Playboy stories: the best of forty years of short fiction

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Dutton, Jan 1, 1994 - Fiction - 609 pages
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From the inception of Playboy in 1953, the magazine made it clear that publishing fiction of the highest quality would be an essential part of its philosophy. This superlative gathering of stories offers persuasive proof of how well the magazine has lived up to that intent.
It was a daunting task to select the very best short story from each of Playboy's forty years - with a special bonus from 1971, when tales by Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at his most magically sensuous, and Vladimir Nabokov, at his most wickedly witty, both irresistibly demanded to be included. The result is an enthralling array that well may amaze even the most ardent Playboy fans, not to mention those unfamiliar with the stellar quality of the magazine and the rich variety of literary genius that has graced its pages.
Marquez is but one of the Nobel Prize winners offered here. There is Isaac Bashevis Singer's marvelous story of Holocaust survivors in Miami, and Nadine Gordimer's probing questions of life and death in South Africa.
Such names as Joyce Carol Oates, James Jones, Jack Kerouac, James Thurber, Nelson Algren, Bernard Malamud, Shirley Jackson, Philip Roth, James Baldwin, John Cheever, John Updike, Irwin Shaw, Joseph Heller, and Norman Mailer make this collection not only a feast of fiction to be relished but a virtual history of the best American writing of the second half of the twentieth century. And from beyond our borders come such writers as Jorge Luis Borges playing a provocative mind game as only he can; Sean O'Faolain with a tale of seduction Irish-style; Bharati Mukherjee offering an erotic adventure in Latin America; and the rising new master of Japanese fiction Haruki Murakami putting a surreal slant on love and marriage. Here, too, of course, are the writers who established themselves as Playboy stars before going on to win still wider acclaim, among them Bruce Jay Friedman, Herbert Gold, and Charles Beaumont. Add to this illustrious listing nerve-twisters like Roald Dahl and John Collier, imaginations like those of Ray Bradbury and Ursula K. Le Guin - and you still have only a hint of the full range of rewards that await you in this amazing anthology. If frank and unfettered pleasure is a fundamental part of the Playboy credo, nowhere is it richer and more free from formula than in this, its finest fiction.

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Playboy stories: the best of forty years of short fiction

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Do not stare coldly at this collection and speculate that patrons who borrow it have Playboy rear-view mirror air fresheners in their cars and neo-Mediterranean waterbeds at home. This collection ... Read full review


All Married Women Are Bad Yes? Herbert Gold
In a Season of Calm Weather Ray Bradbury
A Fine Son Roald Dahl

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