junkutopia's review against another edition

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4.0

I'd been wanting to jump on these collections since I realised they existed about 6 months ago now, but with not knowing where to start, and some quiet mixed reviews of previous years on here, I decided to wait for the 2010 edition, and Mr. Russo hasn't disappointed with this cracking collection. I'm not really one for review writing so I won't go into details about each story, but out of the twenty here, only two could I class anywhere near not having enjoyed all that much, which is a much better attrition rate than any previous collections I've read. Essential to anyone who loves the art of the short story.

While being very hard to narrow down, here are the stories that really stood out for me (Originally to be be a top five, but I just enjoyed far too many.)

Someone Ought To Tell Her There's Nowhere To Go - Danielle Evans
The Valetudinarian - Joshua Ferris
Least Resistance - Wayne Harrison
Painted Ocean, Painted Ship - Rebecca Makkai
Further Interpretations Of Real-Life Events - Kevin Moffett
The Ascent - Ron Rash
The Seagull Army Descends On Strong Beach - Karen Russell
The Cowboy Tango - Maggie Shipstead
Raw Water - Wells Tower

jankjickjunk's review against another edition

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2.0

This is the first collection of Best American Short Stories that I have read, and I was pretty disappointed. I really enjoyed some of the stories, specifically "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach" by Karen Russell and "The Cowboy Tango" by Maggie Shipstead. Some of the stories in this collection do have heart, but the majority lack originality, vision, and even authenticity. Maybe it's a problem with the editor of this edition, but it does not make me feel very optimistic about the state of American writing if this was the best they could come up with.

willys's review against another edition

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3.0

It's hard to rate the anthology as a whole for obvious reasons, but my favorite stories (roughly in order) were:
-"The Cowboy Tango" by Maggie Shipstead
-"The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach" by Karen Russell
-"The Netherlands Lives with Water" by Jim Shepard
-"The Valetudinarian" by Joshua Ferris

dreesreads's review against another edition

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3.0

None of these were bad or boring (OK I actively did not like one), but my favorites were by:
Rebecca Makkai, Ron Rash, Karen Russell, Jim Shepard, and Wells Tower

summervl's review

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4.0

Most stories were excellent, but two stood out above the rest. Lauren Groff's "Delicate, Edible Birds" and Tea Olbrecht's haunting "The Laugh" were outstanding, stories I won't soon forget.

seanmcfinn's review

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4.0

This year's - wait, last year's - Best American Short Stories is a great collection. It's not that some years are bad; it's that the editor's picks don't jibe with my sensibilities, tastes or whatever those things are that make me like one order of sentences and choice of words over another.

There are no weak link stories in this collection. I could name the ones I liked least, but I they're still good stories; I will say that Ron Rash's 'Ascent', Maggie Shipstead's 'The Cowboy Tango' and Brendan Mathews 'Last Attempt To Explain To You What happened To The Lion Tamer' crushed me. I want to read the collection again because right now I don't even remember them all! The second reading of a story is usually deeper, and more rewarding for me anyway. I could hear echoes of Richard Russo's voice in the stories; in all the writing there is the pathos of people doing their best but knowing struggle and sabotage as hard habit, and an always honest, sometimes weary humor. And all the stories are so personal. None of them skim the water, there's just a plunge happening. Thanks for the collection Mrs Pitlor and Mr Russo.

bibliocyclist's review

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4.0

Love was sometimes like silence, beautiful but hard to bear.

But then, somehow, usually by accident, you experience joy. And the problem with joy is that it binds you to life; it makes you greedy for more happiness. You experience avarice. You hope your life will go on forever.

Green nuclei of fireflies,
The red commas of two fires.

Here I am trying to eulogize Mother Nature and this is the tableau she presents me with.

"Let those with abundance remember that they are surrounded by thorns."

karencarlson's review

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4.0

Detailed comments on each story plus intro and summary (with possible spoilers) on A Just Recompense
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