BOOK FREE Florida author Lauren Groff Author Lauren Groff – washcloths.co.uk
50 Masterpieces you have to read before you die Vol lA collection of eleven short stories set mostly in the titular state Florida examines the innerives of young women and mothers afflicted by malaise alcoholism and occasionally despair Abusive men neglected children unbearable storms and the southern wilderness recur throughout the collection the pieces gathered here feel ike variations on the same set of themes Groff writes ush sentences full of palpable and unsettling images and her stories move at a measured pace Sometimes the stories felt scattered in focus and occasionally I wished they would have ended on definitive notes Favorite stories included Ghost and Empties Above and Below and Yport If these stories are anything to go by Lauren Groff is almost
COMPREHENSIVELY DISILLUSIONED WITH MEN MEN IN THESE STORIES ARE disillusioned with men Men in these stories are absent inept in another world or downright threatening The Encounter With an Angry God Recollections of My Life With John Peabody Harrington last story and by far theeast successful goes the whole hog and deploys Guy de Mauspassant to paint a thoroughly irksome and depressing portrait of masculinity As a Brit one tends to forget how many deadly creatures there are in the US The most scary threat we face from the natural world here is perhaps a bee sting Groff s Florida is teeming with aligators snakes wild cats bears And then there s the murderous weather All the stories in Florida are about Grace Notes and Other Fragments lonely nameless women stranded close to the heart of darkness There s a constant sense the pollution and corruption everywhere the wild weather that Armageddon isn t far away It s a gloomy vision But the writing as you d expect is fabulously alive with vitality and elouence Were I an editor I would have omitted theast and Timbuktu Chronicles 1493 1599 Tarikh al Fattash longest story For me it spoilt this otherwise riveting collection of thematicallyinked stories It wasn t very well written AND IT LACKED THE SUBTLETY OF THE OTHER STORIES it Mit 60 Jahren um die Welt lacked the subtlety of the other stories that the only story about a novelist proved to be the weakest If there s one subject a novelist ought to be able to make compelling it s her own profession but oddly Groff s novelist was never convincing And the anti male propaganda was over the top It s the stories that are actually set in Florida that are the best I wonder if there exists a collection of short stories by anyone Chekhov where the uality is maintained throughout And I m not sure it s a good idea to place the worst storyast By the time you come to review you have the disappointing final stories uppermost in your mind A better trick would be to insert the worst stories in the middle and end with a cracker I probably would have given this five stars if the order had been changed After cracker I probably would have given this five stars if the order had been changed After you expect a Le mouton noir et le loup blanc little tension to disappear in the middle of the novel but if it ends well you forget I waseft feeling women need English Unlimited Level 2 Coursebook Special Edition Saudi Edition love than men do Now I m wondering if that s true Two major connected threads in this superb story collection are ambivalence about Florida and ambivalence about motherhood There s an oppressive atmosphere throughout with environmental catastrophe an underlying threat Set ups vary in scope from almost the whole span of aife to one scene A dearth of named characters emphasizes just how universal the scenarios and emotions are Groff s style is The Innocents like a cross between Karen Russell s Swamplandia and Cormac McCarthy s The Road and her unexpected turns of phrase jump off the pageThe narrator of The Midnight Zone staying with her sons in a hunting camp 20 miles from civilization ponders the cruelty of time and her failure to be sufficiently maternal while the woman in Flower Hunters is soost in an eighteenth century naturalist s book that she forgets to get Halloween costumes for her kids A few favorites of mine were Ghosts and Empties in which the narrator goes for ong walks at twilight and watches time passing through the unwitting tableaux of the neighbors windows Eyewall a matter of fact ghost story and Above and Below in which a woman slips into homelessness it s terrifying how precarious her ife is at every step Florida feels innovative and terrifyingly relevant Any one of its stories is a bracing read together they form a masterpieceI reviewed this for the May 30th Stylist Book Wars columnSome favorite Writers on heels lines What had been built to seem so solid was fragile in the face of time because time is impassive animal than human Time would not care if you fell out of it It would continue on without you from The Midnight Zone The wind played the chimney until the whole place wheezedike a bagpipe from Eyewa. The stories in this collection span characters towns decades even centuries but Florida its andscape climate history and state of mind becomes its gravitational center an energy a mood as mu. Ll everybody is sleeping save for the tree frogs and the sinners from Snake Stories How Every Step (Music, Love and Other Miseries, lonely it would be the mother thinksooking at her children to The Heat Wyatt live in this dark world without them from Yport 3 starsIoved Lauren Groff s Fates and Furies I thought the writing was absolutely brilliant and the story and characters were really original So I was pretty excited to get my hands on Florida which is Groff s atest short story collection Unfortunately I can t rave about the stories in the same way I raved about Fates and Furies I recognize her talented writing but there was a flat clever feel to her stories that made It Hard For Me To hard for me to engaged Most of the stories focused on women often with young children often in Florida often with distant husbands often dark and all struggling with internal personal turmoil Some stories were definitely better than others There was one set during a wind storm in Florida with a woman alone at home with her two boys that really got my attention And she really captures the nuances of mothers ove for young children There s a creepy story about two young of mothers اعترافات امرأة مسترجلة love for young children There s a creepy story about two youngeft alone on an island But overall these stories didn t have me particularly excited And I must also warn that it s definitely not a book for who are afraid of snakes Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy Here s the thing I really do The Tyranny of History The Roots of China's Crisis Penguin History love Groff s writing These short stories are no exception she is a master craftsman She paints so well with her words and phrasing It s just thatI don t do so well with dark and all eleven of these stories are pretty dark I don t think Lauren Groffikes Florida very muchHere s what I took away from this collection Florida is mold feral cats snakes bugs humidity rot spanish moss vines gators sinkholes homelessness tent cities termites mosuitos hurricanes The Citadel (Dragonlance: Classics, lizards panthers a damp and dense tangle bleaching sun dread and heatMotherhood is something to be deeply conflicted about When in doubt drink heavilyEveryone isonely Eona loneliness is everwhere and ghosts surround you Whenonely drink heavilyMen are predatory scum rapists abusive devious self involved OR tender and kind fathershusbands OR any combination of the above yet another thing to be deeply conflicted aboutGlobal warming climate change is something to obsess about on a daily basis These are all really well articulated stories but they are also disturbingly bleak I was relieved to be done with the bookA 4 for the writing a 3 for how much I Beyond the Dark Portal World of WarCraft liked it If Goodreads allowed it I would give this a 35 but rounding down to a 3 because I just didn t reallyike it I m spending two weeks in Florida in October That gives me just over 3 months to shake this off 354 When she was pregnant with Jude s sister she came into the bathroom to take a cool bath one August night and without her glasses missed the three foot albino alligator her husband had stored in the bathtub The next morning she was gone Florida Hot sticky treacherous or as one character says damp dense tangle An Eden of dangerous things I have spent time there and I now Les messages cachs de l'eau live in a similar climate in Australia so I can easily imagine myself in many of these stories Moving in the humidity wasike forcing my way through wet silk The Florida storms are horrific and frightening and wonderfully described Standing next to the edge of a sinkhole in the rain must be terrifying too Climate change gets than a passing mention in a few stories because Florida of course is already being inundated by rising seas and hit by heavy storms One woman has exhausted her best friend s patience with her constant worries about the future to the point that the friend has asked to take a break from her She just wishes she could take a break from herselfMost of the main characters are of a youngish or early middle age group although there is one in particular who worried about becoming what is often referred to a woman of a certain age She had rented an apartment in Salvador for a two week escape from caring for her elderly mother Her guilt ridden sisters paid for her holiday every year so she goes to Living the Mysteries A Guide for Unfinished Christians live it up Helena was in that viscous pool of years in herate thirties when she could feel her beauty slowly departing from her She had been ovely at one time which slid into pretty which slid into attractive and now if she didn t do something major to halt the slide she d end up at handsomely middle aged which was no Ch as a place of residence Groff transports the reader then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit a wave of sadness a flash of cruelty as she writes about oneliness rage family and the passag.