Ninety-nine Stories of God

Ninety-nine Stories of God

Book - 2016
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Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind's most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.This series of short, fictional vignettes explores our day-to-day interactions with an ever-elusive and arbitrary God. It's the Book of Common Prayer as seen through a looking glass--a powerfully vivid collection of seemingly random life moments. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams's characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for Him when He's standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he's in line to get a shingles vaccination. At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.
Publisher: Portland, OR : Tin House Books, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781941040355
1941040357
Branch Call Number: WILLIAMS
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: 99 stories of God

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many of these clever short-short stories make one stop and think which interrupts the orderly progression of the linear stream of consciousness; unfortunately it always recommences after a short pause, but ain't that just the way of life. if god were not nearly always present in them, they would not be so impressive; it is the linking of the object lessons with the archetype of god present in the reader's mind that makes for the impact which has power enough to achieve the aforementioned interruption. see suzuki and william james for further on this point.

w
Waluconis
Jan 30, 2019

The Lord wanted to read about himself and came across this book. He read through it.
“Clever,” he said, “and interesting. But I don’t understand. Many of the stories don’t seem to be about me.”
“But they really are,” I said. “Look at the title. You just need to consider each story from a different angle. Don’t just look at the surface.”
“Oh,” he said, looking through the book again. “Now I think I get it.”
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Actually, it’s probably not fair to represent the book with a bogus example. “99 Stories of God” is very clever, describes a number of different events or situations, and purposefully leaves more questions than answers. The world we live in is portrayed as a frustrating place, and God, when present, seems often to be as frustrated as anyone. In a way the stories are reminiscent of Zen Koans (remember them), but even less pointed. It certainly is not the final word on God, and it certainly doesn’t try to be - thank God.

b
brangwinn
May 06, 2017

If for no other reason, the ability to write a short story in less than 5 paragraphs make this interesting reading. Some of the stories will make you put down the book for a while just to think what they are about. Others are very clear in their meaning. It’s not a book of religious inspiration in stories, but it is a book that is very original and makes for great reading for both the believe and the non-believer.

Nicr Nov 21, 2016

Provocative, funny, elusive, propulsive--rewards multiple rereadings.

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