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Going For a Beer: Selected Short Fictions

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Robert Coover has been playing by his own rules for more than half a century, earning the 1987 Rea Award for the Short Story as “a writer who has managed, willfully and even perversely, to remain his own man while offering his generous vision and versions of America.” Here, in this selection of his best stories, you will find an invisible man tragically obsessed by an invi Robert Coover has been playing by his own rules for more than half a century, earning the 1987 Rea Award for the Short Story as “a writer who has managed, willfully and even perversely, to remain his own man while offering his generous vision and versions of America.” Here, in this selection of his best stories, you will find an invisible man tragically obsessed by an invisible woman; a cartoon man in a cartoon car who runs over a real man who is arrested by a real policeman with cartoon eyes; a stick man who reinvents the universe. While invading the dreams and nightmares of others, Coover cuts to the core of how realism works.


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Robert Coover has been playing by his own rules for more than half a century, earning the 1987 Rea Award for the Short Story as “a writer who has managed, willfully and even perversely, to remain his own man while offering his generous vision and versions of America.” Here, in this selection of his best stories, you will find an invisible man tragically obsessed by an invi Robert Coover has been playing by his own rules for more than half a century, earning the 1987 Rea Award for the Short Story as “a writer who has managed, willfully and even perversely, to remain his own man while offering his generous vision and versions of America.” Here, in this selection of his best stories, you will find an invisible man tragically obsessed by an invisible woman; a cartoon man in a cartoon car who runs over a real man who is arrested by a real policeman with cartoon eyes; a stick man who reinvents the universe. While invading the dreams and nightmares of others, Coover cuts to the core of how realism works.

30 review for Going For a Beer: Selected Short Fictions

  1. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Russell

    If there ever was a short-short story portraying life as a cycle of mindless activities, this is it. An alternate title: Kill the Depth. Life devoid of tenderness and warmth, not to mention love and compassion; life devoid of literature and the arts; life devoid of spiritual transformation. Life as a round of numbness and the tawdry leading to the last scene where you are on your deathbed and your son stops in for a quick visit to tell you, in so many words, your passing is probably for the best If there ever was a short-short story portraying life as a cycle of mindless activities, this is it. An alternate title: Kill the Depth. Life devoid of tenderness and warmth, not to mention love and compassion; life devoid of literature and the arts; life devoid of spiritual transformation. Life as a round of numbness and the tawdry leading to the last scene where you are on your deathbed and your son stops in for a quick visit to tell you, in so many words, your passing is probably for the best since you will no longer stand between him and his glass of beer. Did Robert Coover write this story as a warning? Did Robert Coover write this story as a challenge for our age? Does Robert Coover own a collection of Kewpie dolls? This work of fiction might set the Goodreads record for the greatest number of creative reviews for such a short piece. Thank you Ian, Praj, Rakhi, Brian, Warwick, Hadrian, Algernon, Garima, Gautam, Nandaksihore, Rand, MJ, Zrena, Lit and especially Nathan, who brought this Coover zinger to light for many, including myself. UPDATE: Goodreads friend Mark just did post a short review of this Coover gem. Really worth checking out: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Can be read in less than ten minutes courtesy of The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201... Robert Coover, American author par excellence

  2. 5 out of 5

    Praj

    I find myself gaping at the Kewpie dolls thinking about the devilish grin in those angelic eyes. Eight! Perfect circles of heaven. I count them twice before lining them like a bunch of soldiers. Was it that friendly man from the street who gave me these little drops of heaven? Does it really matter? Perry Como keeps calling those dolls like a lost child, “Kew Kew Kewpie dolls...She’s the cutest one of them all!!” Did I already put one of the soldiers in a grave between my teeth? Or were they two I find myself gaping at the Kewpie dolls thinking about the devilish grin in those angelic eyes. Eight! Perfect circles of heaven. I count them twice before lining them like a bunch of soldiers. Was it that friendly man from the street who gave me these little drops of heaven? Does it really matter? Perry Como keeps calling those dolls like a lost child, “Kew Kew Kewpie dolls...She’s the cutest one of them all!!” Did I already put one of the soldiers in a grave between my teeth? Or were they two? Do I remember their deathly orgasm? The yellow stain transforms into a fluorescent rainbow through the green spout of the bottle thrust in between my lips. I can't remember the mustard on my shirt. It’s proof exposed on my shirt, the howl of the wounded dog echoing the cry of a baby for a warm bottle of milk. He hates the bar food, the taste festers a stale vomit. I serve him a turkey on rye with mustard, every time he walks in that bar. Did he eventually fuck that lady who keeps the Kewpie dolls lined like soldiers in her apartment? The smell of stale urine pervade the foggy streets, I need eight more of my soldiers. I need to drown them in a tipple chasm. Those Kewpies they follow me everywhere. In the arms of the child, on the hospital beds ,in the womb of a woman as she walks down the aisle. One more drink. A punch in the face. A celebratory drink. A child is born. Life passes by. Death lurks. Perry Como sways to a bunch of dancing puppets. I stagger on the streets with a dart stuck in my neck. Did he really fuck those women? Doesn't he remember those orgasms after the crazy carnival wins? The man at the bar. The one who remembers my mustard stain. The stench of my dried blood. The man at the bar. I don't know, maybe he’ll have another one. “Well...you know...life” ; I’m going for a beer. Are you?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lit Bug

    New Review Lit Bug finds herself sitting on the chair with GR at the same time she was thinking of logging in. In fact, she was done with it. Perhaps she would take a second look, maybe a third too. There is a review sitting not far from her, from someone she came across only recently, which is not exactly good-looking but good-looking enough, and probably the link for the story is good to read, as indeed it is. Did she already read this? Can’t remember. Did she enjoy her readorgasm? Or even have New Review Lit Bug finds herself sitting on the chair with GR at the same time she was thinking of logging in. In fact, she was done with it. Perhaps she would take a second look, maybe a third too. There is a review sitting not far from her, from someone she came across only recently, which is not exactly good-looking but good-looking enough, and probably the link for the story is good to read, as indeed it is. Did she already read this? Can’t remember. Did she enjoy her readorgasm? Or even have one? She wonders this as she meanders through other reviews of the story, GR bottle in hand, when she notices kewpie doll-“likes” all around the reviews! She wins one too, for her tiny review, but some others seem to have won more. So she goes out once more and wins one more after an hour. On her third date with GR, Bug wins a comment! But a group of brawny/brainy reviewers begin to harass others’ reviews with a deluge of likes and (lewd? Nah!) comments (But they were lolling their tongues in praise!). She intervenes and ends up in a hospital with GR turning up to meet her with one more like – she logs in again, and at their wedding, the brawny-brainy reviewers apologize to her and bring them a gift coupon for two Amazon ebooks by Coover and a pair of white satin ribbons for her injured reviews. With added responsibilities, she leaves GR and has a brief affair with another site, and by the time she returns, she finds all the kewpie likes and comments scattered around and GR has left a note saying he better not find her logged in by the time she returns. One of the reviews is crying, so she goes to edit it again, smooth it out, rambles about GR and decides it is best to leave. Out in the matrix again, she wonders if she saved the editing she had done on the review and if she had even edited it at all. On her way she sees others like her beckoning her to another wonderful site, where they congratulate each other on being freed from terrible spouses – they write a few more reviews and get more readorgasms. Then one of her old GR reviews (the one on Going for a Beer) turns up at her deathbed and, apologizing for arriving too late (s/he had gone for a beer and things happened), says s/he’s going to miss her but it’s probably for the best. For the best what? she asks, but her review is gone, if s/he was ever there in the first place. Well . . . you know . . . life, she says to the nurse who has come to pull the sheet over her face and wheel her away. --------------------------------------------------------------- I wouldn't know how to review this, but this has been one of the most memorable stories I've ever read. If ever anyone asks me what postmodernism (p-mod) is, I'll now direct them to this, instead of the Wiki guru. It is simply p-mod in action, in fiction. You won't know what actually happened - all versions seem true enough - but is there any one truth? Or are all of them facets of truth? Or are any of them the truth? I'm not so sure, and neither should you be. If you want to forget something, don't go for a beer - go for a Coover. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Read the story here - Going for a Beer

  4. 4 out of 5

    Warwick

    It's nice to see that I can still get excited about narrative tricksiness from time to time. This was wonderful. Who would have thought such an elliptical prose style could conceal such comic potential? Funny, clever and moving...Coover has been on my radar since I started reading Rikki Ducornet (who seems to be his biggest fan) but this makes me determined to track him down properly. Clear fifteen minutes in your day, pour yourself a beer, and read it here, unless you've already done so, it's ha It's nice to see that I can still get excited about narrative tricksiness from time to time. This was wonderful. Who would have thought such an elliptical prose style could conceal such comic potential? Funny, clever and moving...Coover has been on my radar since I started reading Rikki Ducornet (who seems to be his biggest fan) but this makes me determined to track him down properly. Clear fifteen minutes in your day, pour yourself a beer, and read it here, unless you've already done so, it's hard to tell.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    He finds himself sitting in the neighborhood library reading a Coover novel at about the same time that he began to think about going there to look for one. In fact, he has just finished The Public Burning. Perhaps he’ll read a second one, he thinks, a Coover light, as he finishes Briar Rose. There is a young woman sitting not far from him who is not exactly good-looking but good-looking enough, and probably good with the Dewey Decimal system, as indeed she is. Did he finish Spanking the Maid? C He finds himself sitting in the neighborhood library reading a Coover novel at about the same time that he began to think about going there to look for one. In fact, he has just finished The Public Burning. Perhaps he’ll read a second one, he thinks, a Coover light, as he finishes Briar Rose. There is a young woman sitting not far from him who is not exactly good-looking but good-looking enough, and probably good with the Dewey Decimal system, as indeed she is. Did he finish Spanking the Maid? Can’t remember. What really matters is: Did he enjoy Ghost Town? Or even read it? “I’m looking for a Coover-light,” he tells the comely woman who is also quite homely. “You’ve come to the right place,” she says as she pulls the beer tap handle and fills his glass. “One Silver Bullet, on the house.” He finds himself trying to explain the error when the werewolf to his left points to the glass. “What exactly did you have in mind with that?” He tries to explain. “I’m here for a Coover-light.” The werewolf hands him Gerald’s Party which he has read. “Lighter,” he says. “Why didn’t you say so?” asks the werewolf. His meaty, hairy hands paw through a New Yorker to this page. “Going for a beer is what you’re looking for.” He reads it, has read it. “Would you like another?” asks the werewolf. “No thanks, this one’s gone to my head,” he says as he drives past the neighborhood library and thinks about stopping in, for old time’s sake, to discuss again The Origin of the Brunists with the lovely librarian who is also quite hirsute. So he finishes Noir right as the library is shutting down and he is in his car looking at the full moon through the windshield and he howls out the words to Pinocchio in Venice just as the beautifully monstrous librarian taps on his window and says, “I finally found your Coover-light.” He rolls down the window and she hands him The Colonel’s Daughter. “All this Coover really works up a thirst,” he says. “You’ve come to the right place,” she says as she pulls the beer tap handle and fills his glass.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rakhi Dalal

    How the hell am I going to sneak that glass after the “Happy Hour” has been announced closed? I wait for the diligent bartender to turn his back, my eyes following his hands as he gets busy with a sudden rush of people coming in to have a glass of beer. Seems like every one wants to have….well…you know…a life. Meandering, the eyes settle on a brawny (brainy?) dude with a glass of beer in one hand and in another a copy of Coover. The bartender’s eyes catch my ocular digression and for whatever re How the hell am I going to sneak that glass after the “Happy Hour” has been announced closed? I wait for the diligent bartender to turn his back, my eyes following his hands as he gets busy with a sudden rush of people coming in to have a glass of beer. Seems like every one wants to have….well…you know…a life. Meandering, the eyes settle on a brawny (brainy?) dude with a glass of beer in one hand and in another a copy of Coover. The bartender’s eyes catch my ocular digression and for whatever reason, he slips a glass for free before me. Yay! Oops!! Does he notice my sudden exclamation? I mean the brawny dude? Perhaps. For he does ask me out or doesn’t he? His leave, from my room, the next morning comes with a dull ache in the heart. I think about the Kewpi doll cast in gold that we decided to gift N.R. while sitting in the bar; we, the friends, joining in the party to celebrate Coover. Let us have another round, says Kalliope. Hmmm….how many kewpi dolls will make a life? My head spins, but I move on to join Praj for the beer. Who else is coming?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    too short a story to write a big review about it: Guy walks into a bar ... Life flashes before his eyes ... What a sorry joke! Lovely dolls (never owned a Kelpie myself, but I'll buy one if I ever see them in a toystore, now) watch out for more from Robert Coover. too short a story to write a big review about it: Guy walks into a bar ... Life flashes before his eyes ... What a sorry joke! Lovely dolls (never owned a Kelpie myself, but I'll buy one if I ever see them in a toystore, now) watch out for more from Robert Coover.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20... is the link, thanks to Melki, to a short experimental and funny and insightful and even touching story about a guy who went out for a beer and another and then his life flashed before him, not his past but his future, things tumbling over themselves to get to the end. In part a parody of narrative chronology by narrative scholar and postmodernist Coover. Way fun. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20... is the link, thanks to Melki, to a short experimental and funny and insightful and even touching story about a guy who went out for a beer and another and then his life flashed before him, not his past but his future, things tumbling over themselves to get to the end. In part a parody of narrative chronology by narrative scholar and postmodernist Coover. Way fun.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Garima

    Life in 37 inebriated takes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Mridula

    I had promised myself that I would not review any more books on Goodreads. But since this story is available for free on the internet, "The corporate bookselling entity that shall not be named" will not be able to use my review anyway, in their nefarious money-making schemes. So here is my review, for what it's worth... This magical little tale reminded me of the play Long Christmas Dinner by Thornton Wilder. In that, Wilder constructs the life of the few generations of a family around a Christma I had promised myself that I would not review any more books on Goodreads. But since this story is available for free on the internet, "The corporate bookselling entity that shall not be named" will not be able to use my review anyway, in their nefarious money-making schemes. So here is my review, for what it's worth... This magical little tale reminded me of the play Long Christmas Dinner by Thornton Wilder. In that, Wilder constructs the life of the few generations of a family around a Christmas dinner: the characters speak the same daily inanities, love, hate, quarrel, are born and die around the dinner table. It is a dramatic prop which gives us a feeling of the continuity and brevity of life at the same time. Robert Coover uses the same gimmick, although in a more hilarious way, to construct this story. The metaphor here is the act of going for a beer, and casually meeting a woman at the pub: which leads to sex and other things. However, there is a purposeful lack of continuity in the narrative, as the unnamed protagonist keeps on forgetting events and wanders in a daze throughout the tale - it reads like the memory of an evening after a few quick ones at the bar with friends. He only remembers with any clarity the Kewpie dolls present in great number at his first (?) girlfriend (wife)'s flat - he thinks they must mean something, but cannot imagine exactly what. The evening with the beer, the meeting with a woman, sex at her apartment and the forgotten orgasm are repeated ad nauseum, while the protagonist fathers children, marries, divorces, grows old and dies. This story is perfect raw material for a script for a short movie, shot with a series of dissolves; it encapsulates time into a short capsule while at the same time reminding us of eternity. Brilliant!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gautam

    Ah! What? I'm groggy.. Doesn't matter. What matters is: Am I still in my bed reading this short story( or a novel perhaps!) or am I drinking a beer at the nearby pub now? Anyways, I, confused, decided to be in bed as I downed my last beer (second one may be fourth perhaps, I'm not sure!). Well... you know....life.. Brilliant. 4 stars on 5! -gautam Ah! What? I'm groggy.. Doesn't matter. What matters is: Am I still in my bed reading this short story( or a novel perhaps!) or am I drinking a beer at the nearby pub now? Anyways, I, confused, decided to be in bed as I downed my last beer (second one may be fourth perhaps, I'm not sure!). Well... you know....life.. Brilliant. 4 stars on 5! -gautam

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hebwood

    Just read it over lunch. Great story - the narrative has a brilliant feel to it, it develops in jumps and starts, then briefly pauses, before jumping again. It feels right that this story is very short - this in itself heightens the impression of being whisked across time, of being hastened towards the end. But "hastened" is the wrong word, isnt it? It's more like all the meaningless episodes in the protagonist's life are simply skipped, and the narrator briefly dwells on those where something i Just read it over lunch. Great story - the narrative has a brilliant feel to it, it develops in jumps and starts, then briefly pauses, before jumping again. It feels right that this story is very short - this in itself heightens the impression of being whisked across time, of being hastened towards the end. But "hastened" is the wrong word, isnt it? It's more like all the meaningless episodes in the protagonist's life are simply skipped, and the narrator briefly dwells on those where something is actually happening. The result is a life compressed into the 10 minutes of actual time it took me to read this, and then it's curtains and I go back to my lunch.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I'm not sure what to make of this. I probably approached it with too literal a frame of mind, but it's very much an alcoholic's nightmare - a life measured by beers in a bar with short bursts of barely remembered ecstasy & pain on the side. Real life is totally missing. This is free here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20... I'm not sure what to make of this. I probably approached it with too literal a frame of mind, but it's very much an alcoholic's nightmare - a life measured by beers in a bar with short bursts of barely remembered ecstasy & pain on the side. Real life is totally missing. This is free here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julio Genao

    the short form at its best. crazy ideas, fearless devices... short enough to keep from bashing your head open, and long enough to make the point. i loved it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mohsin Maqbool

    Robert Coover's "Going for a Beer" is different from anything else I have ever read. It is a simple story about a guy who is addicted to beer and keeps returning to a neighbourhood bar from time to time. But it is so innovative that at first it surprises you the way the story continues. You seem to be travelling on a bullet train where scene after scene flashes from the window next to your seat. You have hardly taken in one scene when the next one hits you like a bolt of lightning. And before yo Robert Coover's "Going for a Beer" is different from anything else I have ever read. It is a simple story about a guy who is addicted to beer and keeps returning to a neighbourhood bar from time to time. But it is so innovative that at first it surprises you the way the story continues. You seem to be travelling on a bullet train where scene after scene flashes from the window next to your seat. You have hardly taken in one scene when the next one hits you like a bolt of lightning. And before you have been able to digest that when another more powerful bolt hits you. Probably flash fiction wouldn't be considered so if it did not flash before your eyes in short but sharp bursts. I only came to know from Glenn's beautiful review that the small rubber doll was known as a Kewpie. I had first seen one when my elder brother had brought one from Frankfurt in 1973 for our one-year-old niece. Mr. Coover's flash fiction is full of them. In fact, the e-book cover is that of a Kewpie doll itself. You are bound to be addicted to Mr. Coover once you have read "Going for a Beer".

  16. 4 out of 5

    LenaRibka

    Did she read it under her table in the office? Can’t remember. What really matters is: Did she enjoy it? Or even have she enough time to understand if she enjoyed it to write a review about it? This she is wondering on her way home driving through the foggy night streets from the shitty company’s office. Here you can get a beer for free!! Did she read it under her table in the office? Can’t remember. What really matters is: Did she enjoy it? Or even have she enough time to understand if she enjoyed it to write a review about it? This she is wondering on her way home driving through the foggy night streets from the shitty company’s office. Here you can get a beer for free!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    The Exhaustion of Literature (and the Decline of the New) Like Coover himself, these stories are "...gloomier than ever, swarthy and self-pitying, agape now with a kind of heroic sadness." His tiresome experiments no longer sustain the dispassionate reader's interest. They're overexposed to too many of his pupils who read and write sycophantically and without insight through his bleary, bloodshot 86 year old eyes. Transcend appropriation. Don't just copy. Don't be derivative. Innovate. Start your The Exhaustion of Literature (and the Decline of the New) Like Coover himself, these stories are "...gloomier than ever, swarthy and self-pitying, agape now with a kind of heroic sadness." His tiresome experiments no longer sustain the dispassionate reader's interest. They're overexposed to too many of his pupils who read and write sycophantically and without insight through his bleary, bloodshot 86 year old eyes. Transcend appropriation. Don't just copy. Don't be derivative. Innovate. Start your own revolution. Tell your own version of a story. Invent your own novel. "Too much genius went into the arrangements." (Saul Bellow) The Glass Canoe I sit in the public bar of the Story Bridge and I look into my glass canoe, and this is what I see. It's a Coopers Pale Ale, draught from the tap, cold, and it's cloudy, but fine. I lift my glass and bring it back down on the bar, and I watch the sediment spread up the middle of the glass and start to fall again. It's a Sunday, and the old timers' jazz band stops, thank heavens, and I see two women leave the bar and walk into the carpark. One of them is wearing a fur coat, blonde hair, bob, she looks too good for the Bridge. Richie keeps an eye on my pot, while I head out into the carpark. "You don't come here often," I say. She laughs. "That's the first time I've heard that line...how could you tell?" "I come here often and I've never seen you before...not that I wasn't looking." Later that night in bed, Wen tells me she's a futures dealer. "How are you going to deal with my future then?" She looks me up and down professionally. "Sorry, I can't give you financial advice, until I determine your risk profile." "That's easy," I say, "It's high." "Good," she replies, "So is mine." I think for the briefest of introspective moments. "So what have I got to do to establish a relationship?" She laughs. "Well, for a start, you could make a deposit into my trust account." I slide back between her arms in a bid to comply. (view spoiler)[Post-Modern Spoiler (Utilising Second Person Narrative Mode) I wake at 6:00am and it's still dark. Damn, it's a public holiday and I don't need to go to work. I could have got a bit more shut-eye. I reach over to your side of the bed. You're not there, but there's a handwritten note on your pillow. "Gone to gym, back at 7:30, if you'd fancy breakfast afterwards." I doze on until 7:00, when I feel the bed sheets being pressed tightly against my chest and throat. It's still dark. I suspect you're being playful, but it's starting to hurt. My grin dissipates as my eyes finally flicker open, and I see someone who is not you. I exclaim, "Judge!" He holds the sheets tighter. Then he shouts, "What the fuck are you doing in my wife's bed?" Um, um, words fail me. I'm sure he won't believe me if I say I was cleaning the windows and I suddenly got really tired. He knows I'm a defence counsel. "Get out, Graye." "I'm sorry, Judge. I didn't know..." "On your bike." "Um, I didn't ride here." He doesn't find this amusing. I can't see my clothes. They're gone. "Well, you're going to have to run home then, aren't you? Butt naked." I look at my watch. Half an hour of darkness left. I could get home, before anybody else is on the road, it being a public holiday. I catch the lift down to ground floor, fortunately nobody sees me. Then in the lobby, I notice a gold Mercedes Convertible sitting in the driveway with the passenger's seat open, facing the entry. How am I going to get past without noticing? I decide the only answer is, quickly. And I start to run, genitalia swinging like dried chillis in the wind. You attract my attention from the driver's seat. You're laughing. My clothes are sitting neatly folded in the passenger's seat. "Get in and get decent. I've got a table booked at Piaf." Confused, I ask, "What about the Judge...I mean your husband?" "Haha, is that what he said? Steve's not my husband, he's my neighbour. But he can be helpful when I need him. He has such an authoritative air, don't you think?" I look at you again. You still look amused. Your hair is beautiful. I feel like Eggs Benedict. I might even have a Bloody Mary. It's too early to go back to the Story Bridge for a beer. (hide spoiler)] Part of the mural at Piaf Restaurant, South Bank, Brisbane David Ireland's "The Glass Canoe" [Unburied] "And now and then, as they drank deeply, they saw in the bottom of the glass, not the face of the man they knew, but the monster within that was waiting and all too willing to be released." "I went to the bar to get us a small fleet of glass canoes to take us where we wanted to go. I thought of the tribes across Australia, each with its own waterhole, its patch of bar, its standing space, its beloved territory. It was a great life." https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... Thank You, Nathan The titular short story is only a few pages long and is freely available from the New Yorker website: http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/feat... Smart=ass Nathan brought it to my attention and effectively challenged me to write a suitable response.(view spoiler)[I wanna see if I can get Ian Graye to read it and write one of those over=sized reviews that have to end up in his My Writings.; ) [smart=ass!] (hide spoiler)] In the meantime, Praj and Lit Bug had already done wonderful responses (which I managed to read only after I had written my own). I encourage you to read Coover's story and respond in your own idiosyncratic way. And when you've done that, don't forget that the man who was capable of such a wonderful story already has a substantial legacy of intelligent, imaginative, playful and humorous works available for our delectation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aditi

    Have you ever seen life on a fast forward motion? Well, I bet, everyone desires the same while on their deathbed. Robert Coover, an American writer, penned a short story, called, Going for a Beer , which is about a man whose life is rolling out like a movie on a fast-forward motion, where you are bound to miss out the important scenes and moments. A man goes out to have a beer or two in his neighborhood bar, where he sees a woman sitting just across him, wondering if she would be good in bed, wha Have you ever seen life on a fast forward motion? Well, I bet, everyone desires the same while on their deathbed. Robert Coover, an American writer, penned a short story, called, Going for a Beer , which is about a man whose life is rolling out like a movie on a fast-forward motion, where you are bound to miss out the important scenes and moments. A man goes out to have a beer or two in his neighborhood bar, where he sees a woman sitting just across him, wondering if she would be good in bed, what follows next is a series of life-events that changes the course of this man's life. This man's story changes from one event to another, more like he is stumbling upon one event after another. Basically due to his hazy and drunkenness state, he stumbles upon the next event of his life in series like, sex, date, more sex, marriage, baby, divorce, death.. The whole story might leave you bit groggy and in a confused state and honestly, in the mid-way, I lost my track. More like reading a puzzle, where we need to anticipate what happens next. Yeah, I agree Rahul more like breath held for long. Some might find it idiotic and funny, yeah, it's idiotic to some extent, but it reflects the emotional aspect of a man's life, so in a way, I felt sad in the end. The prose was more like reading a literary novel. P.S: I can't shed out the images of Kewpie Dolls from my mind. Read the story to find out about the dolls and the drunk man. Here's the link: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201... Again thanks to my GR buddy Rahul for the recommendation.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    Life = a lot of nothing-s happening too fast. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201... Life = a lot of nothing-s happening too fast. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    And so a short word on this collection. As is made very clear by the subtitle, this is Selected Fiction. It's basically a missed opportunity in publishing to collect all of Coover's short fiction, or at least assemble some of the uncollected and more difficult to find fictions or some such systematic criteria. Certainly Coover is of a a stature that deserves a Best Of collection, but he also deserves an Omnibus. Dalkey did it for Barth with Collected Stories. No doubt the thinking was to get Coo And so a short word on this collection. As is made very clear by the subtitle, this is Selected Fiction. It's basically a missed opportunity in publishing to collect all of Coover's short fiction, or at least assemble some of the uncollected and more difficult to find fictions or some such systematic criteria. Certainly Coover is of a a stature that deserves a Best Of collection, but he also deserves an Omnibus. Dalkey did it for Barth with Collected Stories. No doubt the thinking was to get Coover's name in general once more a bit more widely distributed, and hopefully Norton's reach will accomplish that ; because frankly, there is no Usofa-ian fictioneer of a higher caliber (an equal, but not a higher) than Coover. Meanwhile, a lot of recent stuff he's had pub'd in The New Yorker is not included here* ; enough really that could've made its own collection and no doubt once the old bugger croaks we'll get some kind of Complete Final Fiction Collection or something of that nature. I hope we wait a longlong time. Meanwhile, find a few of these unCollected nuggets over at the Coover Group :: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... andandand a new edition of his Rump book (originally pub'd back in the '60's) is issuing forth shortly :: The Cat in the Hat for President: A Political Fable _________ "And true enough, to expand on stories shaped by such contraction as [....] with a story like "Going for a Beer," for example, is inevitably to undo the story itself, not explain or clarify it...For, in a certain way, and as often in Coover's fiction, the title says it, has already said it all, the text as such but a mere footnote, a variation, an investigation, the shadow cast on the page by its title...." --Vanderhaeghe, Robert Coover and the Generosity of the Page, page 557. "....a mere footnote." And would you be the type of careless reader who skips foot-/end-notes? Then Coover'll be quick ; just scan the titles. Heck, you could even skip all of philosophy post-Plato..... "Going for a Beer" http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/feat... * update :: "...and has TWO collections planned after Going for a Beer: one that features his recent New Yorker pieces, like “Invasion of the Martians,” and Son of** A Night at the Movies, a sequel to his classic collection of movie stories." [The PW article/(inter/re)view :: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b... ] ** This phrase should recall Frank Zappa's "Son of" series such as :: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmN5F...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ingie

    3 Stars - for the sake of all the dolls Lena says that this is a fun mini shorty. ‘Well . . . you know . . . life, he says (...)’ Well, it was. Outrageously weird... About life's all tough ifs and buts. I'm not sure I really understand? But it's just two short pages, fast read - and lots of scary Kewpie dolls. ‘Did he finish his beer? Can’t remember. What really matters is: Did he enjoy his orgasm? Or even have one?’ I LIKE - fun and pretty screwed ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To read here: http://www.newyorke 3 Stars - for the sake of all the dolls Lena says that this is a fun mini shorty. ‘Well . . . you know . . . life, he says (...)’ Well, it was. Outrageously weird... About life's all tough ifs and buts. I'm not sure I really understand? But it's just two short pages, fast read - and lots of scary Kewpie dolls. ‘Did he finish his beer? Can’t remember. What really matters is: Did he enjoy his orgasm? Or even have one?’ I LIKE - fun and pretty screwed ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To read here: http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/feat...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alfaniel Aldavan

    Fast and impressive read. I'm still dizzy! And it only takes 5 minutes of your time. It's online for free. In a powerful literary condensed style, the story throws at you words on a page. A mere page, of a lifetime. Grab a beer, as Warwick recommended, or don't grab it, unless you already have, and enjoy it. Fast and impressive read. I'm still dizzy! And it only takes 5 minutes of your time. It's online for free. In a powerful literary condensed style, the story throws at you words on a page. A mere page, of a lifetime. Grab a beer, as Warwick recommended, or don't grab it, unless you already have, and enjoy it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    This is extravagantly funny foolishness. Or is it extravagantly foolish funniness? Something along those lines...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jose Moa

    Perhaps i dont catch the subtleties of the tale,but for me what a brutal existential fable of the loneliness,emptiness,senseless,unhapiness of a life and death

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    If you're a fan of fairy tales, non-linear accounts of time, explicit sexual content, and fine writing, then this is a collection of stories for you. It's sort of like the time that Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Bukowski went on a bender together. You don't remember that? Embrace the style of Coover's writing and you'll know that anything is possible. I wasn't too sure how I felt about the stories but the last five or six were really terrific to me. All of the content is inventive and inte If you're a fan of fairy tales, non-linear accounts of time, explicit sexual content, and fine writing, then this is a collection of stories for you. It's sort of like the time that Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Bukowski went on a bender together. You don't remember that? Embrace the style of Coover's writing and you'll know that anything is possible. I wasn't too sure how I felt about the stories but the last five or six were really terrific to me. All of the content is inventive and interesting; some of it was a little too much for my tastes. My guess is that George Saunders likes this dude.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The usual Coover tropes: fairytales, fabulism, a hefty dose of sadomasochism. You see the arc of his career across this collection taken from a span of decades, and some are definitely stronger than others. I was particularly unsure about the last story in the collection, "Invasion of the Martians" which feels like an attempt to translate the style of The Public Burning to the era of social media and the Republican Senate... it feels flailing. As Abe Simpson once said to a young Homer "I used to The usual Coover tropes: fairytales, fabulism, a hefty dose of sadomasochism. You see the arc of his career across this collection taken from a span of decades, and some are definitely stronger than others. I was particularly unsure about the last story in the collection, "Invasion of the Martians" which feels like an attempt to translate the style of The Public Burning to the era of social media and the Republican Senate... it feels flailing. As Abe Simpson once said to a young Homer "I used to be with it. Then they changed what it was, and what I'm with isn't it."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jucilene

    God!! Those two pages will haunting me for a entirely week, I'm sure! And I'll have nightmares with Kewpie dolls either, with by itself is already PRETTY CREEPY! That doll killed Chuck Norris's doll! And threw it away the box. Thanks again, Lena! hahahahahaha Life is too short, indeed! Let's have a beer! God!! Those two pages will haunting me for a entirely week, I'm sure! And I'll have nightmares with Kewpie dolls either, with by itself is already PRETTY CREEPY! That doll killed Chuck Norris's doll! And threw it away the box. Thanks again, Lena! hahahahahaha Life is too short, indeed! Let's have a beer!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandi (Zorena)

    *She has one beer. Falls to the floor. Dreams about the story she just read... or has she already drank a beer and dreamt this?*

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sumati

    A very sharp and cunningly constructed life story in just one paragraph. Loved it!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

    Interesting how life goes by...

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