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Steve Yarbrough

Autor(a) de The End of California

14+ Works 503 Membros 19 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Steve Yarbrough is the author of three story collections & a novel, "The Oxygen Man", which received the Mississippi Author's Award, the California Book Award, & a third from the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters. He lives in Fresno, California. (Bowker Author Biography)

Obras por Steve Yarbrough

The End of California (2006) 98 exemplares
The Realm of Last Chances (2013) 85 exemplares
The Oxygen Man (1999) 70 exemplares
Safe from the Neighbors (2010) 66 exemplares
Visible Spirits: A Novel (2001) 56 exemplares
Prisoners of War (2004) 52 exemplares
The Unmade World (2018) 29 exemplares
Veneer: Stories (1998) 14 exemplares
Family Men: Stories (1990) 11 exemplares
Mississippi History: Stories (1994) 9 exemplares
Stay Gone Days (2022) 6 exemplares
Two Dogs {story} (2000) 3 exemplares

Associated Works

The Best American Short Stories 1999 (1999) — Contribuidor — 454 exemplares
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story (2007) — Contribuidor — 214 exemplares
The Best American Mystery Stories 1998 (1998) — Contribuidor — 179 exemplares
Stories from the Blue Moon Café (2003) — Contribuidor — 67 exemplares
Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 (2020) — Contribuidor — 58 exemplares
Stories from the Blue Moon Café II (2003) — Contribuidor — 30 exemplares
The New Great American Writers' Cookbook (2003) — Contribuidor — 21 exemplares
The Alumni Grill: Anthology of Southern Writers (2004) — Contribuidor — 12 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Membros

Críticas

I updated at the halfway mark that I was waiting for the plot to start. In fact, it was rambling along woven into stories and musings about life in 1960s Mississippi and the racism that is an undercurrent of everything that happens. It’s a good listen.
 
Assinalado
chailatte | 2 outras críticas | Feb 5, 2024 |
Are there any “literary” novels that aren’t grim and depressing? If so, I haven’t found any yet. My takeaway from this one is that everybody is hiding something, the only people who aren’t judgmental assholes aren’t interesting enough for character exploration but instead are simply receptacles for the interesting people, and since everyone is guilty of violating at least one rule of ethics or someone’s trust, then we shouldn’t judge each other for that kind of stuff, only for having tacky or popular tastes in entertainment and/or conservative politics. Oh, and all sins are fairly equivalent: academic dishonesty, cheating on your spouse, embezzling from your employer, giving someone a (deserved or undeserved) beating that hospitalizes them, armed robbery, or being a swinger.

In spite of these flaws, this is a well-written story with interesting characters and plot.

Hardcover, purchased from Half Price Books on the recommendation of the now-defunct podcast Books On The Nightstand.

Previous Updates:
7/22 – 27/288pg
Lately, he felt insubstantial, weightless, as if he were merely the idea of a person rather than the real thing. People weren't just a past or a present or a set of extinguished expectations. They had to have a future, too, and for himself he failed to see one. He felt as if he could readily be brushed off, as if right now, should he choose to, Nowicki could swat him aside as if he were no more momentous than a fly or a gnat.

7/24 – 82/288pg
So this guy is an embezzler who asked his elderly mother to borrow the money to pay back his employer, is a snob about books & music (a girl who "never read anything serious" and listened to Cyndi Lauper is only interesting because she's beautiful) and thinks of dogs only as "props".
I hope I'm not expected to find him either likable or sympathetic, but he's clearly one of the story's protagonists. I believe I'll be cheering for him to experience more misery and loss, regardless.

7/25 – 96/288pg
Nope, still no empathy. But have to credit the author with really vivid character creation, even the most minor of them. Although I think as each character is introduced, we are learning more about whichever of the three main characters that is interacting with them. They sure are a judgmental bunch of assholes.

7/28 – 199/288pg
Now she was lying in bed, in a musty room where the accumulated dust of the coverlet made her sneeze each time she crawled under it, and a man who could have gone to jail for embezzlement was asking her if she could possibly overlook academic mischief.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
Doodlebug34 | 5 outras críticas | Jan 1, 2024 |
A gritty and grim look at midlife in which one believes nothing surprising can happen only to discover it does. An astonishing look at how what we imagine is always worse than what actually occurs and how even our worst mistakes can be forgiven.
 
Assinalado
AngelaLam | 5 outras críticas | Feb 8, 2022 |
The Short of It:

An unraveling marriage, an illicit affair with a younger man and an online book club is what prompted me to read this one.

The Rest of It:

Earlier this month, Gayle hosted a book club for The Realm of Last Chances and seeing that it had all the finer points of what I look for in a novel (a crumbling marriage, dysfunction, dishonesty and secrets) I jumped on board.

Kristen, a fifty-something, loses her high paid administrative job at a California university. She, along with her husband Cal, move to Boston so she can accept a position at one of the smaller colleges in town. Still recovering from the shock of losing her job, they are both forced to make a new life for themselves, where neighbors seem to know your every move. But the move itself is a last chance of sorts. Their marriage has hit a dead-end. Communication is at an all time low. When Kristen takes up with a younger man, the situation is further complicated.

This was an interesting read and made for a good discussion, but it wasn’t a fave of mine. I think the most interesting aspect of this novel is that Yarbrough catches these people at the worst point of their lives. They are tired of having to hold it together. This is most evident in Cal’s actions. He’s the brooding type whereas Kristen is sort of cold fish. She’s more calculated and because of that, I liked her the least.

My main problem with this novel is that I just didn’t buy Kristen’s affair with Matt. He seems consumed by Kristen but between you and me, she wasn’t all that. She was so closed off that I had a hard time believing anyone could love her, much less a younger guy. Sure, a lot can be said for a physical attraction but I didn’t see much of that either. Had Yarbrough gone a bit deeper with Kristen’s character, everything might have been a little more believable.

However, Yarbrough’s take of a marriage on the rocks is pretty accurate. The distance between each other while lying in bed, the long silences and the quiet observation all add to the tension between Kristen and Cal. As a reader, you know something is about to happen but you aren’t quite sure what, and that is what kept me reading.

Overall, some gorgeous passages that stuck with me but I needed a little more character development for me to really get into the story.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
tibobi | 5 outras críticas | Mar 18, 2014 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
14
Also by
10
Membros
503
Popularidade
#49,235
Avaliação
3.8
Críticas
19
ISBN
53
Línguas
2
Marcado como favorito
2

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