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The Sadness of Beautiful Things

Stories
Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

An exquisite new collection of short stories from award-winning author Simon Van Booy.

Over the past decade, Simon Van Booy has been listening to people’s stories. With these personal accounts as a starting point, he has crafted a powerful collection of short fiction that takes listeners into the innermost lives of everyday people. From a family saved from ruin by a mysterious benefactor to a downtrodden boxer who shows unexpected kindness to a mugger, these tales reveal not only the precarious balance maintained between grief and happiness in our lives but also how the echoes of personal tragedy can shape us for the better. 

“Van Booy’s stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking.” (Los Angeles Times)

"Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of the human heart." (Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain)

Audiobook Table of Contents:

"A Sacrifice", read by Alana Kerr Collins

"The Green Blanket", read by James Fouhey

"Playing with Dolls", read by Simon van Booy

"The Pigeon", read by Giordan Diaz

"The Hitchhiker", read by Alana Kerr Collins

"Not Dying", read by Darren Burrows

"The Saddest Case of True Love", read by Simon van Booy

"The Doorman", read by James Fouhey

©2018 Simon Van Booy (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"With a deceitful simplicity and a generously empathetic ear, Simon Van Booy gets to the core of the moment." (Colum McCann, author of Transatlantic and Let The Great World Spin)

"Simon Van Booy writes wonderful stories that surprise and uplift, that hold our attention all the way with subtle revelations about life in all its astounding contradictions: its sorrows and joys." (Sheila Kohler, author of Becoming Jane Eyre and Once We Were Sisters)

"Each of these eight stories, while burdened by loss, are also limned with a more hopeful light. Van Booy captures the rare flashbulb memories of trauma, heartbreak, and melancholy, in the lives of people he’s met, but his writing basks in the healing afterglow of what follows. In the sparsely furnished prose of Van Booy’s stories it is easy to pour oneself into his characters, who I delight to know are real people, existing somewhere far away." (Madeline Day, The Paris Review)

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Profile Image for David Kaplan
  • David Kaplan
  • 13-10-18

Heartwarming tales

Simon Van Booy is truly a masterful storyteller. The poignant tales in this collection seem to come from another time, echoing the deep humanity of such legends as Issac Bashevis Singer and James Joyce.
His ability to reach a reader’s soul is without peer and for this we are so fortunate. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful