Good Trouble

Good Trouble : Stories

3.62 (206 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of Netherland comes a collection of stunning, subversive, wryly comic stories that reveal the emotional depths and surprising beauty of life in the twenty-first century. A poet confronts the state of his art when asked to sign a petition-in-verse to free Edward Snowden. A man attending a wedding in Tuscany seeks a moment of solace with a friendly goose. A father uses a tracking app to follow his son's stolen phone, opening wider questions of the world and its dangers. In these flashes of trouble, O'Neill unearths the real, secretly political consequences of our ordinary lives. No writer is more incisive about the world we live in now.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 130 x 201 x 15mm | 181g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0525436642
  • 9780525436645

Review quote

"Funny and fierce. . . . An essential book, full of unexpected bursts of meaning and beauty." --Ploughshares "Wonderful. . . . Comforting. . . . What remains uniformly dazzling throughout is O'Neill's remarkable dialogue." --AM New York "Elegant, often challenging, and always entertaining." --The Washington Times

"O'Neill writes with an urgent timeliness. . . . The thrill of seeing the here and now transmuted into morally serious and comically rich prose is heightened once you realize its rarity." --Guernica "Beautifully crafted. . . . Wonderful. . . . Gloriously Kafkaesque. . . . O'Neill's tales often echo [David Foster] Wallace's mixture of humor and profundity, demonstrating a similar, almost preternatural eye for the absurdities of contemporary life." --Booklist "[A] fine collection . . . Compelling." --Houston Chronicle

"[O'Neill's] subversive humor finds new angles. . . . The angst of modern life pervades the daily lives of the characters." --Time

"Poignant. . . . Fascinating. . . . The characters are subtly crafted, nuanced in their observations of others, and understated. . . . [O'Neill] quietly leads us toward a reflection of ourselves that, perhaps, makes us just a bit more appreciative of all the 'good trouble' we have." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Sly and winningly offbeat. . . . Conventional masculinity needs shrewd anatomists like Joseph O'Neill more than ever before." --The Observer (London) "Elegant. . . . Remarkable. . . . Shot through with a subtle psychology and human attention. . . . In Good Trouble, what is left unsaid and unanalysed returns, is unburied, and both its comic and quietly tragic potential is set loose." --The Irish Times

"Mordantly funny. . . . Powerfully felt. . . . Examin[es] what makes us tick with humour, verve and sharp insight." --The Herald (Scotland) "Powerful. . . . Compelling. . . . O'Neill's stories impeccably capture the minutiae of modern life and the interior struggles that are both molehills and mountains." --Lincoln Journal-Star

"A thoroughly enjoyable collection in which O'Neill treats his characters with a wry sympathy and a sense of fun. . . . There's often a subversive, comic element in O'Neill's writing. . . . He probes the frictions that make marriages and families fissure or fight for survival, the situations where discomfort breeds anxiety and resentment mushrooms into malaise." --Kirkus Reviews (starred) "O'Neill's writing is always inventive. . . . The reader is delightfully tossed about. . . . The collection will please fans of quirky short fiction." --Publishers Weekly

"Absorbing. . . . In his typically sharp, smart language, [O'Neill] shows us characters undone by contemporary life, not grandly but in the small, essential ways that define our culture." --Library Journal
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About Joseph O'Neill

Joseph O'Neill is the author of the novels The Dog, Netherland (which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award), The Breezes, and This Is the Life. He has also written a family history, Blood-Dark Track. He lives in New York City and teaches at Bard College.
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Rating details

206 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 17% (34)
4 40% (83)
3 33% (69)
2 9% (18)
1 1% (2)
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