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An Orphanage of Dreams

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Praise for Sam Savage: "Savage's is a book of the heart as much as the head. Which is itself an accomplishment of no small note: to recognize the arbitrary, degraded thing that is memory, and allow it its loveliness for all of that." --New York Times Book Review "A Southern childhood in duskier, Tennessee Williams times, offering an aphoristic scattering of memories--one- Praise for Sam Savage: "Savage's is a book of the heart as much as the head. Which is itself an accomplishment of no small note: to recognize the arbitrary, degraded thing that is memory, and allow it its loveliness for all of that." --New York Times Book Review "A Southern childhood in duskier, Tennessee Williams times, offering an aphoristic scattering of memories--one- and two-sentence stand-alones that spill isolated down the page like little gems . . . showing us how memory works and how we make sense of our lives, drip by drip and sensation by sensation." --Library Journal "With paragraphs as rich as koans, this is as powerful a meditation on living life--and facing its end--as you are likely to read anytime soon." --Booklist An Orphanage of Dreams is a collection of stripped down visitations-flash fictions of smoke breaks and long drives and friends who finally stop showing up. The acidic tang of disappointment is here, and sparks of biting insight, in portraits of people and animals, in all our absurdity and failed attempts at meaning. As Sam Savage says, "what a life." Sam Savage is the best-selling author of Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, The Cry of the Sloth, Glass, The Way of the Dog, and It Will End with Us. A native of South Carolina, Savage holds a PhD in Philosophy from Yale University. He was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the PEN New England Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. Savage resides in Madison, Wisconsin


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Praise for Sam Savage: "Savage's is a book of the heart as much as the head. Which is itself an accomplishment of no small note: to recognize the arbitrary, degraded thing that is memory, and allow it its loveliness for all of that." --New York Times Book Review "A Southern childhood in duskier, Tennessee Williams times, offering an aphoristic scattering of memories--one- Praise for Sam Savage: "Savage's is a book of the heart as much as the head. Which is itself an accomplishment of no small note: to recognize the arbitrary, degraded thing that is memory, and allow it its loveliness for all of that." --New York Times Book Review "A Southern childhood in duskier, Tennessee Williams times, offering an aphoristic scattering of memories--one- and two-sentence stand-alones that spill isolated down the page like little gems . . . showing us how memory works and how we make sense of our lives, drip by drip and sensation by sensation." --Library Journal "With paragraphs as rich as koans, this is as powerful a meditation on living life--and facing its end--as you are likely to read anytime soon." --Booklist An Orphanage of Dreams is a collection of stripped down visitations-flash fictions of smoke breaks and long drives and friends who finally stop showing up. The acidic tang of disappointment is here, and sparks of biting insight, in portraits of people and animals, in all our absurdity and failed attempts at meaning. As Sam Savage says, "what a life." Sam Savage is the best-selling author of Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, The Cry of the Sloth, Glass, The Way of the Dog, and It Will End with Us. A native of South Carolina, Savage holds a PhD in Philosophy from Yale University. He was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the PEN New England Award, and the Society of Midland Authors Award. Savage resides in Madison, Wisconsin

30 review for An Orphanage of Dreams

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Bursey

    This is a collection of short fictions, followed by one long poem, by the late Sam Savage, who died in mid-January. The same concentration found in his novels is present here, reduced to scale. Some pieces are absurd, some are straightforward, and some are touching. If you've not read any of Savage's work and are looking for an introduction, this will be a good place to start. His fiction can be surprising, and it's always compassionate. Here's a long review just up on Big Other: https://bigother. This is a collection of short fictions, followed by one long poem, by the late Sam Savage, who died in mid-January. The same concentration found in his novels is present here, reduced to scale. Some pieces are absurd, some are straightforward, and some are touching. If you've not read any of Savage's work and are looking for an introduction, this will be a good place to start. His fiction can be surprising, and it's always compassionate. Here's a long review just up on Big Other: https://bigother.com/2019/09/19/outgr...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I wrongly thought I hadn't yet read one of Sam's books. And then as I was preparing to rate this one, I realized I had listened to The Cry of the Sloth quite a few years back. Apparently the book didn't leave much of a mark back when I read it, which makes sense as to why I didn't recall having read it at all until now. (thank goodness for goodreads, I guess!) Luckily, I was much more affected by this one, Sam's latest, and last - a grab bag collection of short fiction with an immense amount of I wrongly thought I hadn't yet read one of Sam's books. And then as I was preparing to rate this one, I realized I had listened to The Cry of the Sloth quite a few years back. Apparently the book didn't leave much of a mark back when I read it, which makes sense as to why I didn't recall having read it at all until now. (thank goodness for goodreads, I guess!) Luckily, I was much more affected by this one, Sam's latest, and last - a grab bag collection of short fiction with an immense amount of heart. Or, at least, one that played immensely with MY heart. The opening story, An Affair of the Heart, about an older married couple doing the usual older married couple things on the surface, while the husband spends every moment thinking about his wife's infidelity from years ago, nearly crushed me. Thespa and Sky also deal with broken marriages, while other stories deal with mental illness or a sense of mental deterioration. Like The Awakening, in which a man cannot leave his house due to an unrational fear that he has left the toaster oven unplugged, or Wee People, in which a man, believes his home is being overrun by minature bankers with umbrellas, to the determient of his own marriage. In My Writing Life, the narrator has suffered severe brain trauma and walks the streets trying to peice his memory together while searching for the man who stole his bike and the woman who stole his heart, and then there's The Adventures of Kiffler Wainscott a man who shirks work like it's the plague but then retreats so far inside himself that in the end, he believes he's devolved into monkeyhood. So even they feed back into the overarching theme of this collection, which I believe is about what it means to be human, to love or find oneself unloved, and to desire to be something or someone more. While sometimes humorous, and sometimes far fetched, there's definitely something of each of us buried inside these stories. (one of my Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2019: https://bit.ly/2SHKV5L)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elliott Turner

    Not my jam, but some clever flash that often deals with apocalyptic situations - a cult gets raided, etc. The very last story - about an old homeless man who writes stories on scrap pages to leave on benches - was a bit out of style with other pieces, but pretty endearing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    2 1/2. I connected with some of the stories, but a few were just over my head, which was frustrating. I do love his writing though. Perhaps I just prefer his novellas.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Louis

    Rarely does a read immediately prompt me to open another by the same author. This one did...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    Little gems of short stories at the front and some author navel-gazing at the back.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Dunkle

  8. 5 out of 5

    Olliver

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Whittle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Coffee House Press

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Scheuch

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Grear

  15. 4 out of 5

    Peter Wild

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lexie Neeley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  20. 4 out of 5

    Io

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ash Hogan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ree Ree

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Garberich

  27. 5 out of 5

    Will

  28. 4 out of 5

    Austin Applequist

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin

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