- Title: The Accomplished Guest
- Author: Ann Beattie
- ISBN: null
- Page: 419
- Format: Kindle Edition
Award winning author and an icon of the literary world, this magnificent collection from Ann Beattie features short stories linked by the theme of people paying visits.Over and over, reviewers celebrate Ann Beattie s winning voice, her uncanny dialogue, her ability to provide moments of utter surprise When her first book appeared in 1976, Beattie joined Raymond Carver aAward winning author and an icon of the literary world, this magnificent collection from Ann Beattie features short stories linked by the theme of people paying visits.Over and over, reviewers celebrate Ann Beattie s winning voice, her uncanny dialogue, her ability to provide moments of utter surprise When her first book appeared in 1976, Beattie joined Raymond Carver as an avatar of that time, the most exciting new young writer at The New Yorker sexy, sophisticated, and funny.With an edgier note, an undercurrent of loss, an element of violence, a study of frustrated loves and unconventional friendships, and tinges of Beattie s signature ironic humor woven throughout, these latest stories are set in the places she has called home, from Key West to Maine to New York to Washington, DC Ultimately, The Accomplished Guest is about visits awaiting visitors, traveling to see old friends, the joys and tolls of hosting company and of being hosted.
Recent Comments "The Accomplished Guest"
I thought I would like this more than I did. In spite of my disappointment, I'll start with some things I did like about this collection - the writing, the smart realistic dialogue, things to think about - aging (usually juxtaposed by connections with younger people), illness, family relationships . These are some of the recurring themes that in some small way connect these stories : visits, going to events - a birthday celebration, a wedding, a Christmas party, meeting with people from the past [...]
'The Accomplished Guest' by Ann Beattie3.5 stars/ 7 out of 10I have read earlier collections of Ann Beattie's short stories, so was interested to read this latest collection of thirteen short stories.In these stories, Beattie casts an unsentimental eye over life and relationships of many kinds, especially looking at those of 'the elderly'. The nuances of human interactions are very astutely observed. How much this appeals to the reader, will depend on whether one feels more comfortable with a ro [...]
There is a good reason Ann Beattie’s short stories are included in best short story collections. Along with Alice Munro, she is one of the absolute best living short story authors. She has the unique and remarkable ability to change my perceptions of actual people and situations I encounter in my life. Because of her astute and revealing observations of her fictional characters, I realize there are many different reasons people I know do and say the things they do. I don’t really have indivi [...]
For me, reading this book was like witnessing a rebirth. When I wrote a short review of her previous collection of stories, The State We're In: Maine Stories, I said that it seemed as if she'd lost her mojo. With this collection, she's obviously found it. Many very good stories here and none that are bad. Four and a half stars.
This was a disappointment. From such an accomplished and lauded author too. Random find on Netgalley, looked interesting, a collection of stories tangentially connected through a theme of visiting, visitors, visits. I tried and tried, but with possible exception of the story before last, nothing was interesting. Seems like all the stories were about a certain type of individuals (older, often 70s/80, wealthy or well off financially at least, well educated, liberal, upper class elite), which is g [...]
Ann Beattie is a seasoned writer with a list of accolades as long as your arm, and this is why I requested a DRC of her soon-to-be-published short story collection, whose theme is visitors and travel. I was not disappointed. Thank you Net Galley and Scribner for letting me read it free and early in exchange for this honest review. This book will be available to the public Tuesday, June 13.The first selection is droll; our protagonist is going to see an older man, and so we wonder…is this a boy [...]
I’ve been savouring the sudden prolific collections by Ann Beattie. Hot on the heels of “The State We’re In” about 2 years ago comes “The Accomplished Guest”. Though the stories (or versions of them) in this latest volume were compiled from her regular contributions to various publications, all 13 of them bind well together thematically. There are weddings, birthdays, parties and gatherings in these stories, but almost none of them are celebratory nor joyous occasions, though neither [...]
These are astounding stories. I’ve been reading Beattie for as long as she has been publishing and that’s a long time for both of us. My favorites in this accomplished collection include The Astonished Woodchopper, The Caterer, The Cloud and Save A Horse Ride a Cowgirl. Beattie has the ability to open a window on human behavior and let in all the elements.
Short stories are not my thing. Actually good considering that I don't like the genre. Enjoyed much more after seeing the author and hearing her reading.
Short stories involving guests. Some humorous, some very dense.
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The Accomplished Guest: Stories by Ann Beattie is a highly recommended collection of thirteen previously published short stories. This collection explores aging, mortality, fragile bonds between people, fate, friendships, and family. In several of the stories people are meeting for a social event or going out to dinner. Most of the people are older, in their sixties and up, have been married multiple times and seem discontented, perplexed, and very removed from any true connection with other peo [...]
An Accomplished Guest is a nice metaphor for a well worn traveler of life. Its characters are mainly seventy somethings (remember when we used to be thirty somethings?) who are thinking about their long lives. Many of the characters have lost a partner and can't see to adjust to life as only a part of the whole. Ann Beattie gives tribute to wonderful places up and down the east coast and even gives one of my other favorite writers, Mavis Gallant, a nod. On the eve of my seventieth birthday, I ha [...]
I heard the author on an NPR interview and thought it would be worth a read. I didn't like this book at all, really. The stories were such downers - almost every one of them. As a middle aged person, there is plenty of joy in life but clearly not in Ms. Beattie's stories. She has an irritating habit of introducing a whole slew of characters in the first paragraph - it began to feel like every story started the same way. Accolades for her writing or not, it was not for me
It's rude, I think, to not give a bunch of stars to Ann Beattie. Her past as a star fiction writer who could do no wrong with stories that zinged at just the right moment, were off-kilter and compassionate, and made you shake your head in wonder when you came to end. Happy to say that some of these stories had some of that old magic; sad to say that not enough of them did.
I know I'm supposed to wax rhapsodic about Ann Beattie but I can't. Her books and stories l Ave me cold and depress me. However, I keep trying because she is such a favorite of many friends and critics. This collection left me terribly confused about who was speaking when about what to whom. I guess read it if you're a Beattie fan, which unfortunately, I am not.
“But it would be a missed call. He liked that concept. As if by missing a call, you could shape your destiny.”There are one or two good stories. The writing is beautiful too. It's just that in a book with 13 short stories, you'd expect to find more things to like than "one or two". You'd also expect the stories to be slightly memorable but I didn't care at all for what was being said and I even had to skim through some parts of the book that even when I was trying to read them real hard, all [...]
I found these stories cynical, self-mocking, and ungenerous about human nature. Maybe this book is to much New York, and I am from Seattle.Got 2 and a half stories in, and this section of this paragraph, which is a typical attitude shown in the stories was the last straw for me:He looked at someone just around the corner having trouble parallel-parking, felt the urge to go to their car and do it for them - such a good guy; such a humanitarian. He had some curiosity about how cheap the wine was [...]
The Accomplished Guest was especially interesting to me because it is a direct descendant of Ann Beattie's earlier stories, of which I've always been a fan. The difference now is that the characters in the new book are of the same college-educated-emphasizing-liberal-arts background as her old books but, like her, are now in their senior citizen years. It's interesting to get her take on the interior conversations these people are having with themselves as they observe the world we're living in. [...]
Fantastic collection of stories encompassing characters through the lifespan. I was curious how the majority of reviewers would critique this book that doesn't have a primarily 20 something or 30 something heroine learning some life lesson or finding or losing love or being part of something sinisterd saw that these perfectly crafted stories received under 5 stars.My favorites were The Astonished Woodcutter, where the final line made me laugh out loud, and Hoodie in Xanadu. There is something f [...]
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was just okay. Maybe I'm just not a huge fan of short stories because I feel that characters and storylines aren't as developed as they could be if they were longer. After completing each story I was left without closure. But also, felt no desire to really imagine what happened afterward since the characters tended to lack any redeeming qualities, and the stories didn't seemed relatable or very interesting ( [...]
Full of entertaining short stories; a few characters made me chuckle. Every story is different with characters who have various points of view and different emotions. Some characters are loveable, and some are not. Consider this, we all know someone who fits a few of these characters; if you do not, you will one day.Based on a five-star rating, I give it five stars!1) Buy from the author in the future? Yes2) Did it keep me intrigued? Yes3) Story line adventurous, mysterious, and believable? Yes4 [...]
As one reviewer said, I wanted to like this collection more than I did. I love short stories, because sometimes I just don't have time to commit to an entire novel, but many of these fell flat. I'm a person that wants a "story." I want something to happen. In many of these "stories" I felt cheated. I only got a small snapshot of something that was going on in a group of characters lives. In some, it took me too long to figure out how the characters related to each other or what was going on. I d [...]
Short stories are great for summer, this one was supposed to be about old people and quite funny. With the exception of one or two well-written sentences I missed all the humor and found the characters quite depressing. No one seems to be happy, or even satisfied with their life. Everyone has been married several times and dissatisfied with their mate or themselves. Not an inspiring read. And I didn't particularly like that her old people, practically falling down dead, were at most in their ear [...]
I loved reading this collection of short stories. They were very well written, and I was really impressed with the author's ability to provide just the right amount of detail within the first few sentences to have the reader completely immersed in the story. Pretty incredible. My only criticism would be that the stories weren't very uplifting. They were of ordinary people dealing with illness, heartbreak, or death. Very true to life. And often the stories ended just like most independent films - [...]
I listened to the CD edition and got through 4 of the disks before I gave up. The writing seems lively and witty but the stories go nowhere that I cared about or got anything out of. Partly because I was listening in the car, and with all the different characters in each story, i just couldn't really follow who was who before it ended with no real conclusion, then on to the next bunch of characters. Maybe best that I stay away from complex character development short stories while changing lane [...]
I once adored Ann Beattie and recently found a NYTimes review/interview with her from the 80's that I kept. She is a master of short fiction from the John Cheever school. Three decades later, her style remains solid. But I find that my tolerance for her intellectual, usually affluent, characters leaves me unsatisfied as they whine about inconveniences and missed emotional connections. I wanted to embrace this new collection of stories but found myself more irritated than pleased with most of the [...]
This book come to me when I hanged over in shackspeares' book store. I had been reading it in two weeks, intermittently. Finally， I finished it up in this gloomy rainy Sunday afternoon. I have to say that stories in it are really involving, except fews are boring which distracted me and let me run out of my mind. But it is full of tragedies，ended up with unexpected ending, which distressed me although still significant.
MEH! Started out fairly strong but by late middle the stories began to sound redundant. Characters all seemed catatonic, entitled and narrow. Began to dislike the world and characters depicted in this collection of short stories. Overal, lives of comfort, glittering cocktail and dinner parties, vacuous emotional connections seem so out of place with current political and world situation.
Definitely my kind of book although I typically don't choose short story collections. (They're too short!!) I thoroughly enjoyed every story and was so impressed by the many different characters and how much you learn about each of them in such a short amount of time. Many of the stories also had the added benefit of causing you to think.
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