In the Garden of the North American Martyrs

In the Garden of the North American Martyrs Among the characters you ll find in this collection of twelve stories by Tobias Wolff are a teenage boy who tells morbid lies about his home life a timid professor who in the first genuine outburst
  • Title: In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
  • Author: Tobias Wolff
  • ISBN: 9780880014977
  • Page: 376
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
    Among the characters you ll find in this collection of twelve stories by Tobias Wolff are a teenage boy who tells morbid lies about his home life, a timid professor who, in the first genuine outburst of her life, pours out her opinions in spite of a protesting audience, a prudish loner who gives an obnoxious hitchhiker a ride, and an elderly couple on a golden anniversaryAmong the characters you ll find in this collection of twelve stories by Tobias Wolff are a teenage boy who tells morbid lies about his home life, a timid professor who, in the first genuine outburst of her life, pours out her opinions in spite of a protesting audience, a prudish loner who gives an obnoxious hitchhiker a ride, and an elderly couple on a golden anniversary cruise who endure the offensive conviviality of the ship s social director.Fondly yet sharply drawn, Wolff s characters stumble over each other in their baffled yet resolute search for the right path.
    In the Garden of the North American Martyrs By Tobias Wolff,

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    About " Tobias Wolff "

  • Tobias Wolff

    Tobias Jonathan Ansell Wolff is a writer of fiction and nonfiction.He is best known for his short stories and his memoirs, although he has written two novels.Wolff is the Ward W and Priscilla B Woods Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, where he has taught classes in English and creative writing since 1997 He also served as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford from 2000 to 2002.

  • 397 Comments

  • I m glad I took the time to pick up this collection I don t read as many short stories as I should and when I run across a good collection, as was the case here, I m reminded of how powerful the form can be For me the unifying theme of this collection is how poorly people treat each other Ordinarily I probably wouldn t seek out that kind of fare, but these stories are enjoyable precisely because Wolff is so deft at presenting charachters that are genuinely crappy people You can almost feel him w [...]


  • Once again, Tobias Wolff amazes All the great things you read about him and his work are absolutely true Every story kind of sucks you in to this new world and new situation each time, and holds you through to the end And no matter what race, gender or age All the characters are totally believable, and so it makes you interested in everything they do and everything that may happen to them He does this great thing where, all his stories start out as normal as can be, all the while you are waiting [...]


  • Over the course of this last summer I read quite a few collections of short stories, and I ve been finding it hard to decide what rating to give them Should a five star collection be one made up solely of great stories, with no duds, or can five stars be awarded on the basis of one really outstanding story in an otherwise mediocre collection In the Garden of the North American Martyrs falls somewhere in between, hence the four stars I gave it Not all of the stories are great in fact a couple are [...]


  • This is a great collection of short stories They vary in length, topic and tone, but all of them have an almost pungent insight into a character s experience of life They are extremely relatable, and genuinely interesting.I had read Hunters in the Snow in high school, and had found it, along with a classic Wolff story not in this volume Bullet in the Brain to be among the most memorable short stories I had ever read It s still a chilling, bizarre story Other stories take us all over North Americ [...]


  • 2.5 Didn t hate it, didn t love it One of the stories is about a scholarly type who acts like an asshole and obliquely justifies it to himself, which is the worst most tired subject ever, and that brought the collection down a whole star for me It would be nice if I could go the rest of my life without hearing another sordid tale about a male professor.Maybe this would ve been better or at least impressive had I read it when it was still new By now I ve read so many short stories it seems unrem [...]


  • I forgot how good this one is One of the best contemporary short story collections available Wolff, author of This Boy s Life, cuts to the heart of men and maleness with muscular precision and grace One of my all time favorites.




  • There s a long standing notion literary types have, of looking at people we know and saying that they live their lives as if they re in a book Wolff writes a group of short stories where each reads like real life Nothing is affected here rather, the mundane occurrences of everyday life are shown for what they really are, for what we, in living them, realize about these occurrences that they are messy, complicated moments of moral ambiguity to which we bring a sense of moral absolutism that, of n [...]


  • While I didn t think this book was bad in any way, I also was not particularly fond of it, because I thought that some stories were much better than others I absolutely loved the title story, as I thought it had a great ending and it had a clear moral message I also enjoyed the last story, The Liar , because of the interesting characters and the dilemmas they faced However, I found some of the stories, such as Next Door, felt to me like had no formal plot or moral lesson they were simply a serie [...]


  • This was Tobias Wolff s first book, a collection of short stories If I d read this before The Night in Question, I probably wouldn t have bothered picking up another book by him He clearly made some great advancements in originality and craft in the fifteen years between the two collections Most of the stories in In the Garden start with an interesting situation, push the characters along and then drop off or end with a off beat image Many of the stories feel like experiments than tight, cohesi [...]


  • I heard part of one of these stories on an npr program a few months ago and remember hating it Maybe it was poor narration or lack of context I enjoyed the book much The story I heard was the namesake of the book and the narrator read most of the cruel characters in a shrill, creepy voice It gave me the same uneasy feeling I get from anything with a particularly sadistic vibe a Christmas Story, Napolean Dynamite, etc I didn t realize that the last few paragraphs would completely redeem the stor [...]


  • This is an incredible selection of short stories From the back cover, Joyce Carol Oates proclaims it one of the strongest in recent years and she is correct in so saying.The subjects of these tales are imperfect characters, some self aware of their brokenness than others, and even the most a moral retains humanity Journeying with these flawed souls is as comfortable as putting on a favorite coat The reader can empathize, even when the experiences depicted may diverge from his her own In both th [...]


  • Tobias Wolff expertly furrows the rich realism soil with these twelve short stories, fully entrenching me in the all too lonesome world he depicts The narrators are not very likable but that is why I like them They re full of the same neuroticism and shortcomings bubbling under the surface of you and me.Immediately after starting this, I noticed my writing style turning conspicuously Wolffish Alas, he made it all look so deceptively simple So I appropriated some of his imagery cuz, you know, goo [...]


  • I used to read short stories regularly and I m not sure why I stopped this book reminded me why I enjoyed them so much Of course, Wolff is an exceptional writer, and these stories all leave you thinking about them long after you finish They are perfect summer reading grab one at the beach, another out on the deck, and still another after your coffee the next morning Not light, but not too heavy either think strawberries with cream instead of the torte.


  • The stories in this collection are seamlessly told with the kind of art and craft of a great master In the story Liar, James describes the difference between his mother and father She was a lighter of candles My father was curser of the dark And he loved to curse the dark, 162 Tobias Wolff also loves to curse the dark and does so lovingly, honestly and precisely.


  • The only other short story writer that compares to Wolff in my opinion is Richard Bausch I loved this collection I devoured the book in a day I wish I had taken time, because there is so much to digest with each story I know I will read it again It is always nice to read a author who is so good at the art of writing itself.


  • His best If I were forced to take a train somewhere very far from my home and had only a very small backpack, or no backpack at all, I would take this book with me.



  • FROM MY BLOG Tobias Wolff teaches English and creative writing at Stanford University I first learned of his writing when I was sent his fictionalized childhood memoir, This Boy s Life, as part of a subscription to works by Stanford faculty I liked it, having as yet no inkling that it would ultimately be made into a movie, a star vehicle for a young Leonardo DiCaprio.In This Boy s Life, Wolff tells of Toby s unhappy and somewhat delinquent childhood in a small town in the North Cascades Desperat [...]


  • It s a shame really, that Tobias Wolff s In the Garden of North American Martyrs fails to achieve the greatness of his other works The stories are fun and clever, but Wolff entangled himself so deeply in the dense characters that he created for this short story collection that he forgot to continue on in finishing their lives and narratives In the title story, Mary, a professor of history first at the fiction Brandon and then at an unnamed Oregon institution, tries to live as meakly and effectiv [...]


  • This collection starts and ends with a bang The first story, Next Door , makes you sit up and pay attention a brief glimpse into a world of self contained amorality The next, Hunters in the Snow , turns the parameters of that world up to their limits without ever stretching the boundaries of the credible The result is intensely discomforting, and ruthlessly realistic The last three stories the titular In the Garden of the North American Martyrs , Poaching , and The Liar are a little showier, a b [...]


  • I picked this up at a used bookstore 1.00 after reading CivilWarLand in Bad Decline Wolff was a prof at Syracuse when Saunders was a student there, and Saunders lists him as one of his biggest influences One of my projects this year is to dig into the literary family trees of some of my favorite authors In the afterward to CivilWarLand Saunders says he only really found his own voice after he decided to stop copying writers like Wolff It s easy to see how a student could fall into that trip Thes [...]


  • As with any collection of stories, some appealed than others However, all the characters are vividly drawn and are each put in situations in which there is a moral dilemma, some with serious consequences than others How they will meet these dilemmas becomes the question I liked several stories in this volume But the title story,In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, is the one I liked the best Mary, a history professor, loses her job when her college closes Although she finds another job [...]


  • I was going to say Raymond Carver endorses these stories on the cover, and it s easy to see why Like Carver, Wolff shows talent and restraint in the writing, and yet the stories ultimately leave one with a hollow sadness He writes very well about very real characters with very real dialogue, but there is an ultimate despair in each story 3 stars But then I read the last three stories in the collection, and they really surprised me.


  • I had read Hunters in the Snow years ago and its timing and events really hit me, its such a powerful piece I think Smokers , In the Garden and Poachers really stand out as well, these are incredibly well crafted tight stories set in a certain perspective that really sticks with you.


  • Um, where has Tobias Wolff been all my life I loved these stories, they were perfect for a quick late night story I loved the charm and quirky humor in them I think to be able to write a story that attaches you quickly to characters and plots in just a few pages is a great talent indeed.


  • Lovely little book of short stories, sweet and concise Lots of hanging endings will not leave some readers satisfied, but that s part of their charm.



  • I would actually give 2.5 stars Read for book club I just felt that most of the stories were just ok and for the most part a little sad.


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