough and tender, hopeless and hopeful, precise, specific, devastating.

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It's so easy to love a book by a man who can make words into magic. Libro I expected better There were two stories that even wore my paiemce and I stopped. I have read Dubus before and really enjoyed his writing. Not allow these stories. Feb 17, Jared rated it really liked it. Mar 07, Ben Merritt rated it liked it Shelves: read-in-ireland.

THE TIMES ARE NEVER SO BAD A Novella and Eight Short Stories

The final story is phenomenal. Besides that, my first dive into Dubus' fiction was underwhelming. Jun 24, Rachel Dows rated it really liked it.

Requirements to Writing a Short Story

Horrifyingly depressing but oh so good. Dubus is a genius, plain and simple. Apr 05, Rebecca Smith rated it liked it. Godine, Publisher, Inc. Andre Dubus filled his book with stories about average people. Each story was well written and the use of imagery was effective, but they were only as effective as the subject matter could take them. You can do it, too. Try new ideas. Get out of your comfort zone. Ah, the slush pile. That stagnant swamp in which your novel goes to die.

And how will it stand out you ask? Is it the amazing plot? The acerbic wit of your protagonist? That flawless query letter? Overworked assistants. Underpaid interns. Dull-eyed college students with a trigger finger on the rejection stamp. Why should they read yours? Having a short story published in a literary journal or anthology can tip the odds in your favor. I get it. So do I. But what if the brilliant thread for that award-winning novel is waiting to be revealed in your next short?

Remember that twelve opportunity thing? It applies to novel ideas, too. Within each short is a living, breathing world just begging for room to expand, to grow. Characters that stand up and grab you by the shirt collar and demand you let them tell their stories. Shorts are basically well thought out brainstorming sessions. Ones you can use for your next novel.

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Rejection hurts. Your first will likely sting. As will your next. And your next…and, yes, probably the next.

by Dubus, Andre

Resilience, baby! Look at it like dating—each rejection gets you closer to that ever-elusive soul-mate publication. Even better, with each rejection you get to refine your approach: improved cover letters, plot summaries that pack punch, which stories get no personal feedback a pretty big indicator it needs revision. You can do this.