This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You

This Isn t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You A man builds a tree house by a river in anticipation of the coming flood A sugar beet crashes through a young woman s windscreen A boy sets fire to a barn A pair of itinerant labourers sit by a lake

  • Title: This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
  • Author: Jon McGregor
  • ISBN: 9781408809266
  • Page: 387
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A man builds a tree house by a river, in anticipation of the coming flood A sugar beet crashes through a young woman s windscreen A boy sets fire to a barn A pair of itinerant labourers sit by a lake, talking about shovels and sex, while fighter planes fly low overhead and prepare for war.These aren t the sort of things you imagine happening to someone like you But somA man builds a tree house by a river, in anticipation of the coming flood A sugar beet crashes through a young woman s windscreen A boy sets fire to a barn A pair of itinerant labourers sit by a lake, talking about shovels and sex, while fighter planes fly low overhead and prepare for war.These aren t the sort of things you imagine happening to someone like you But sometimes they do.Set in the flat and threatened fenland landscape, where the sky is dominant and the sea lurks just beyond the horizon, these delicate, dangerous, and sometimes deeply funny stories tell of things buried and unearthed, of familiar places made strange, and of lives where much is hidden, much is at risk, and tender moments are hard won.Watch Jon McGregor reading from This Isn t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like YouJon McGregor discusses This Isn t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You

    One thought on “This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You”

    1. I really wanted to give this 5 stars, because a good half or more of the stories are just terrific. I also see McGregor as one of the great up and coming English fiction writers (as opposed to British – there’s no end of brilliant Scottish, Irish and Welsh writers). Him and Ross Raisin. You feel with McGregor he is always pushing at boundaries in order to express himself with more accuracy, with more empathy. So he bends the usual practises of fiction in order to make us feel. It puts some p [...]

    2. These stories make up a true collection, one of place. Perhaps because much of it is set in the fens, at times I was reminded of Graham Swift's Waterland and that I want to reread that novel one day. Only two of the stories have recurring characters, but it's as if each story needs the other to achieve that unifying impression of place, and that alone was impressive. (The sum being much greater than its parts?)Some of the stories are brilliant, but none reached the high bar set by his novels. A [...]

    3. Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se gaseste pe blogul meuCe face McGregor? Titlul vorbește de la sine, teoretic. Sunt o serie de povestiri care au drept subiect banala existență a unor personaje cărora li se întâmplă lucruri care nu li s-ar întâmpla niciodată. Probabil că nici nu li s-a întâmplat ceea ce se petrece în poveștile în care sunt protagoniști. Poveștile sunt ciudate. Unuia îi este frică să mănânce ouă deoarece la un moment dat s-ar putea să găsească un pui [...]

    4. These short stories range from stream-of-consciousness monologue to the cold hard precision of a bureaucratic report to the awkward rambling of a transcript. Each is haunting and indelible, while being utterly impressive – impressive in the sense of being impressed upon the reader, of leaving a mark.This is one of the very best collections I’ve ever read, and if you’re a fan of short fiction, particularly short fiction that leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination, this is right up your [...]

    5. I think the title is ironic. The sort of things that happen in the stories can and do happen to many of us but it is the consideration and contemplation of the events that show us the extraordinary in ordinary lives.The stories are mostly set in a specific and closely observed landscape in an indistinct time when the characters seem to be on the brink of or living through a catastrophic situation.Some of the stories are far more engaging and intriguing than others and I think the author is playi [...]

    6. Review by Sam Ruddock - Summer Reads ProducerThis Isn't The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You could be the title of any of Jon McGregor's four published books. He's a writer interested in moments that change lives and the legacy of these upon his characters. His debut, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, took this concept literally, fusing narratives charting the effects of a single incident and using them to create tension as another narrative built to that crescendo moment. Eve [...]

    7. I tend not to be a fan of short stories, they’re usually not as good as novels. This, of course, is a sweeping generalisation and, like all sweeping generalisations, is wrong. What I like are stories with a bit of depth, which is not the same thing as length though the two are easily conflated.This collection of short stories all share a general setting and contain repeated themes, in a couple of notable instances repeated characters as well. The book as a whole therefore isn’t so different [...]

    8. My friend the crime writer Jim Kelly whose books are set in Ely and King's Lynn, recommended this collection to me because my novel Ninepins was set in the fens and these stories, too, all have the fen landscape as their backdrop - though in this case Lincs rather more than Norfolk or Cambs. I was totally blown away - so much so that I felt completely disorientated when reading it on the train back from London and nearly missed my stop at Cambridge station and ended up adrift in King's Lynn - wh [...]

    9. I've been reading more short stories recently, and am really starting to appreciate that they are an art form These are very eclectic, so there is an element of surprise each time. They are all linked by an acute perception of how people think and feel, in all manner of situations. Lyrical language and, often, the perfect word to give exactly the right nuance A delight, and one to reread and savour.

    10. This collection is uneven. Some of the stories are brilliant and others seem like an afterthought. The stream-of-consciousness style is entertaining, although I found a few stories a bit pointless. This book would have benefited from more curating, culling, and editing. I'm not sure why it's considered one of the best short story collections of all time.

    11. Interactive StorytellingJon McGregor doesn't so much tell stories as invite the reader to find them. Take the first two items in this collection, one short, the other fairly long. "That Colour" is a single paragraph of just over a page. A woman standing in the front row of a cottage calls to a man washing dishes in the kitchen to come and look at the autumnal leaves over the road. He finishes the washing; he comes to her; he takes her hand. That is all. But the writing makes you ask questions— [...]

    12. This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You is a collection of short stories: 30 stories, of varying lengths (one is just one sentence; one is thirty pages) and varying styles (1st-person, 2nd-person, and 3rd person narration are all used; one story is in the form of a numbered list of "Supplementary Notes To The Testimony Of Appellants B & E"; another is a list of place names). I don't read that many short story collections, and I don't know why not: when they're good, as [...]

    13. Very mixed bag. Some utterly stunning short stories - they will stay with me. Some real misses. Almost felt as though it was the work of a class of students - some at genius level, some who rushed a quick assignment just before class.

    14. I’m a huge fan of Jon McGregor’s novel’s – If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is one of my favourite books, ever. So, as a keen reader of short stories, I was tremendously excited to get my hands on This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You – so much so I even bought it in hardback, which I haven’t done with another book in as long as I remember. These stories are more experimental, more subtle than the novels (not that they were unsubtle or conventional, qui [...]

    15. When I first began reading this volume, I thought perhaps that the stories were connected. They all appear to take place in Lincolnshire (with one exception, which takes place in Japan, in which a main character from the Lincolnshire area is on vacation), and the author is careful to note specific place names. However, the stories themselves seem to have little to do with the named places, and most could have taken place anywhere.Some of the stories are experimental in nature. An early story int [...]

    16. The most unique collection of short stories I have read so far. I'm not even sure some of them could be termed as such. His voice is simple yet intriguing at times; the way he describes everything is so beautiful, some so dreamy and yet matter-of-fact. He brings out feeling in the subtlest of ways. However in some of them I wasn't sure what was going on. Is there a theme in this collection which ties everything or at least some of these stories together? I get the feeling there is but I can't ma [...]

    17. I passionately love McGrgeor's writing - he's a prose poet of the highest talent; he writes with beauty, wit, compassion and deep insight. All of these qualities are apparent in this volume of short stories and poems; some of them easy and accessible, others downright odd but no less brilliant for that. If there's a unifying theme here, for me it's about the lenses we view events and life through and how those shift over time. Whatever the unifying theme, McGregor remains for me one of the fines [...]

    18. I have loved all of Jon McGregor's other novels - but this one was not for me sadly. Never been a huge fan of short stories and just didn't really get these. I thought they may be linked but could draw no relationships other than the locations. Many of them finished without an ending - I know you are meant to interpret your own ending but it just made me frustrated. A couple were OK and kept me reading more avidly but there were many I just didn't understand :-(

    19. can't give this a five in good conscious because there are a few short stories that i didn't like that much in here, but i still ABSOLUTELY recommend you pick it up, some of the short stories here are the best things i've read all yearrsonal favorite stories: wires, we wave and call, and we were just driving around

    20. This is an excellent book of short stories to read on a train travelling through the east of England on a grey day.

    21. Buku ini telah mengajar aku yang, ending sesebuah cerita memang tidak penting langsung. Fuck endings. Let's just live!

    22. A hit-or-miss collection from a writer that definitely has a lot of talent and potentially greatness to come.

    23. Jon McGregor's stories are rooted in the (largely ignored by contemporary literature) county of Lincolnshire. Many of the stories in this collection are strange, incidental snatches of everyday life, often with a dark edge of impending crisis or societal breakdown. They are very much the sort of thing that could you believe could happen to someone like you. McGregor loves to experiment with form and with new ways of telling, and the sheer variety of the stories in the collection is exhilarating. [...]

    24. A very reluctant 4 out of 5 stars. Four stories in this collection are masterfully written and warranted a ‘wow!’ - two of which made my heart race. But, a couple stories weren’t worth the strain to the eyes and the remaining were just ‘meh.’ That said, McGregor’s writing contains more voices than a Rich Little show (dating myself here, I know) and he definitely knows how to turn a phrase. Encouraged enough to check into his novels.

    25. As a fan of the marvelous Even the Dogs and if Nobody Speaks, I was disappointed. Despite occasional strong moments and an overall playfulness, too many of the stories are either systematically trite or else (Mr Davison; New York) exercises in voice or style that came across as far too self-conscious; the pervasive menace, low-key and oblique, too obviously Pinteresque.

    26. With this book I made my acquaintance with Jon McGregor's short stories. I'm not much of a short story reader generally, but if someone can promise me they're all this good I will pick them up more often.As previously with McGregor, I am highly impressed. One of his great strengths is making the most of the things that are unsaid. With what he writes, he manages to draw the outline of the unsaid things, not only showing the shape (if not the detailed content) clearly, but also showing up the eff [...]

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