The Paris Review, if you don't know, is a quarter literary publication not from Paris. Every three months, this group of people pulls together one of the most historically influential literary publications. The Paris Review is so great, because it's nothing like a book. An amalgamation of short stories, poems, essays, occasional photos, and the always highly anticipated interview, this usually 100-150 page booklet serves as a who's who in modern literature. If you're looking to name check yourself some English then this is certainly the publication for you. This book coming in at 752 pages is surprisingly just a microcosm of the past fifty years or 200 publications. This overview of literature maintains the same format that readers of the Review have come to know and love. In the end, the book does a magnificent job of covering from Faulkner to Munro and everywhere in between, which brings me to the title. The book is formally called: The Paris Review Book of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953. As lengthy as the title is, it does a good job of embodying the variation one sees within even a single issue. You see, the Review never tried to cater to a particular crowd or harp on a particular manifesto. The goal of the Review was always to bring together what's new in literature; to condense it and repackage it. And if you've ever read an issue, you know what I'm saying when I say that all the heartfelt joys and sorrows of life seem to pop up in these stories. There isn't any of that Harry Potter shit here (sorry to you Potter-heads). These stories, these interviews, these poems, these essays, they all deal with the completely and utterly human and it's so blissfully spectacular. Two versions are available for purchase, hardcover from 18$ and softcover from from 11$. Prices include shipping.
View hardcover details at Amazon.
View softcover details at Amazon.