The Sadness of Beautiful Things: Stories (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Simon VanBooy's latest collection features stories based on actual people the author has spent time listening to for the past ten years.  The planet would be such a better place if we could all listen like Mr. VanBooy.  Through his interpretations, we as readers can fully inhabit characters very different from ourselves and feel their grief, soar with their choices to use personal tragedy to shape themselves for the better and create a more beautiful world.  These are everyday people: a boxer with, perhaps, unrealistic dreams for his future unexpectedly shows a kindness to a mugger; parents struggling to accept the loss of a child; an insomniac woman picks up a hitchhiker while driving alone at night and the encounter changes both of their lives.  VanBooy is one of my all time favorite writers.  He is that rare sort that writes sentences of such grace and simplicity, detailing in words human emotional states we feel every day but could never articulate.  And he does it perfectly every time.  When I finish one of his books, I immediately want to turn it over and start it again.  If you like Kelly Link and/or Haruki Murakami, the collection would be a good choice for you.  Not because they are particularly similar, but because some of the emotions I feel when reading all three are on the same level of intensity.  And that "brain tickle thing".  You know what I'm talking about.  

— Kelly

Simon VanBooy's latest collection features stories based on actual people the author has spent time listening to for the past ten years.  The planet would be such a better place if we could all listen like Mr. VanBooy.  Through his interpretations, we as readers can fully inhabit characters very different from ourselves and feel their grief, soar with their choices to use personal tragedy to shape themselves for the better and create a more beautiful world.  These are everyday people: a boxer with, perhaps, unrealistic dreams for his future unexpectedly shows a kindness to a mugger; parents struggling to accept the loss of a child; an insomniac woman picks up a hitchhiker while driving alone at night and the encounter changes both of their lives.  VanBooy is one of my all time favorite writers.  He is that rare sort that writes sentences of such grace and simplicity, detailing in words human emotional states we feel every day but could never articulate.  And he does it perfectly every time.  When I finish one of his books, I immediately want to turn it over and start it again.  If you like Kelly Link and/or Haruki Murakami, the collection would be a good choice for you.  Not because they are particularly similar, but because some of the emotions I feel when reading all three are on the same level of intensity.  And that "brain tickle thing".  You know what I'm talking about.  

— From Kelly

Description


An exquisite new collection of short stories from award-winning author Simon Van Booy.
 
Over the past decade, Simon Van Booy has been listening to people’s stories. With these personal accounts as a starting point, he has crafted a powerful collection of short fiction that takes readers into the innermost lives of everyday people. From a family saved from ruin by a mysterious benefactor, to a downtrodden boxer who shows unexpected kindness to a mugger, these masterfully written tales reveal not only the precarious balance maintained between grief and happiness in our lives, but also how the echoes of personal tragedy can shape us for the better.
 
“Van Booy’s stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking.” —Los Angeles Times
 
"Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart." --Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

About the Author


Simon Van Booy is the award-winning and best-selling author of seven books of fiction, and three anthologies of philosophy. He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, NPR, and the BBC. His books have been translated into many languages. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project which helps young people build confidence in their storytelling abilities through annual awards.

Praise For…


"With a deceitful simplicity and a generously empathetic ear, Simon Van Booy gets to the core of the moment." —Colum McCann, author of Transatlantic and Let The Great World Spin

"Simon Van Booy writes wonderful stories that surprise and uplift,  that hold our attention all the way with subtle revelations about life in all its astounding contradictions: its sorrows and joys." —Sheila Kohler, author of Becoming Jane Eyre and Once We Were Sisters

Praise for Simon Van Booy's work:

"Breathtaking. . .chillingly beautiful, like postcards from Eden. . .Van Booy's stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking." --Los Angeles Times

"Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart." --Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

"Each of [Van Booy's] stories has moments of sheer loveliness." --Publisher's Weekly


Product Details
ISBN: 9780143133049
ISBN-10: 0143133047
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2018
Pages: 208
Language: English