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Book reviews for "Halpern,_Daniel" sorted by average review score:

The Art of the Tale: An International Anthology of Short Stories
Published in Paperback by Penguin USA (Paper) (1989)
Author: Daniel Halpern
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A real find
I'm a teacher of a small short-stories course, and it is harder than you'd think to find a collection of short stories that shows true variety. _The Art of the Tale_ is one of those rare ones--it is truly international (most that claim to be are actually feature nearly all-American or all-British writers) and varied in subject (many collections are devoted to a theme--which is fine, but not suitable for my purposes). On top of that, it is HUGE, with over 80 stories, yet lightweight enough to carry around easily, and the price easily beats any other comparable collection. (The last one we used had 1/3 the stories for nearly triple the price.)

And even better, this is not yet another collection of all those "standard" stories that seem to appear again and again in every collection. Halpern did include many great authors, but for the most part he sought out less-well-known stories by those authors, so I can share the joy of discovery experienced by my students.

Collection of most profound literature I have encountered.
I don't believe that I will ever uncover a more diverse, richly rewarding and profoundly influencing introduction to the higher planes of human endeavor than I have in this single book. The diversity of style from ultra modern to classical is extreme and deadly effective. Intellectual food for will be scarred for life with a painful awareness of the insanely limitless and tenuous boundaries which we think defines our inner psyche from our tangible world, and of the realms within human societies.To attempt to explore the works within this book is taking a major step in gaining an awareness that will only serve to further the cause of mankind, and serve as a weapon against those that would attempt to hold it back

The Good Food: Soups, Stews, and Pastas
Published in Paperback by Ecco (1993)
Authors: Daniel Halpern and Julie Strand
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Delightful marriage of the traditional and the unexpected
This gem of a cookbook, published in 1985, was way ahead of its time. The inside jacket flap reads, "Drawing on the diverse cooking traditions of America, Italy, France, India, Morocco, and the Middle East, the authors have assembed 184 recipes that include not only the classic examples of each cuisine, but also unsual dishes that provide surprising gastronomic rewards." It is an apt description.

The book was published before roasted peppers, balsamic and other flavoured vinegars and gorgonzola cheese were as commonly used in the everyday North American kitchen as they are today. Since it focuses on soups, pastas and stews, with a few side dishes or accompaniments in a chapter at the back of the book, there is a huge variety. The soups range from the traditional, like borscht or mushroom, to chestnut soup with brandy and cream, or cream of lettuce. The stews, pastas, and salads have names that get your mouth watering: chicken tagine with prunes, onions, and almonds; braised short ribs with onions, mustard and white wine; lamb stew with rosemary and capers; penne with black olive purée and ricotta; Bibb, watercress, walnut, olive and Gruyère salad with creamy walnut dressing, etc. The recipes combine ingredients with flair, and the results are delicious, a symphony of flavours and texture. Even their chili recipe includes red wine, coriander and chocolate.

This book is one to be enjoyed when you love cooking and have the time to prepare meals. What is better than the aroma of a hearty soup or stew, simmering for hours on the stove on a wet autumn day? It is a great book for those who have a well-stocked spice rack, and who are not daunted by a long list of ingredients. The recipes are perfect for company, especially if your friends enjoy trying different dishes and ingredients. These are not meals for the rushed weekday evening or for those with strictly meat and potatoes taste. This is dining, as opposed to mere eating.

Reading the Fights
Published in Hardcover by Seaver Books (1988)
Authors: Joyce Carol Oates and Daniel Halpern
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An excellent collection by a very diverse group of writers.
I begin by admitting some prejudice: I am one of the authors included, and the name of the volume was taken from my essay (publisher's choice, not my pushiness!) This is an excellent collection, including Mailer, Liebling, Oates, and many others. Not quite the wonderful cornucopia that The Fireside Book of Boxing was some 30 or 40 years ago (that was one of the great sports' anthologies of all time), but still well worth owning. (I don't get any royalties, honest!)

Selected Poems
Published in Paperback by Ecco (1900)
Authors: William Sydney, Graham and Daniel Halpern
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Graham's Poems, not Halpern's
Contrary to the editorial review above, this volume contains selected poems by W.S. Graham, and not by this Halpern character at all. It is an adequate selection of Sydney Graham's poetry, containing the full text of 'The Nightfishing", his key modernist poem, selections from the 'Letters' and all the best known later poems - 'Malcolm Mooney's Land', 'Clusters Travelling Outward', etc.

Nothing to do with Halpern, I promise.

The Art of the Story : An International Anthology of Contemporary Short Stories
Published in Hardcover by Viking Press (1999)
Author: Daniel Halpern
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Superb sampling of short fiction
Gone are the days when a writer could earn a living publishing short stories in magazines because gone, too, are the days when most people read them. That's a shame, as this anthology demonstrates, because short fiction offers pleasures to the reader, and challenges to the writer, which are unavailable in longer forms. Like shots of liqueur, they can pack a mighty punch. "Short" doesn't mean a story can't be complex or moving, or can't address expansive themes. Indeed, that the better short stories achieve precisely those things is one measure of their greatness. Daniel Halpern's selections here prove it. His anthology not only gives hours of reading pleasure, but also provides an indispensable resource for aspiring writers: these stories display such an amazing range of themes, styles and narrative structures, they make it a veritable showcase of approaches to storytelling. For the student of literature, they offer condensed examples of how writers do their work. Of course, not everything can appeal in a volume of this size, but for me there were some highpoints: "Dharma", a moving ghost story by Vikram Chandra; the cleverly historical "The Green Man" by Jeanette Winterson; the almost casually powerful "Talking Dog" by Francine Prose; "Midnight and I'm Not Famous Yet", a Vietnam memoir by Barry Hannah; "Everything in This Country Must", a child's perspective on Northern Ireland, by Colum McCann; "The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor" by Deborah Eisenberg and "The Lifeguard" by Mary Morris, both of which deal with death and adolescence; the immensely moving "Evermore" by Julian Barnes; the domestic suspense of "A Family Dinner" by Kazuo Ishiguro; and the heartbreaking lament of "Intimacy" by Hanif Kureishi - which, I assume, is the seed which grew into his novel of the same name. Ironically, Kureishi's story shows precisely what can be achieved in the short form: for my money, it's better than his novel.

Short and Sweet
Although I have yet to read all of the stories in this book, I'm sure that someday I will. I bought this book for a college literature course and plan on saving it for rainy days. The stories in this book come from writers at home and abroad, complete with a wide range of topics, some that are seen in everyday life and others that include the perils of war and May/December relationships (Aren't You Happy for Me- my personal fave). I gave this book four stars because some of the stories I found dry in content. But I think that there are enough topics to cover a wide range of enjoyment for all readers. Enjoy!

a worthy companion
i checked this out of the libary and both my husband and i have thoroughly ravaged its pages. i carried it about a month; he carried it for another. we incurred almost more overdue fines than the book (hardcover) cost. we liked it so much we are purchasing it to bring back home to new york. the selection is insightful and appreciated, and if any thread unites the stories it is that they succeed as the best writing ought -- in acting as instant portals/transporters to another time, place, world, of life or ideas, psychology or thought. i read a lot of (mostly american) short stories and literary magazines, but this anthology truly had at least 3 of the best stories i've ever read. also, i appreciated that these stories were not just personal sketches of ethic/outsider subjectivity or sex born of the blandness of suburbia or alienation of the city, etc.: the author steps aside, the story tells itself. the stories are artful, masterly, probably the epitome of each writer's writing career (they read like those gems, with a few exceptions). you feel this in the reading. word by word, the stories unfold, unravel, draw you magnetically down the line of prose and make you lean back at the end of a story and marvel that you're still sitting where you were how many minutes ago? and it was only 3 pages? let me read that again. truly successful writing; truly well-selected anthology. buy it.

Plays in One Act
Published in Paperback by Ecco (1991)
Authors: John Guare and Daniel Halpern
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Intermittently Useful
This book is handy if you're a playwright looking for good names to imitate. It's handy if you're examining styles popular in short plays (many of them ten minutes or less). It's a neato-jet piece of gear if you're learning the language and jargon of the playwrighting scene.

This book is useless if you're a director looking to stage a one-act. The plays are too irregular, and many are too short unless you're running an evening of ten-minute plays. Some are radio plays, which are useless on stage. Some are cuttings or extended monologues. There is no unifying theme through the book, so it's hit-or-miss if what you find will even match any theme you may be looking for.

If you know this going in, the book can be useful to you. Many people like it. I found it a drag.

Deep & Wide
This really is, as the copy on the back claims, a "stunning and diverse" collection of one-act plays. To get familiar with authors and angles that you may not have encountered elsewhere, you can't beat these short sweet pieces. A lot of the usual suspects, big names snowing off the skills that have made them beloved of theatre-junkies across the nation, and selections by names you've never heard of before (and, for one or two of these, my bet is you will never hear of again). Really a must have collection that will give you plenty of enjoyment & ideas for your upcoming season or that as-yet-unwritten one act of your own. Why only four stars from me? I'm super stingy with the fifth...

Over 40 One-Acts
Includes: Edward Albee, Finding the Sun; Christopher Durang, Naomi in the Living Room; John Guare, Four Baboons Adoring the Sun; David Hare, The Bay at Nice; Beth Henley, Am I Blue; David Mamet, A Life With No Joy In It; Arthur Miller, The Last Yankee; Tennessee Williams, The Chalky White Substance... and many more!

The Antaeus Anthology
Published in Paperback by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap) (1986)
Authors: Daniel Helpern and Daniel Halpern
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This is a very enjoyable collection. There are plenty of well-known poets here (W.H. Auden, Anne Sexton, James Wright,John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Hart Crane, etc., etc.) and many of the less famous as well. Includes mostly poetry from the 1960s to the early 80s, though there is some earlier material as well. Another nice feature is the sizable number of fine translations from poets not often found in American anthologies. Fairly decent range of styles, though there is nothing here that's really experimental or avant garde. Overall, a nice book for poetry lovers to browse through. I recommend it!

Our Private Lives: Journals, Notebooks, and Diaries
Published in Paperback by Vintage Books (1990)
Author: Daniel Halpern
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journals of modern writers
This book is actually a republication of the sell-out Autumn 1988 issue of the literary Antaeus review, and collects three dozen journal segments from mostly living people, most of them writers (though Bill Clinton, then governor, is included, by coincidence). The journal segments were contributed by people still alive, which means they are self-edited. And ``journal'' is broadly interpreted to range from writer's notebook of ideas to clips from speeches by Clinton. (Among other contributors are Lawrence Durrell, Mavis Gallant, Robert Frost, Thomas Merton, Czeslaw Milosz, Mordecai Richler, and Stephen Spender.) It's a pleasing glimpse into the many different ways people keep journals, and I've enjoyed it.

Too Far from Home: The Selected Writings of Paul Bowles (Ecco Companions)
Published in Hardcover by Ecco (1993)
Authors: Paul Bowles, Daniel Halpern, and Joyce Carol Oates
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one of those
One of those collections that cuts up larger works.

American Poetry Anthology
Published in Paperback by Avon Books (Pap Trd) (1983)
Author: Daniel Halpern
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