Gryphon by Charles Baxter
New and Selected Stories

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Ever since the publication of The Harmony of the World in 1984, Charles Baxter has slowly gained a reputation as one of America’s finest short-story writers. Each subsequent collection—Through the Safety Net, A Relative Stranger, and Believers—was further confirmation of his mastery: his gift for capturing the immediate moment, for revealing the unexpected in the ordinary, for showing how the smallest shock can pierce the heart of an intimacy. Gryphon brings together the best of Baxter’s previous collections with seven new stories, giving us the most complete portrait of his achievement.
 
Baxter once described himself as “a Midwestern writer in a postmodern age”: at home in a terrain best known for its blandness, one that does not give up its secrets easily, whose residents don’t always talk about what’s on their mind, and where something out of the quotidian—some stress, the appearance of a stranger, or a knock on the window—may be all that’s needed to force what lies underneath to the surface and to disclose a surprising impulse, frustration, or desire. Whether friends or strangers, the characters in Baxter’s stories share a desire—sometimes muted and sometimes fierce—to break through the fragile glass of convention. In the title story, a substitute teacher walks into a new classroom, draws an outsized tree on the blackboard on a whim, and rewards her students by reading their fortunes using a Tarot deck. In each of the stories we see the delicate tension between what we want to believe and what we need to believe.
 
By turns compassionate, gently humorous, and haunting, Gryphon proves William Maxwell’s assertion that “nobody can touch Charles Baxter in the field that he has carved out for himself.”




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Charles Baxter

See more books from this Author
Charles Baxter is the author of nine previous works of fiction, including Believers, The Feast of Love (nominated for the National Book Award), Saul and Patsy, and Through the Safety Net. He lives in Minneapolis.
 
Published January 11, 2011 by Vintage. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Gryphon

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

"Royal Blue" is not a 9/11 story, as first appears: It’s the coming-of-age of a pretty boy after his girlfriend’s miscarriage.

| Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

The rules for the little doofuses don’t apply to him.” We expect the protagonist to be crushed by this paragon of American-­macho imperviousness, but in an improbable but comic reversal, instead of interviewing his subject, the interviewer holds captive the man and his wife with a meande...

Jan 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

‘I dream about them.’” In the same vein, consider, from the story “The Old Murderer:” “His neighbor would live, but someday he might overdose, and everyone would feel contempt for him, and if he didn’t OD, there was a good chance he would end up in the gutter that beckoned toward all single men, ...

Jan 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

Stories have a different metabolism than novels.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

San Francisco Chronicle

It gets stuffy in the best Charles Baxter stories.

Jan 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

About.com

When Harry finally turns up at the police, they dismiss the drawing as kid's stuff, and Harry is left hearing people quibble about whether the structure in the drawing is LaGuardia Airport, Grand Central Station, the Field Museum in Chicago or the Dammtor Bahnhof in Hamburg.

| Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

St. Louis Today

In addition, photograph… We are proud of our photo staff that placed well in the 2012 Missouri APME contest.

Feb 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Every story in this collection is as subtle as it is excellent – 17 of the 24 stories here have been culled from earlier collections with 7 of the stories appearing for the first time in book form – and each character is robust and intriguing enough to ground a novel of their own.

Feb 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Post and Courier

From "Believers," his last collection, the story "Kiss Away" takes its title from Rolling Stones lyrics: "Love is just a kiss away, kiss away."

Feb 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Bookmarks Magazine

University of Minnesota professor Charles Baxter is the author of four short story collections and five novels, one of which, The Feast of Love (2000), was a National Book Award finalist.

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Shelf Awareness

Joe Pike enjoys early morning walks in the canyons in Southern California--and taking pictures--just like Robert Crais, his creator.

Jan 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Fiction Writers Review

Partly because “Gryphon” is one of Baxter’s most anthologized and lauded stories, partly because it’s a feat of magic for any writer to reach the milestone of having a book of collected stories, and partly—as I learned from Charlie on his recent return to Ann Arbor as part of the Zell Visiting Wr...

Jan 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Fiction Writers Review

Partly because “Gryphon” is one of Baxter’s most anthologized and lauded stories, partly because it’s a feat of magic for any writer to reach the milestone of having a book of collected stories, and partly—as I learned from Charlie on his recent return to Ann Arbor as part of the Zell Visiting Wr...

Jan 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Time Out Chicago

The story “Snow” begins, “Twelve years old, and I was so bored I was combing my hair just for the hell of it.” Or in the new “The Cousins,” after a public embarrassment the narrator took to the streets of New York and “shouted at a light pole.” There is both humor and truth in both the miniscule ...

Jan 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Booked Solid

Let’s get beyond the cliché about the short story being mordant or dead.

Apr 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Gryphon: New and Selected Sto...

Reader Rating for Gryphon
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 19 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×