You Think That's Bad

You Think That's Bad

Stories

Book - 2011
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Following Like You'd Understand, Anyway --awarded the Story Prize and a finalist for the National Book Award--Jim Shepard returns with an even more wildly diverse collection of astonishingly observant stories. Like an expert curator, he populates the vastness of human experience--from its bizarre fringes and lonely, breathtaking pinnacles to the hopelessly mediocre and desperately below average--with brilliant scientists, reluctant soldiers, workaholic artists, female explorers, depraved murderers, and deluded losers, all wholly convincing and utterly fascinating.

A "black world" operative at Los Alamos isn't allowed to tell his wife anything about his daily activities, but he can't resist sharing her intimate confidences with his work buddy. A young Alpine researcher falls in love with the girlfriend of his brother, who was killed in an avalanche he believes he caused. An unlucky farm boy becomes the manservant of a French nobleman who's as proud of his military service with Joan of Arc as he's aroused by the slaughter of children. A free-spirited autodidact, grieving her lost sister, traces the ancient steps of a ruthless Middle Eastern sect and becomes the first Western woman to travel the Arabian deserts. From the inventor of the Godzilla epics to a miserable G.I. in New Guinea, each comes to realize that knowing better is never enough.

Enthralling and unfailingly compassionate, You Think That's Bad traverses centuries, continents, and social strata, but the joy and struggle that Shepard depicts with such devastating sensitivity--all the heartbreak, alienation, intimacy, and accomplishment--has a universal resonance.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307594822
0307594823
Branch Call Number: FIC/SHEPARD
Characteristics: 225 p. ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: You think that is bad

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ralphdyer
Mar 29, 2013

In my mind there is no question that Shepard write well - it's just that I'm not sure what he is all about! Almost dropped the book after reading the first 2 stories; but, then I persevered and read most of the rest. Quite enjoyed them, even if I didn't really get the point.

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