These interrelated stories are arranged in two sections, one devoted to virtues ("Bravery", "Loyalty", "Chastity", "Charity", and "Forbearance") and the other to vices ("Lust", "Sloth", "Avarice", "Gluttony", and "Vanity"). They are cast with characters who appear and reappear throughout the collection, their actions equally divided between the praiseworthy and the loathsome.
"More Virtue than Vices"
In vignettes both comic and sexy, the owner of a coffee shop recalls the day his first wife seemed to achieve a moment of simple perfection, while she remembers the women's softball game during which she was stricken by the beauty of the shortstop. A young couple spends hours at the coffee shop fueling the idea of their fierce love. A professor of philosophy, stopping by for a cup of coffee, makes a valiant attempt to explain what he knows to be the inexplicable workings of the human heart.
"Beautiful book, beautifully read"
Starships come in many shapes and sizes. Their crews and passengers are an eclectic lot. They venture into the deep voids of space on their assigned missions. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they do not. This collection tells the stories of the crews and passengers aboard six of these starships.
"two 4 stars, one 3 star and three one star"
National Book Award finalist Charles Baxter earns sweeping critical acclaim for his fiction, which is favorably compared to that of Anton Chekhov and William Trevor. In this compelling novel, graduate student Nathaniel Mason's life changes dramatically when he meets the unusual yet intriguing Jerome Coolberg at a party. Soon, Jerome seems to have appropriated Nathaniel's life, telling personal stories as though they are from his own experiences.
In the two years since they were married, nothing has mattered so much to either Saul or Patsy as the fact that they are just that: Saul-and-Patsy. And though they've ended up in a small city of Five Oaks, Michigan, their life together is an idyll of domestic romance. At least for a while.
"Saul and Patsy"
Dickens and Hardy knew it, and Chaucer knew it before them: the face can be a powerful expression of personality. So why, in the last hundred years, has literature increasingly put its characters behind masks?