Stated first edition. Includes 18 stories. Unread, as new with slight shelfwear to DJ. 142 pp. Bookseller Inventory #
Synopsis: n these eighteen elegantly terse stories, Sam Shepard taps the same wellsprings that have made him one of our most acclaimed—and distinctly American—playwrights: sex and regret, the yearning for a frontier that has been subdivided out of existence, the comic gulf of misapprehension between men and women, and the even deeper gulf that separates men from their true selves.
A fascinated boy watches the grim contest between a "remedy man"—a fixer of bad horses—and a spectacularly bad-tempered stallion, a contest that mirrors the boy’s own struggle with his father. A suburban husband starts his afternoon shopping for basil for a party and ends it holding one of the guests at gunpoint in the basement. Two old men, who have lived together companionably since their wives died or left them and their children scattered to “silicon computer hell,” are brought to grief by a waitress at the local Denny’s.
Filled with absurdity, sorrow, and flinty humor, Great Dream of Heaven is Shepard at his best, exercising his gifts for diamond-sharp physical description and effortless dialogue in stories that recall the themes he has explored with such singular intensity in his work for the theater.
Review: In his second collection of short fiction, Great Dream of Heaven, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard offers a resonant examination of interpersonal crisis and revelation in 18 lean tales. At times humorous, tense, and tragic, these stories often focus on the elusive search for connection and understanding, visiting characters at key moments of consciousness or detachment. Seized by compulsion or repression, many in this work disengage from life by assuming familiar roles or patterns. In "The Stout of Heart," a man obsessed with horse breeding locks himself in his room annually to study catalogues, shutting out his family, while in "An Unfair Question," another man's frustration with his role as husband and father surfaces when he engages a party guest in friendly conversation and ends up holding her at gunpoint. These stories achieve an understated impact due in part to Shepard's knack for acute dialogue and descriptions that reveal his dramatist's eye for sparse but evocative detail. In "Living the Sign," a handmade sign in a fast food restaurant inspires a man to self-awareness, though he finds that its teenage creator is only dimly aware of its significance. "The Remedy Man," the collection's first and strongest story, tells of a guarded boy who comes to realize his potential by helping E.V., the road-worn title character (a fixer of bad horses), break a stallion. "Horse is just like a human being," E.V. tells him. "He's just gotta know his limits. Once he finds that out he's a happy camper." Offering many such moments of distilled wisdom, the stories in Great Dream of Heaven are no less brief but memorable encounters. --Ross Doll
Title: Great Dream of Heaven: Stories
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Near Fine
Edition: 1st Edition.
Book Description Knopf, 2002. Condition: Very Good. 1st ed. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP98000379
Book Description Knopf, 2002. Condition: Good. 1st ed. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP98755923
Book Description Knopf, 2002. Condition: Very Good. 1st ed. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP13873040
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Condition: Fair. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0375405054I5N00
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0375405054I3N00
Book Description Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Hardcover. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. The dust jacket is missing. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0375405054I3N01
Book Description Condition: Acceptable. May have some shelf-wear due to normal use. Seller Inventory # 0KVBKD006284
Book Description Condition: Good. Cover has some rubbing and edge wear. Access codes, CDs, and other accessories may not be included. All items ship Mon-Fri. Seller Inventory # 2Y68H3004SH0
Book Description Knopf, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0375405054
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2002. Hard Cover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition, First Impression. 2002 first edition, first impression. Size octavo, 142 pages. Pale blue hard cover with silver gilt titles to the spine, with the dust jacket. Book condition fine, a very clean copy. Dust jacket condition very good plus, very slight curl to edges, a thin line is slightly rubbed vertically down the front panel otherwise fine, not price clipped. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 016966