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The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman

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Bruce Jay Friedman has been hailed by critics as a comic genius, a writer whose vision confronts the malaise of contemporary life with a liberating deadpan humor. Grove Press is proud to reissue the collected short stories by this acclaimed master of modern humor. Hailed by Newsweek as a bona fide literary event, The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman brings tog Bruce Jay Friedman has been hailed by critics as a comic genius, a writer whose vision confronts the malaise of contemporary life with a liberating deadpan humor. Grove Press is proud to reissue the collected short stories by this acclaimed master of modern humor. Hailed by Newsweek as a bona fide literary event, The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman brings together Friedman's fifty-seven greatest stories, which appeared in Esquire, Playboy, The New Yorker, and other magazines from 1953 to 1995. Friedman [is] more interesting than most of Malamud, Roth, and Bellow. . . . What makes him more important is that he writes out of the viscera instead of the cerebrum. -- Nelson Algren, The Nation


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Bruce Jay Friedman has been hailed by critics as a comic genius, a writer whose vision confronts the malaise of contemporary life with a liberating deadpan humor. Grove Press is proud to reissue the collected short stories by this acclaimed master of modern humor. Hailed by Newsweek as a bona fide literary event, The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman brings tog Bruce Jay Friedman has been hailed by critics as a comic genius, a writer whose vision confronts the malaise of contemporary life with a liberating deadpan humor. Grove Press is proud to reissue the collected short stories by this acclaimed master of modern humor. Hailed by Newsweek as a bona fide literary event, The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman brings together Friedman's fifty-seven greatest stories, which appeared in Esquire, Playboy, The New Yorker, and other magazines from 1953 to 1995. Friedman [is] more interesting than most of Malamud, Roth, and Bellow. . . . What makes him more important is that he writes out of the viscera instead of the cerebrum. -- Nelson Algren, The Nation

30 review for The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter Landau

    Full disclosure: my parents were friends with the Friedmans when I was growing up. They had Bruce Jay Friedman’s first two novels, STERN and A MOTHER’S KISSES, which I read. Once, on a visit, their children, Josh, Drew and Kipp, gave me their Mad paperback collection, SON OF MAD. For these things alone, I am forever in the family’s debt. So, why did it take me so long to read THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION OF BRUCE JAY FRIEDMAN? I don’t know. Shuddup! I finally did read it and the span of works fro Full disclosure: my parents were friends with the Friedmans when I was growing up. They had Bruce Jay Friedman’s first two novels, STERN and A MOTHER’S KISSES, which I read. Once, on a visit, their children, Josh, Drew and Kipp, gave me their Mad paperback collection, SON OF MAD. For these things alone, I am forever in the family’s debt. So, why did it take me so long to read THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION OF BRUCE JAY FRIEDMAN? I don’t know. Shuddup! I finally did read it and the span of works from the early ‘50s to the mid-‘90s are remarkable. They’re like extended jokes that build to a punchline climax, a literary stand-up act. Other stories capture characters that have before then eluded literature. The humor, of course, is black, and the characters are often unlikeable. But so what? My least favorite as I read were the Harry Towns stories, sort of like Friedman’s Nick Adams. There are about a half-dozen throughout the book, but the more I read, the more I liked them, even favored them. Friedman builds a complex character who reflects his times. He’s featured in a novel, too, which I guess I’ll have to get now. Personally, these pieces all were evocative of my childhood. The people, places, even situations, the way everyone talks and acts reminded me of my relatives. All that seems dated now because it’s gone. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. But it’s very good that these stories are still here to read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Connor

    I keep coming back to this book every couple of years, so some of the stories I read as far back as 8 years ago. that said, I always enjoy Friedman's writing and find him very funny. He writes about the lives of American Jews alot, mostly set in the 50's and 60's, and so for this he could be compared to a lighthearted Philip Roth, full of anecdotes after a couple drinks. shout-outs michael cera for making a short based on one of his stories, which is how I found this book. I keep coming back to this book every couple of years, so some of the stories I read as far back as 8 years ago. that said, I always enjoy Friedman's writing and find him very funny. He writes about the lives of American Jews alot, mostly set in the 50's and 60's, and so for this he could be compared to a lighthearted Philip Roth, full of anecdotes after a couple drinks. shout-outs michael cera for making a short based on one of his stories, which is how I found this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve Day

    These collections are among my favorite. They bring to life characters that are memorable. My favorite short story is 'The Interview.' In it we get in the head of Mr. Dworkin who is interviewing a young woman for a position at his publishing company. But Dworkin reads a whole sordid past into Rachelle's seemingly normal straghtforward answers to his questions. And that simplicity is ultimately the genius of 'The Interview'. I'd love to make it into a short film; it is humorous and erotic at the These collections are among my favorite. They bring to life characters that are memorable. My favorite short story is 'The Interview.' In it we get in the head of Mr. Dworkin who is interviewing a young woman for a position at his publishing company. But Dworkin reads a whole sordid past into Rachelle's seemingly normal straghtforward answers to his questions. And that simplicity is ultimately the genius of 'The Interview'. I'd love to make it into a short film; it is humorous and erotic at the same time. I loved it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Arnold

    Entertaining funny stories. The stories don't slow down so they are engrossing and you get lost in them. So you can read a few to several of them in one sitting. One of the better short story writers I've read. Entertaining funny stories. The stories don't slow down so they are engrossing and you get lost in them. So you can read a few to several of them in one sitting. One of the better short story writers I've read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    There are many stories in this collection, but most seem to share themes of parents (especially overly familiar mothers), writing, or dark twists of surrealism. Individually, most are worthwhile but reading them in this collection felt like a chore at times.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Martin Olson

    The best stories by my favorite contemporary comedy writer. Some of my favorites are missing from this collection, but not too many.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna Deisinger

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fred Perry

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason Ward

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Leite

  13. 5 out of 5

    Greg Mills

  14. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey Huck

  15. 4 out of 5

    Monty

  16. 5 out of 5

    Arnold Frank

  17. 5 out of 5

    New Texture

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gil Roth

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rosenblum

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Comey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jesse McLean

  22. 5 out of 5

    William Lashner

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Wilder

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emmett Grogan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike Pace

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael J.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Corupe

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mia Scioscia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark Feltskog

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