Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge

Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge The long awaited second collection of stories from a writer whose first was hailed as one of the best story collections of the last decade Kevin Brockmeier In Last Car Over The Saga Bridge Peter Orne

  • Title: Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge
  • Author: Peter Orner
  • ISBN: 9780316224642
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The long awaited second collection of stories from a writer whose first was hailed as one of the best story collections of the last decade Kevin Brockmeier.In Last Car Over The Saga Bridge, Peter Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in intimate close up A woman s husband dies before their divorce is finalized a man runs for governor and losesThe long awaited second collection of stories from a writer whose first was hailed as one of the best story collections of the last decade Kevin Brockmeier.In Last Car Over The Saga Bridge, Peter Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in intimate close up A woman s husband dies before their divorce is finalized a man runs for governor and loses much than the election two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick a father and daughter outrun a hurricane all are vivid and memorable occasions as seen through Orner s eyes Last Car Over The Saga Bridge is also a return to the form Orner loves best As he has written, The difference between a short story and a novel is the difference between a pang in your heart and the tragedy of your whole life Read a great story and there it is right now in your gut.

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    About " Peter Orner "

  • Peter Orner

    Peter Orner was born in Chicago and is the author of three novels Esther Stories Houghton Mifflin, 2001 , The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo Little, Brown, 2006 , and his most recent, Love and Shame and Love Little, Brown, 2011 which was recently called epic by Daniel Handler, epic like Gilgamesh, epic like a guitar solo Orner has since bought Gilgamesh and is enjoying it Love and Shame and Love is illustrated throughout by his brother Eric Orner, a comic artist and illustrator whose long time independent alt weekly strip The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green was made into a feature film in 2008 Eric Orner s work is featured this year in Best American Cartoons edited by Alison Bechdel A film version of one of Orner s stories, The Raft, is currently in production and stars Ed Asner.The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller, won the Bard Fiction Prize The novel is being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and German The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo is set in Namibia where Orner lived and worked in the early 1990 s.Esther Stories was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and the New York Public Library s Young Lions Award.Orner is also the editor of two non fiction books, Underground America 2008 and Hope Deferred Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives co editor Annie Holmes, 2010 , both published by McSweeney s Voice of Witness, an imprint devoted to using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world Harper s Magazine wrote, Hope Deferred might be the most important publication out of Zimbabwe in the past thirty years Orner has published fiction in the Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, McSweeney s, The Southern Review, and various other publications Stories have been anthologized in Best American Stories and the Pushcart Prize Annual Orner has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim and Lannan Foundations.Orner has taught at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop Visiting Professor, 2011 , University of Montana William Kittredge Visting Writer, 2009 , the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College 2009 Washington University Visiting Hurst Professor, 2008 , Bard College Bard Fiction Prize Fellowship, 2007 , Miami University Visting Professor, 2002 , Charles University in Prague Visting Law Faculty, 2000 Orner is a long time permanent faculty member at San Francisco State where he is an associate professor He would like to divide his time between a lot of places, especially San Francisco and Chicago.


  • This book is all about "silence on a fundamental level." How do you talk about silence, creation of silence, enduring silence, observation of silence when all you have is words?How is it, really, that we aren't "in a permanent state of mourning?"There are no superfluous words, no extra pages. I could, and may, write a review only about the title story. I sit here like Walt Kaplan thinking. What's Walt Kaplan trying to get to? Silence on a fundamental level? A story told five hundred times, but s [...]

  • Orner's collection of short stories is a stunning achievement. First of all, just to get a review in the Sunday New York Times, of a short story collection? Unheard of! Then, I heard Orner interviewed on Brad Listi's (The Nervous Breakdown) Other People radio show, and Orner sounded so down to earth, a nice guy with Midwestern roots, fumbling his way through life as we all are. And finally, a fellow writer in my writer's roundtable recommended the collection to me, personally. This book is ambit [...]

  • The stories that make up Orner’s The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo are more remarkable than the stories in this collection, especially in terms of originality and humor, but the sad stories of "Last Car," focused on those who are alone, those who have lost, and the past of myths and the past we hold against others and ourselves, have an equal variety of forms and equally show off Orner’s storytelling skills.

  • From my Best Books of the Month review, August 2013: Peter Orner’s exquisite second collection of stories rambles across time and place, from postwar 1947 to 1978 to 1958, from Chappaquiddick to Chicago to the Czech Republic, each exposing a small, intimate moment. Like an uncomfortably candid photograph (the work of William Eggleston or Vivian Maier comes to mind), the stories are finite and tightly framed, some just a page or two. Some are whimsical, some sobering, and most conclude with a [...]

  • I received a copy of this collection of short stories compliments of Firstreads giveaway. The title sounded intriguing, the cover photo captured my interest, however, the stories within failed to entertain me. I was confused by most of the stories, not knowing what the take-home theme/message was or if there even was to be one. Many seemed like they just stopped mid-thought. Some of it read more like poetry, a bunch of thoughts placed on paper that didn't go anywhere. I am clearly not the reade [...]

  • I received this from . There, with that out of the way, here's what I thought.I did not think I'd really like this book. I am not really a fan of short stories. However, from the first story, I was hooked. These are very well written and extremely moving.This is a book for adults. Each story led me to feelings I recognized and a deep understanding of the situations. This is a really excellent book, even if a bit sad. I recommend.

  • Whenever I'm disappointed in a book by an author I usually like, I tend to wonder if my negative reaction is due to the writing itself or to my own impatience with it. I truly enjoyed Orner's previous short story collection, Esther Stories, but this one left me cold. Again, in such cases, I frequently wonder if I gave the stories a decent chance, or whether I was either too busy with other things or too tired to really pay attention. Either way, I found these stories largely forgettable. With vi [...]

  • “Hush, Luster said. Looking for them ain’t going to do no good, they’re gone.”Among contemporary writers, only Peter Orner would be brilliant and witty and nostalgic and original and ballsy enough to tuck this highly charged allusion to Faulkner’s THE SOUND AND THE FURY late into his masterful new collection of stories, LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE, as the haunting epigraph to Part IV, “The Country of Us.” In one way or another, most of Orner’s more than fifty new stories, l [...]

  • Back in Chicago after years away, the disbelief with which he met the death of his parents lingered like a childhood dream. He'd been fumbling around the attic for an hour now, telling his sister and her odious husband that he wanted to look for a memento, some piece of their memories, but really to just get away. Hand dragging down his face, he looked around again at the dusty junk, the cardboard boxes, abandoned golf clubs, and stacks of books and files. Opening a box at random, he was surpris [...]

  • An excellent collection of short stories by award-winning author Peter Orner. Each story ranges in length from a short paragraph to several pages long. First off, I confess I don't often read short stories, as it's just not my favourite literary form. I tend to fall in love with some aspect of the story, be it character, plot, or setting and I don't want it to end. With that being said, I found the themes in many of the stories contained in the collection to be very, well, depressing. There's no [...]

  • I liked this collection better that "The Esther Stories." Reading them singly, a number were touching, mostly about what has been lost and what remains in relationships. But while Orner has carefully organized and categorized these stories into groups, their affinity in each group eluded me.The impact is clearly meant to be universal. The 53 stories take place in fourteen different US states in all regions of the country, as well as Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Moscow, Rome, Prague, Dubrovnik and B [...]

  • I received the book for free through First Reads. I absolutely loved this book (and am giving it to a friend who teaches 9th grade literature for read alouds for his class). So much happens in so few pages which are written beautifully to give you all you need for the atmosphere, emotions and action which occur in each story. This would also be a great book for those of you with a short commute, limited bedtime reading, or anyone who wants a great read with major time limitations. Recommended!

  • I received an ARC through First Reads. In this compilation of short stories, Orner writes stories that is one paragraph in length, and others that are five pages in length. Regardless, nearly each one had me invested by the end of the first or second sentence. For all of the past books that took 200 pages to get going, take a lesson from Orner: Be concise and truthful. Excellent book and I would recommend this to any reader who is tired of graciously giving authors 100+ pages to get their reader [...]

  • Some stories are stronger than others, which is bound to happen in any book that features 52 stories in under 200 pages. Lots of death, lots of the twentieth century, lots of Chicago and, oddly, Fall River. I liked it quite a bit in the end, though the blurb on the back cover praising the two-page Geraldo story was maybe a little misleading

  • There is an excellent review below by Neal Thompson that echoes how I felt about this book. Amazing that an author is able to wring more emotion out of a two paragraph short story than many others can do in a 400 page novel.

  • I was not a huge fan of this collection, but I suspect the problem was me and not Peter Orner’s work, and there are certainly a number of stories and concepts I would absolutely recommend.He’s written a series of very brief stories exploring things like what it means to survive the loss of a loved one and especially a loved one you would expect to outlive and how we conduct our relationships with the dead, how we fulfill our unfinished business with them; how we interact with what’s normal [...]

  • 2013 was het jaar van het dikke boek. Eleanor Catton won de Man Booker met haar meer dan achthonderd pagina’s tellende The Luminaries en stond op de longlist met The Kills van Richard House, dat meer dan duizend pagina’s telt. Donna Tartt vulde er zevenhonderd met The Goldfinch en Philipp Meyer zeshonderd met The Son. Om over Knausgård nog maar te zwijgen. Daarom is het opmerkelijk dat een van de beste boeken van vorig jaar uit tweeënvijftig korte verhalen bestaat, verspreid over tweehonde [...]

  • Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge by Peter Orner 4/5 starsPublisher: Little, Brown and Company Length: 208 pages Format: Paperback: In LAST CAR OVER THE SAGAMORE BRIDGE, Peter Orner presents a kaleidoscope of individual lives viewed in intimate close-up. A woman's husband dies before their divorce is finalized; a man runs for governor and loses much more than the election; two brothers play beneath the infamous bridge at Chappaquiddick; a father and daughter outrun a hurricane--all are vivid an [...]

  • I received an advanced reading copy of this from the publisher via the First-reads giveaway program.There is a form of religious book called the 'devotional'. One reads a selection from the holy text and then a brief commentary or anecdote related to that selection. I really have never liked devotionals. I don't mind reading a selection, but usually find those commentaries and remarks to be weak, obvious, overwrought, and simplistic. They never match the beauty of the original passages or the w [...]

  • "Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge" by Peter Orner is an interesting collection of fifty short stories.Stories are divided into four parts: "Survivors", "The Normal", "In Moscow Everything Will Be Different" and "Country of Us", the main motive being a connection between our childhood and adulthood, and how confusing is for kids to understand confusing world of adults.Although some of stories are made only of paragraph and others are several pages long they all tell stories about human emotions [...]

  • This book is beautifully written-prose that are emotionally compelling. My three stars are about two things: 1) me, 2) the book. 1) I've never really taken to short stories. With the exception of Sherman Alexie, I have a hard time getting into short story collections, or even stand alone short stories. Which is weird given my fleeting attention span these days. But as a genre writ larger (ha- or writ small, as it were), short stories seem to be trying a bit too hard to pack an emotional punch in [...]

  • Once again an impressive collection from Peter Orner. It's refreshing to read a collection of stories that don't necessarily always have to have a unifying theme or characters, although some of the stories in this collection do.What I enjoy most about the stories is how Orner will have a laser sharp focus on a particular moment in time--maybe a family memory or story that's been passed down through the years and then he'll distill that moment down to its core leaving the reader with a profound u [...]

  • I received an advance copy through Good Reads.This collection of short stories was certainly interesting. Some stories left me wanting for more, and some stories left me confused (where I had to re-read several times to pick up on the subtle hints). This is the first time I have read Peter Orner's books. While I enjoy his writing style and story telling methods, there are times where the stories where I felt like the stories were left a little too open ended or are too short to make any sense. H [...]

  • Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge by Peter Orner is a beautifully written collection of short stories that get to the base of human emotion and interaction. While some of the stories are pages long, others are as short as a paragraph, but still leave the reader with a powerful image to take away. Most of the stories center around Midwestern locations and Midwestern residents, which provides a certain atmosphere that other areas of the country just don't have. I enjoyed Orner's style of writing, [...]

  • Wow. Pretty great. Really great, actually. I read this in one day—the stories are all pretty short (5 pages at most, maybe, half a page at the shortest). Orner gets you into the scene immediately, and then creates little snapshots, leaving you with either a poignant image, or a laugh, or something in between. I swear I read Orner's last novel, but I guess I didn't; I will now. This was really good. Dangerous, as he makes it seem pretty easy—it's the sort of thing you read and think Hey, I co [...]

  • I Review Peter Orner’s Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge Characters, or their relatives, from Orner’s previous stories drop by; other stories portray the personal reminiscences of new characters. Orner is a devotee of the short story and writes the column “The Lonely Voice,” named after Frank O’Connor’s book, over at The Rumpus. In this book, Orner pays literary props and shout-outs to writers he admires and shares writerly bonds with like Isaac Babel, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, a [...]

  • I won this book in a Good Reads/First Reads giveaway.Received my copy of Last Car yesterday and was reading it within the hour. I had been anticipating its coming since I was told I had won a copy. This book is a very hard read. The "stories" are anywhere from two paragraphs to five pages. They are totally disjointed with no apparent link between any of them. The writing style itself is very difficult for me to follow filled with random thoughts, dialogue and repetition. It seems the subject wil [...]

  • I won this book from . I was excited because the description spoke so highly of the author's writing. His style is not to my liking. Most of the stories didn't seem like short stories but random vignettes including a few that were one or two paragraphs long. The whole book seemed like a rambling collection of thoughts without plot, character development, or dialogue. I did like the story about Horace and Josephine. It was the only story that I felt had definition. I also liked the mention of Mas [...]

  • A collection of short shorts from a talented and proven writer, there's a lot to admire here; but as happens sometimes with short shorts you don't leave feeling completely satisfied. Some of the pieces in here feel like stories that are meant to be longer, perhaps much longer, but just were stopped in the name of making short shorts. Not surprisingly, the most sterling stories in the book, like "Pumpkin's Lament" (my personal favorite) are long enough to see the arc of a story all the way throug [...]

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