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The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 (2005)

de Joyce Carol Oates (Editor & Introduction), Otto Penzler (Series Editor)

Outros autores: Richard Burgin (Contribuinte), Louise Erdrich (Contribuinte), Daniel Handler (Contribuinte), George V. Higgins (Contribuinte), Edward P. Jones (Contribuinte)15 mais, Stuart M. Kaminsky (Contribuinte), Dennis Lehane (Contribuinte), Laura Lippman (Contribuinte), Lou Manfredo (Contribuinte), Tim McLoughlin (Contribuinte), David Means (Contribuinte), Kent Nelson (Contribuinte), Daniel Orozco (Contribuinte), David Rachel (Contribuinte), Joseph Raiche (Contribuinte), John Sayles (Contribuinte), Sam Shaw (Contribuinte), Oz Spies (Contribuinte), Scott Turow (Contribuinte), Scott Wolven (Contribuinte)

Séries: The Best American Mystery Stories (2005), Best American (2005)

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The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 includes Scott Turow * Edward P. Jones * Louise Erdrich * Dennis Lehane * Daniel Handler * Laura Lippman * George V. Higgins * David Means * Richard Burgin * Scott Wolven * Stuart M. Kaminsky * and others Joyce Carol Oates, guest editor, is a highly respected novelist, critic, playwright, poet, and short story writer. She is the author of numerous books, including the National Book Award winner Them and most recently the novel The Falls.… (mais)

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Exibindo 5 de 5
Hate to say it, but I did not get a lot out of these stories. I would read one, it would be somewhat interesting and then end flat, leaving me with the feeling of being cheated. Kinda like eating stone crackers with no water or salt. Tasteless. Bland. And sadly, I could not finish this thick book.

Rather, I picked up its companion, Best American Fantastic Tales, and this reads much better. ( )
  James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
Hate to say it, but I did not get a lot out of these stories. I would read one, it would be somewhat interesting and then end flat, leaving me with the feeling of being cheated. Kinda like eating stone crackers with no water or salt. Tasteless. Bland. And sadly, I could not finish this thick book.

Rather, I picked up its companion, Best American Fantastic Tales, and this reads much better. ( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
The first mystery in The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 is why Joyce Carol Oates was chosen to edit this collection, since she’s not a mystery writer. The books she writes under the pseudonyms Rosamond Smith and Lauren Kelly, sometimes billed as mysteries, are crime stories where family secrets come slowly out in the narration, hardly mysteries in the usual genre sense. Such quibbling takes nothing away from her literary judgment though, and this collection contains topnotch stories that have appeared not only in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine but also in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Atlantic, and various small magazines.
Many will consider the jewel of the collection to be the longish story called “Jack Duggan’s Law,” written by George V. Higgins. Higgins, who wrote the mystery classic The Friends of Eddie Coyle, died in 1999, and this story’s delayed publication in 2005 may make it the last of his works to see print.
But there are other treats as well. Stuart Kaminsky has a story called “The Shooting of John Roy Worth,” where we learn in the first few paragraphs that the town’s sign painter, probably mentally retarded and certainly mentally disturbed, intends to kill the only celebrity from the little town of Pardo, Texas. From there the story moves toward its conclusion quickly and inevitably. But Kaminsky’s rapidly drawn, convincing characters provide a surprise ending.
Scott Wolven’s story, “Barracuda,” describes in the best hard-boiled tradition an upstate New York subculture in which the usual human virtues of honesty, loyalty, and pity have no place.
Here’s the opening from a story by Dennis Lehane that he calls “Until Gwen”:
Your father picks you up from prison in a stolen Dodge Neon, with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat. Two minutes into the ride, the prison still hanging tilted in the rearview, Mandy tells you that she only hooks part-time. The rest of the time she does light secretarial for an independent video chain and tends bar, two Sundays a month, at the local VFW. But she feels her calling—her true calling in life—is to write.
That opening, which I would characterize as Elmore Leonard meets Garrison Keillor, might fool you into thinking that “Until Gwen” will be a comic story. But it keeps on getting darker and darker until, as Lehane himself admits in the biographical notes at the end of the book, “it ended up being arguably the darkest thing I’ve ever written.” And that, coming from the man who wrote Mystic River, is dark indeed.
On the other hand, Daniel Orozco’s story, “Officers Weep,” really is funny throughout. Orozco manages to present a mystery, a love story, and some urban social comedy while never deviating from the form of police reports, a sequence of them from two lines to two dozen lines long. It’s an ingenious narrative device, and Orozco captures the authentic sound of police lingo. ( )
  michaelm42071 | Sep 6, 2009 |
I want Joyce Carol Oates to edit more anthologies. Best American Mystery Stories is always a worthy read, but the 2005 iteration under Ms. Oates' purview is outstanding. Every year unsuspecting readers excoriate the guest editor and Otto Penzler, the series editor, for the very loose criteria they apply to "mystery" stories, generally requiring only that a tale touch on a crime to be considered. Maybe that waters down the mystery as sleuthing/procedural aspect, but when you have stories like the ones Oates picked, who cares?

You've got "literary" work like "Old Boys, Old Girls" from Edward P. Jones and "Until Gwen" from Dennis Lehane, a cunning play on newspaper police reports in "Officers Weep" from Daniel Orozco, a smart identity puzzle in "The Last Man I Killed" from David Rachel and an amusing parable on fame in our culture in Stuart Kaminsky's "The Shooting of John Roy Worth." Fantastic pieces all. ( )
  johnleague | Jan 31, 2008 |
The introduction by Joyce Carol Oates contains perhaps the best description of the power and beauty of the mystery/crime/noir genre(s) that I have ever read:

"There is no art in violence, only crude, cruel, raw, and irremediable harm, but there can be art in the strategies by which violence is endured, transcended and transformed by survivors. Where there is no meaning, both death and life can seem pointless, but where meaning can be discovered, perhaps even violence an be redeemed, to a degree." p. xiii

"I can appreciate the powerful attraction of mystery as art: it's the formal, mediated, frequently ingenious and riveting simulacrum of the unexplained in our lives, the haphazard, hurtful, confusing, tragic. A crime or mystery novel is the elaboration of a riddle to which the answer is invariably less gripping than the riddle; a crime or mystery story is likely to be a single, abbreviated segment of the riddle, reduced to a few characters and a few dramatic scenes....Writers in the genre are...obsessively compelled to pursue the riddle, the withheld information, the 'mystery' shimmering always out of reach -- in this way tranforming the merely violent and chaotic into art to be shared with others in a communal enterprise." p. xiv
  JFBallenger | Jun 23, 2007 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Oates, Joyce CarolEditor & Introductionautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Penzler, OttoSeries Editorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Burgin, RichardContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Erdrich, LouiseContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Handler, DanielContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Higgins, George V.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Jones, Edward P.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kaminsky, Stuart M.Contribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lehane, DennisContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lippman, LauraContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Manfredo, LouContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
McLoughlin, TimContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Means, DavidContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Nelson, KentContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Orozco, DanielContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Rachel, DavidContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Raiche, JosephContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Sayles, JohnContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Shaw, SamContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Spies, OzContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Turow, ScottContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wolven, ScottContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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The Best American series has been the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction since 1915. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the very best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected--and most popular--of its kind. The Best American Mystery Stories 2005 includes Scott Turow * Edward P. Jones * Louise Erdrich * Dennis Lehane * Daniel Handler * Laura Lippman * George V. Higgins * David Means * Richard Burgin * Scott Wolven * Stuart M. Kaminsky * and others Joyce Carol Oates, guest editor, is a highly respected novelist, critic, playwright, poet, and short story writer. She is the author of numerous books, including the National Book Award winner Them and most recently the novel The Falls.

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