Stories For Nighttime And Some For The Day

Paperback | July 26, 2011

byBen Loory

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“This guy can write!” —Ray Bradbury

Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people-and monsters and trees and jocular octopi-who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination.

Contains 40 stories, including “The Duck,” “The Man and the Moose,” and “Death and the Fruits of the Tree,” as heard on NPR’s This American Life, “The Book,” as heard on Selected Shorts, and “The TV,” as published in The New Yorker.

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From the Publisher

“This guy can write!” —Ray Bradbury Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people-and monsters and trees and jocular octopi-who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where thei...

Ben Loory is the author of the collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, and a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus. His fables and tales have appeared in The New Yorker and on This American Life and Selected Shorts. He lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is an instructor for the UCLA Extens...

other books by Ben Loory

The Baseball Player and the Walrus
The Baseball Player and the Walrus

Kobo ebook|Feb 24 2015

$11.99

Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.75 × 5.2 × 0.59 inPublished:July 26, 2011Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143119508

ISBN - 13:9780143119500

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Customer Reviews of Stories For Nighttime And Some For The Day

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A surprisingly wonderful short story collection! I had Ben Loory’s Stories for Nighttime and Some For the Day on my wishlist at the library for quite some time before I got it. Once I had it in my hands, I didn’t know what to think–I knew it was short stories, but for kids? For adults? With titles like ‘The Octopus’ or ‘The Fish in the Teapot,’ I thought maybe it was a scarier book of short stories for children. Either way, I was happy to give it a read–I had heard only good things about it. I started reading it late in the evening, just before bed. It’s a surprisingly quick read and only took a few hours. From what I read about Loory, the book was written after he had taken a course on writing short horror stories. While some of the stories in the book aren’t necessarily horror, a lot of them are definitely fantasy or magical. The ones that are horror really made me think, “Yes, this is not a kid’s book!” Think back to when you were a kid and you could just make up stories about silly things, you know–things that just don’t seem to go together, like an octopus living in the city, or the sea wanting to visit a house, or flying away like a balloon. This is what’s going on in Ben Loory’s head and it’s magical. I found all of the stories fascinating and would really recommend it to any writer who may be over-thinking their craft. The stories are very short, lots of little paragraphs, easy dialogue, but they’re definitely stories for an escape–in fact, none of them are what one would call “normal.” But that’s not a bad thing! It felt so nice to just escape into something completely different, something that I had never read before. Horror doesn’t have to be epic 500-page novels–Ben Loory shows that horror can encompass a mere 3 pages. And he succeeds in every single story in this book. Many of the stories in this small volume read like a little nightmare, a dark tale to chill you–just enough–on even the warmest day, while others are the epitome of charm and wit. This would be the perfect little book for a short story university class, giving each student their own little gem to dissect. I feel like I should reread the entire thing just to be sure I didn’t miss anything!
Date published: 2012-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic short story collection I love a good short story collection. When I was a kid, probably about eleven years old, I read Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains" and fell in love with short stories — I couldn't get enough. All of the short stories that I read just seemed so different from the novels that I was used to reading, so I read more and more. Bradbury, Poe, O. Henry, I lapped them up. At eleven, I didn't spend any time thinking about what made a short story so special, I just knew that they were different, and so I kept on reading. As a teenager, I gave more thought to the short story as an artform, and my respect for them grew (think along the lines of the Grinch's heart). I felt then, and still feel now, that a short story forces the reader to think more, and to engage with the narrative on a very different level than a novel does. A good short story, no matter what the genre, will stick with me for ages — in many cases, forever. It will keep you thinking long after you've closed the covers and returned the book to the shelf. So now that I've made clear my fondness for short stories, I'll get to spilling about Ben Loory's Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day. Despite my inclination for short stories, there are some that I love, some that I like, and some that I don't care for. In the case of Stories, I loved it. The collection is witty and touching, and at the same time dark and terrifying. The stories in this collection run the gamut of emotions. Some of the stories are so short, I'd be inclined to call them microfiction — like "The Shadow" — while others are a more standard short story length. Regardless of length, each of the stories is beautiful. The following are four of the stories that really stood out, for me, in the collection: "The Swimming Pool," in which a man becomes convinced that there is a shark, and then a monster, living in a local public pool. "The Octopus," the story of an octopus lives in an apartment in the city, and his nephews come to visit him from the ocean."The Duck" is the tale of a duck that falls in love with a rock. This one really gave off the vibe of a myth or folk story. It was really beautiful. Finally, "The Man and The Moose" is another fantastic tale, this time of the friendship that develops between a moose and a parachuter. Each of these four stories is beautifully crafted, and each one keeps you thinking and, in some cases, smiling long after you've finished reading. As a reader, you know yourself whether you're inclined to like short stories. If you're a lover of short fiction, then I can't recommend this book to you enough. If you haven't picked up a short story collection in a while, I'd suggest you give this one a try. It's a beautiful, surreal collection that deserves to be read (over and over).
Date published: 2012-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bizarre and Fanstatic In my time, I have read a lot of very bizarre books but this one truly takes the cake. A collection of short stories about some of the strangest things you can think of; an octopus that leaves the ocean to collect spoons in New York City to a TV that writes an opera about Winston Churchill, this book leaves you guessing. It is a masterpiece that leaves you feeling as if you've been plunged headfirst into the world of dreams and nightmares. Ben Loory has the beautiful ability to terrify and fascinate and intrigue all at the same time, leaving the reader captivated. I sat down with it, saying I'd only read a few of the stories but suddenly found that I'd read the whole thing from cover to cover.
Date published: 2011-10-19

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“Wild, dreamy debut . . . these stories are full of wit, humor, and heart. . . . Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a wonderful introduction to a writer capable of finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places.” —Boston Globe   “Very good fun . . .Playing with and sometimes combining genres, including horror, allegory and fairy tale, Loory refreshes the story form while acknowledging apprenticeship to such masters as Ray Bradbury and Franz Kafka.” —San Francisco Chronicle   “Lovely tales of the fantastic.” —Elle Magazine (An “Elle Recommends” Pick)   “Loory bends reality with wry humor and anthropomorphic shenanigans. . . . These are some fractured fairy tales.” —Time Out NY   “[L]onely, haunting, and dreamlike.” —Gary K. Wolfe, Locus Magazine   “Strange, gorgeous fables—the reader isn’t sure if she has dreamed them or read them.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Review of Books   “Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day might be the best collection of wonder and amazement I have ever read.” —Michael Jones, Blogcritics.org   “[I]mmensely entertaining.” —The AV Club   “The 40 cheerfully ominous stories in this collection feel like collaborations between Tex Avery and Franz Kafka.” —Publishers Weekly   “One of a kind: a thoroughly entertaining antidote to rigid thinking and excessive seriousness.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)   “Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is that rare find—a book that excites the reader. These tales are hilarious and vertiginous in the calmly absurd manner of Lydia Davis, Jack Handey and Etgar Keret. With his first book, Ben Loory proves he’s already a master of the sleight of hand.” —Stewart O’Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster   “If Mother Goose and Philip K. Dick had a love child, and Richard Brautigan raised him in Watermelon Sugar, he might write stories like Ben Loory.” —Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here   “Ben Loory’s debut is a mesmerizing landscape of nightmares, daydreams, fables, and parables—sometimes all four at once—that crackles with prose so spare and clean you’ll swear you can see it gleam, with themes so intensely personal, you’ll want to weigh them in your palm and bear them away. —Keith Dixon, author of Ghostfires   “Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a book that comes alive when you read it. It will stand on its own, pet your hair while you sleep, and hold the umbrella over your head in the rain.” —Aaron Dietz, author of Super   “Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a unique accomplishment. Short, terse, and disquieting, Loory’s tales will compel readers to reflect upon our troubling times and grasp how our world has been turned upside down. In this respect, they are postmodern fairy tales which do not promise false happiness but enlighten us about the distorted manner in which our world has been transformed.” —Jack Zipes, editor of The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales; author of Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion   “Ben Loory’s haunting fables spin off puzzlements that stay with you long after you’ve put down the book.” —Edward Packard, creator of Choose Your Own Adventure   “Some write like a dream, but each of these impressive stories reads like one (even those written ‘for day’). Disarmingly simple and startlingly profound, Ben Loory’s tales take readers through a wholly original universe of whimsy and pathos, moral darkness and brilliantly illuminated truths. Like the best dreams, they resonate, linger and haunt long after the Ambien wears off.” —James P. Othmer, author of The Futurist   “Quite unlike anything else I have read, a singular work that seems content to explore a universe all its own, in the manner of, say, ‘Kubla Khan’ or The Circus of Dr. Lao. The cumulative effect is not cloying but strangely exhilarating, both for its deadpan considerations of life and death and the things that happen in between and for some unexpected revelations about the essence of storytelling that arise from its stripped-down style. It will be exciting to see what this quietly fearless writer publishes next.” —Dennis Etchison, author of The Dark Country   “Ben Loory is a writer who makes me feel less alone in the world. He also makes me feel like the world is more—and not less—absurd than I had originally suspected, which always comes as a strange relief. All of this is another way of saying that Loory is an original, and a good one, and someone well worth reading. Funny, weird, insightful, and wry. A giver of wincing laughter. I recommend him highly and could easily see several cults forming around his work. Good cults, too. Not the staid, mediocre variety.” —Brad Listi, author of Attention. Deficit. Disorder.   “Ben Loory is a master cosmologist waiting to be discovered, with a parabolic telescope that will allow you to see right to the living heart, not of the matter, but of matter itself, of what matters.” —Andrew Ramer, author of Little Pictures: Fiction for a New Age   “Ben Loory’s stories are small surprises of beauty and wonder—often tragic, sometimes comic, but always full of hope.” —Mary Gutterson, author of We Are All Fine Here