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Love Stories

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Love Stories brings together a captivating assortment of short stories inspired by romantic entanglement in its many forms: first love, infatuation, obsession, unrequited love, marriage, adultery, jealousy, and the complicated bonds of those who have spent their lives together. An array of writers evoke a variety of moods, from the raw, erotic passion of Lawrence and Colett Love Stories brings together a captivating assortment of short stories inspired by romantic entanglement in its many forms: first love, infatuation, obsession, unrequited love, marriage, adultery, jealousy, and the complicated bonds of those who have spent their lives together. An array of writers evoke a variety of moods, from the raw, erotic passion of Lawrence and Colette to the wickedlycynical comedy of Dorothy Parker and Roald Dahl; from the agonizing madness of jealousy in Nabokov's 'That in Aleppo Once ...' to romantic illusions in Scott Fitzgerald's 'Winter Dreams'. Objects of passion range from a glamorous silent-movie star in Elizabeth Bowen's haunting 'Dead Mabelle' to a faithful ghost in Kawabata's 'Immortality' and a successful heart surgeon and serial husband in Margaret Atwood's 'Bluebeard's Egg'. Jhumpa Lahiri plumbs the depths of a couple sundered by tragedy while Lorrie Moore movingly portrays a husband and wife brought together by it. Katherine Mansfield, Tobias Wolff and William Trevor explore the intricacies of long-term relationships, while Maupassant, Calvino and T. C. Boyle convey the elemental force of love in extremely different ways.


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Love Stories brings together a captivating assortment of short stories inspired by romantic entanglement in its many forms: first love, infatuation, obsession, unrequited love, marriage, adultery, jealousy, and the complicated bonds of those who have spent their lives together. An array of writers evoke a variety of moods, from the raw, erotic passion of Lawrence and Colett Love Stories brings together a captivating assortment of short stories inspired by romantic entanglement in its many forms: first love, infatuation, obsession, unrequited love, marriage, adultery, jealousy, and the complicated bonds of those who have spent their lives together. An array of writers evoke a variety of moods, from the raw, erotic passion of Lawrence and Colette to the wickedlycynical comedy of Dorothy Parker and Roald Dahl; from the agonizing madness of jealousy in Nabokov's 'That in Aleppo Once ...' to romantic illusions in Scott Fitzgerald's 'Winter Dreams'. Objects of passion range from a glamorous silent-movie star in Elizabeth Bowen's haunting 'Dead Mabelle' to a faithful ghost in Kawabata's 'Immortality' and a successful heart surgeon and serial husband in Margaret Atwood's 'Bluebeard's Egg'. Jhumpa Lahiri plumbs the depths of a couple sundered by tragedy while Lorrie Moore movingly portrays a husband and wife brought together by it. Katherine Mansfield, Tobias Wolff and William Trevor explore the intricacies of long-term relationships, while Maupassant, Calvino and T. C. Boyle convey the elemental force of love in extremely different ways.

30 review for Love Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

    Love is a prism that refracts dull light and transforms it into kaleidoscopic shapes that filter through the cracks of existence. Love has as myriad manifestations as there are characters in the vast literary world and we are all characters in the novel we create for ourselves. So when picking this carefully selected assortment of short stories, one expects to become the reflection of every single character and to be helplessly dragged by emotional streams of first love and fluttering butterflie Love is a prism that refracts dull light and transforms it into kaleidoscopic shapes that filter through the cracks of existence. Love has as myriad manifestations as there are characters in the vast literary world and we are all characters in the novel we create for ourselves. So when picking this carefully selected assortment of short stories, one expects to become the reflection of every single character and to be helplessly dragged by emotional streams of first love and fluttering butterflies, vertiginous lethal attractions and endless seas of desire or spotless fake marriages and virulent true affairs. One expects to suffer from the wistful yearning of lost lives never lived or gone lovers never loved. One expects to turn the last page of each story and remain fixated on that invisible space between what was and what could have been while groping in the dark alleys of frenzied ardor. I regret to say I was only lost in the current of seven out of the nineteen tales that compose this selection of short stories by many talented writers, whose names flash like neon in a pitch-black silent night, attracting gullible readers like moths to a bulb light. From D.H.Lawrence, Nabokov or Colette, who evoke raw eroticism and obsessive jealousy to Elizabeth Bowen or Kawabata, whose characters are haunted by ghosts, passing by Dorothy Parker or Roald Dahl , who blend magic realism with wicked comedy. Traditional romanticism combined with lyricism and sophistication can be found in Fitzgerald and Maunpassant while metafiction blends in a sea of love and blood in Italo Calvino’s tale of intellectual delight. Much ado about nothing? Maybe. Although it wouldn’t be fair not to identify some of the enchanting delicatessen that can be found in this collection. In “Claire De Lune” a prejudiced Abbé who mistrusts women for their sinful bodies and loving hearts marvels at the sublime spectacle of the caressing moonlight bathing his garden with delicious sweetness during an improvised stroll in the middle of the night. Without knowing how, he finds himself in love with the moon and its mysterious beams and his dry soul is filled with warm tenderness in an unexpected redeeming gift. Obsessive infatuation for a dead actress is what ultimately manages to save the life of a wretched man, giving a power of being to the ethereal fiction in “Dead Mabelle”. The ocean and the absence of the ocean locked in the tides of love is analyzed in “Blood, Sea”, where a fleeting second becomes an eternity and a hand rests on a bare knee and two hearts pump the same blood in a car wreck. In “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” a mundane woman, whose life lacks the passion of her beloved horses, finds her sensuality in the banks of a river where she resolved to drown herself to death in the hands of a timorous doctor who warms her wet body and her ravenous desire. A middle-aged man whose appearance resembles that of an asparagus directs illusory orchestras in his dining room pretending to be Beethoven and Chopin in “Mr. Botibol”. Music brings a squat, stumpy and thick-legged little woman and a piano into this man’s tedious world and transforms it into a radiant scenario where symphonies are truly conducted and miracles performed. A man serves a free dinner to a prostitute every day at six o’clock in “The Woman Who Came at Six o’Clock” except for one evening when she comes half an hour earlier breaking their comfortable routine and triggering unforgivable confessions that only the purest and unselfish form of love can embrace. The briefest yet most striking blow is served in the two pages story Immortality in which an ancient man walks hand in hand with a young woman across a lawn listening to the sound of the silent ocean of memories. Life and death, love and loss, pain and yearning mingle in the last breath of a deaf man’s monologue with astonishing purity and rawness. I didn’t find magic in all the stories yet I lived and died several times in seven of them only to be reborn from the ashes of consumed passion and rekindled by the beauty of doomed romance. Not the immortal chant to love that I expected but a soothing melody to brighten up the long nights and the endless days of those who walk through life with their hearts in their hands. “The color of evening began to drift onto the small saplings behind the great trees. The sky beyond turned a faint red where the ocean sounded.” Immortality by Y. Kawabata (p. 192)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rosanna Threakall

    Some of these stories were really good and some were boring and forgettable though there was never a case of bad writing. This anthology contains stories from many famous authors like Nabokov, Dahl and Marquez and from some I just expected so much more, though I loved all the ones I thought I loved. It was a lovely version, hardcover, smooth pages etc. I will consider buying other Everyman Pocket Classics, though I just wanted/expected more from this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katrin Davidson

    I just want to put a little blurb and context around this novel and the reason I have been drawn to read them. I have recently completed a term at a London College doing Creative writing. We read short stories, present work and discuss. Its challenging, enjoyable and I have already learnt so much. Although in my personal life, I do not read enough short stories. I read novellas but find short stories hard to get into, both for length and character development etc. Thus the reason to order this a I just want to put a little blurb and context around this novel and the reason I have been drawn to read them. I have recently completed a term at a London College doing Creative writing. We read short stories, present work and discuss. Its challenging, enjoyable and I have already learnt so much. Although in my personal life, I do not read enough short stories. I read novellas but find short stories hard to get into, both for length and character development etc. Thus the reason to order this and read. This selection of short stories is varied and some are wonderful. I will review the ones that appealed particularly to me below but some weren't as appealing. I often skipped or decided to pass these, so this review is not about all the stories. I also got this second hand for a really good price and it felt lovely to hold a novel again with a lovely cover jacket and a ribbon for a bookmark. I also will not touch too much on the plot of the ind stories just my response as they deserve to be read and you form your own conclusions. F.Scott Fitzgerald "Winter Dreams" This is included in my review because I fully read it but it left me angered. Fitzgerald at times writes horrible women. Horrible representations of women( Daisy in Gatsby is horrible, sorry). Shallow, Vain and ill-intentioned. This short story presents such a women. It felt dated and I love historical fiction but this story wasn't for me and I struggled to see the goodness of it. Poor misogynistic through a male gaze writing. Colette -"Armande" Again this was written with a very male gaze at a woman, But it was vastly superior. The translation perfectly captures the want and longing of this story. I also highlighted with my pen(!) a couple of wonderful passages. " He toke his sisters arm under his own...sharing the same illusion, in that halcyon period when a brother and sister believe, quite genuinely, that they are perfectly content with being a chaste imitation of a pair of lovers" T.Coraghessan Boyle- "Swept Away" This was in the New Yorker for which I adore its fiction stories. I think this story was one of my favourite within this collection. It captured fleeting love within Scotland very well. D.H Lawrence- "The Horse Dealers Daughter" D. H Lawrence writes with a sense of touch, fully knowing what touch can do. His characterisation here is simply wonderful. He paints such vivid description of characters and places in only a few brushstrokes, although I didn't actually like this story. It falls into the above crisis of being a male historical gaze at a woman, in this case, an ugly woman against the narrator's wishes. " She was passionately kissing his knees, though his wet clothing, passionately and indiscriminately kissing his knees, his legs, as if unaware of everything" Roald Dahl-" Mr Boticol" Surprisingly I have read a lot of Dahl's more adult short stories. I buy them ( his collections, lust,Cruelty, envy etc for gifts). He had a very sharp eye for humour and observations. This was one of my favourite of the collection. Although I feel I'm harping on, This collection featured a lot of male gaze looking at women as ugly things yet still being attached/falling in love. Here I liked that MR BOTICOl was also "ugly". Margaret Atwood -"Bluebeards egg" This was perhaps my favourite in this collection. Atwood is such a marvel in her writing and this was one of the only stories from a FEMALE PERSPECTIVE. It was wonderful. Recommended as a lovely way to get into and read a wide selection of short stories compiled about love. I struggled with my own pacing throughout the collection, I'm a very fast reader and felt with every story it was a new challenge to read the next not knowing if it would appeal but this was also its delight. 3.5 Stars for the whole collection and I might go back to revist further stories and comment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Russell Bittner

    Love Stories presents a number of intriguing stories, many of them from writers outside the U. S. That said, I’ll confine this review to just two of them that I found particularly intriguing: T. C. Boyle’s “Swept Away” and Roald Dahl’s “Mr Botibol.” I’ve always felt that Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” is one of the best American short stories ever written. And why (apart from the plot)? Because London wrote about the fact of cold so effectively, I actually felt it every time I read his stor Love Stories presents a number of intriguing stories, many of them from writers outside the U. S. That said, I’ll confine this review to just two of them that I found particularly intriguing: T. C. Boyle’s “Swept Away” and Roald Dahl’s “Mr Botibol.” I’ve always felt that Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” is one of the best American short stories ever written. And why (apart from the plot)? Because London wrote about the fact of cold so effectively, I actually felt it every time I read his story. (No small accomplishment, I feel, in putting mere words to a page!) To his credit, T. C. Boyle manages the same effect in “Swept Away,” but with the wind. His setting is Scotland (as opposed to Alaska) but no matter. Wind is wind—wherever it blows—in, out, or between. What matters is only how effectively the author describes that wind, and how effectively (s)he makes you feel it as a reader. Boyle’s prose will make your hair, face and, yes—even your toenails—feel wind-swept even if your reading of his story is from inside a vacuum tube. With regard to Roald Dahl, I must confess that I never read him as a child. My loss. I know now that he’s generally thought of as a writer of children’s stories. But let me assure you (at least from this one example): his adult readings are well worth your investment. While perhaps not the “master of the surprise ending” that O. Henry was, he’s quite adept at that sort of thing if this story is any indication … not to mention that his sense of irony at the human condition is—if you will allow—ne plus ultra. Perhaps this sense of irony is the thing I particularly like about both T. C. Boyle and Roald Dahl. If you enjoy the same, have at it—and find your pleasant way to both stories, wherever you may find them. You won’t regret it. RRB Brooklyn, NY 09 June 2017

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I was looking forward to reading these as wholesome, feel-good tingly love stories and the entire collection has such a great host of authors - many of them the greats of English literature - but I feel like the title should be renamed as 'Tragic Love Stories' because so many of them were heartbreaking and sad. Maybe, for some, this goes without saying, but I wanted happy endings and hope and sweeping romance. It's a lovely collection with many beautiful stories by some wonderful writers - but wi I was looking forward to reading these as wholesome, feel-good tingly love stories and the entire collection has such a great host of authors - many of them the greats of English literature - but I feel like the title should be renamed as 'Tragic Love Stories' because so many of them were heartbreaking and sad. Maybe, for some, this goes without saying, but I wanted happy endings and hope and sweeping romance. It's a lovely collection with many beautiful stories by some wonderful writers - but wish just a few more could've had happier endings.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Edwin Thomas

    A real mixed bag. Sublime, quirky and terrible in turn. There are lesser known gems from famous authors, masterpieces from little known writers, and pages best left unturned in otherwise successful careers. I would recommend it for the variety show, but not if you’re looking for love in your love stories.

  7. 4 out of 5

    sashapecks

    Enjoyed most of the stories although a few were forgettable. The standouts for me were ‘Winter Dreams’ (F.Scott Fitzgerald), ‘Armande’ (Colette), ‘The Horse Dealer’s Daughter’ (D.H Lawrence) and ‘The Woman who came at Six o’Clock” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessalynn W.

    Terribly boring. Not for me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim Reads

    The standout stories were - Mr Botibol 5/5 stars - its Roald Dahl so of course I loved it! Clair de Lune 4/5 by guy de mouppasant The rest were ranging from enjoyable to 1 star

  10. 5 out of 5

    J. Wiltz

    You can read my full review of "Love Stories" at: https://thosesentences.wordpress.com/... You can read my full review of "Love Stories" at: https://thosesentences.wordpress.com/...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  12. 5 out of 5

    A.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eriana

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danique

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katrine

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Afrouzi

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Wolf

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suria Manthirini

  21. 5 out of 5

    Glen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Martha

  23. 4 out of 5

    Solveig Oskarsdottir

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shaina Pradhan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Afafia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eve Colabella

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gabby

  30. 4 out of 5

    chelsea

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