Always Happy Hour: Stories

Always Happy Hour: Stories

MaryMiller / Aug 24, 2019

Always Happy Hour Stories Brazen and biting stories show Mary Miller reaching new heights following her beautiful and large hearted debut NPR on The Last Days of California Combining hard edged prose and savage Southern charm

  • Title: Always Happy Hour: Stories
  • Author: MaryMiller
  • ISBN: 9781631492181
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Brazen and biting stories show Mary Miller reaching new heights following her beautiful and large hearted debut NPR on The Last Days of California Combining hard edged prose and savage Southern charm, Mary Miller showcases transcendent contemporary talent at its best With its collection of lusty, lazy, hard drinking characters forever in their own way, Always Happy HBrazen and biting stories show Mary Miller reaching new heights following her beautiful and large hearted debut NPR on The Last Days of California Combining hard edged prose and savage Southern charm, Mary Miller showcases transcendent contemporary talent at its best With its collection of lusty, lazy, hard drinking characters forever in their own way, Always Happy Hour confirms Miller as an heir apparent to Mary Gaitskill.Claustrophobic and lonesome, acerbic and magnetic, the women in Always Happy Hour seek understanding in the most unlikely places a dilapidated foster home where love is a liability, a trailer park laden with a history of bad decisions, and the empty corners of a dream home bought after a bitter divorce Miller evokes the particular gritty comfort found in bad habits as hope turns to dust, and proves yet again her essential role in American fiction.

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      Posted by:MaryMiller
      Published :2018-012-14T19:42:46+00:00

    About "MaryMiller"

      • MaryMiller

        Big World, The Last Days of California, Always Happy HourStories in McSweeney s Quarterly, American Short Fiction, New Stories from the South, Oxford American, Mid American Review, Ninth Letter, Indiana Review, and Mississippi Review Nonfiction in the NYTBR, American Book Review, The Rumpus, and The Writer.


    318 Comments

    1. 3.5 the stories in this collection explore the unsatisfying relationships and friendships in which the women are involved. They all want love, in more than one story the woman laments that though she listens and asks questions of her boyfriend, he seems to have little interest in her own feelings, thoughts. They come from different walks of life, some in college, even a few teachers but they all seem to make bad choices. Some stand in their own way, using drugs, alcohol to try to come to terms w [...]


    2. Mary Miller never disappoints. These are strong stories. It's all kind of grim and depressing, the world of these stories. Lots of absurd, fairly gross men. Lots of women who eat terribly but are also preoccupied with fat people which is funny and sad at the same time. The best story is Big Bad Love.


    3. 3+ stars. I wish I had liked Always Happy Hour more than I did, but as the stories progressed I started to feel like I was reading about the same character transposed from one similar situation to another. Mary Miller is a really skilled writer. And she had me excited and eager with the first few stories. But then I started to feel like I was reading variations on a theme, and the theme started to grate on me. Almost all the stories in the collection are written from the perspective of young wom [...]


    4. When I'm East Coast-bound again following one of my rare pilgrimages back to my Midwestern land of birth, a relative always "packs me a lunch," aka cleans out unwanted items from her Costco-fortified cupboards, for my 8-to-13-hour journey back (depending on Factors). This most recent trip, one of the "food" items she dispatched along with me was a kind of "cheese" snack chip/cracker whose name emphasized errant consonants in lieu of either vowels or the correct consonants and whose ingredients w [...]


    5. It's true that Mary is a dear friend of mine, but even if she were my sworn enemy I could not deny the brilliance of her work, the pure magic of her voice, the masterful prose she produces. Here is a collection where every story is a fucking home-run. To tell you the highlights would be to reproduce the table of contents in its entirety. I know no other writer who captures the fundamental contradictions of the self like Mary. Take, for example, this passage from the opening story, "Instructions" [...]


    6. Loved this book. Normally, I don't go for short stories, but the writing was just so authentic and the stories felt so real. As a man who has lived with the same woman the last 26 years, I felt like a curtain was raised on the many different paths life can take a person. I know most books do that, this one just did it so convincingly.


    7. Positively wonderful!I wanted every short story to continue; but then I thought, that might be dangerous. Maybe they all end at the point they should end, for the characters' sake. All the main characters are quirky young woman, who you want to jump in and save from themselves, or in some cases join them. Let's run away together, the heck with what's his name. Who needs his grief! Such fun. It's sort of like, invent your own ending. Really excellent writing. Highly recommend! Thank you Netgalley [...]


    8. “She thinks about the things that have hurt her and she thinks about beauty and how little of it she sees in even beautiful things. She wonders if people who’ve been hurt more see more beauty. She wonders how a few strung-together words can seem so meaningful when she doesn’t believe them at all.”She could be me, or you, or any woman we know. I love the writing in each of these heavy and sometimes disturbing stories. They are gritty, stones in the soul! Miller says so much in the actions [...]


    9. Hi Nerds! Wow, this book is amazing. I was going to highlight all the parts I loved and lines I wanted to internalized and live by, but then I realized that I don't own a highlighter and that if I did most of the book would be highlighted, doing little to help me track down and re-read the lines I loved. Wow, what a shitty run-on sentence that last one was. Mary Miller would never write that clunky of a sentence. Anyway, Miller's writing is beautifully accurate. She finds depth in life's simple [...]


    10. Each of these stories has its own pulse. For anyone who's ever looked for love in all the wrong places, this shoebox full of beating hearts is for you.


    11. Quando i racconti sono buoni, sono molto buoni.Alcuni, pochi per fortuna, esasperano invece le qualità della narrativa di Mary Miller: troppo distanti e non partecipati.Istruzioni ★La casa di Main Street ★★★Il giusto ordine ★★★★★Un tempo questo era il passaggio coperto più lungo del mondo ★★★★Un amore grande, grosso e cattivo ★★★★★Verso l'altoSporca ★Lui mi chiama fornetto ★★★★La bella gente ★★★Le mele dell'amore ★★★Hamilton Pool ★Hap [...]


    12. Mary Miller's stories wreck me in the best way. Perhaps it's a closeness I feel to the loneliness of her characters—the way boredom compels them in ways that lead to continuing to do the things that disappoint them. They look for love and want it but push away from finding what they actually want or what might bring it to them.


    13. “Always Happy Hour” is a book of short stories, each one starring a dysfunctional adult woman. In fact, to me, it seemed it was the same woman. Author Mary Miller used the same voice for each of her stories. At first, I thought it was the same woman in a different relationship. I reread the book jacket, and it is NOT about the same woman. Maybe because Miller used the same voice for all her characters, it was an easy read for me. I tend to struggle a bit with short stories at times, and this [...]


    14. Mary's work is funny and sad at the same time. By the end of each story i was so deep in the head of her main character, well, it's like the time a moth flew in my ear. I tried grabbing it with my fingers, but it kept crawling deeper. I tried using tweezers, but it kept crawling deeper and deeper until it was doing the boot scootin boogie on my ear drum. Each tiny step, each flutter of its shiny, felt-like wings felt like the moth was becoming me, or I was becoming it. I was possessed. Then i we [...]


    15. Miller has written a collection of short stories that centres on the how women perceive themselves and how they are perceived in the modern world. Her writing is sharp, honest and poignant. You are allowed to journey with each of the protagonists through a short moment of time in their lives. The women in these stories are looking for personal meaning, family, love, freedom, redemption, security, an array of emotions are laid bare and dissected.What I really enjoyed was the small snippets of inf [...]


    16. I certainly enjoyed this collection, comprising the emotional, sexual, and semi-professional plights and habits of young women (re: conventionally attractive, white twenty-somethings, ranging from middle to lower class) living in the South. Gritty and melancholy, aiming to capture the essence of being at the contradictory intersections of mid-life. I do agree with some reviews that peg these stories as coming across more as variations of a theme rather than as distinctive, separate pieces, a bot [...]


    17. Mary Miller's wit sparkles in these stories like a stiff drink with a healthy dash of bitters. They are dry, acerbic, and full of bitter irony. Consider the title, taken from a line on one of the later stories in the collection: it is "always happy hour," yet no one seems happy in these stories. Or if they are, their happiness is fleeting, yet all of Miller's characters are searching for this elusive spirit. We read these stories, not for the plot — spoiler alert, not much happens — but for [...]


    18. “I’m going to marry him,” my sister says, standing in my kitchen. I don’t want her in my kitchen. I wonder if she can feel me not wanting her in my kitchen.As I listened to the audiobook version of “Always Happy Hour”, I tried to think of how I would describe it. And then I heard that paragraph I quoted above. This is highly representative. “Always Happy Hour” consists of short stories about women thinking their way through life. “I don’t want her in my kitchen” is typical. [...]


    19. 2.5 stellePeccato, dico peccato perché adoro Black Coffe come casa editrice, ma questa volta non ci siamo, per il semplice fatto che ogni racconto sembra sempre la stessa storia, c'è sempre una donna infelice che beve birra, fa sesso o pensa di farlo, ama un uomo che non la ama o crede di amare un uomo che non ama.mma, per quanto adori le ambientazioni americane, c'è qualcosa di sbagliato in questa raccolta di racconti.


    20. A surprisingly good collection of stories. There are some definite themes: bikinis, beer consumption, canoeing downriver, boyfriends' children. And also some shockingly good insight into relationships (why we stay, who we choose), feelings of anxiety, loneliness and isolation. There are moments of wry humor and touching vulnerability. My favorite story is "Big Bad Love", about a caretaker's relationship with a troubled child. I also really liked "Charts", about a newly divorced woman in her new [...]


    21. I had just read Difficult Women a few days before I read this collection. I think I would have liked it better if I had spaced the two books (or the publishers had). This collection deals with difficult women also, except they're all located in the state of Mississippi, and I think they're all white. As I felt with Difficult Women, the stories blurred into one, because their stories, at their core, didn't seem too different. It could be said that their problems were universal, but it doesn't mak [...]


    22. This was fine? The stories get repetitive - you can easily imagine they're all about the same person, always drunk, always making bad choices.


    23. Mary Miller's latest collection of short stories showcases her incredible talent as a writer. If you are looking for short stories that feature relatable characters and situations, Always Happy Hour is a must read, as it captures real life in an incredibly poignant manner. Life isn't perfect, and while it's nice to read a book to escape from reality and experience a new world, it's just as refreshing to dive into something that feels real.Through various perspectives, Miller's stories capture wo [...]


    24. While you should never judge a book by its cover, I was immediately drawn to this book solely from the cover and began listening to it in my car without knowing anything about Mary Miller. All I knew was "pretty cover!" and "short stories!" Nestled beyond the cover, you will find detached women. Women with bad men, bad friends, bad feelings, and plenty of drinking to forget the bad. The skinny woman working in a temporary shelter for abused children who was placed in charge of nutrition because [...]


    25. Written over eight years, the short stories collected in Always Happy Hour by Mary Miller peek into the minds of women living in the South who share a similar voice and a similar dissatisfaction with their lives and the people around them, but seem powerless to set themselves on a different course.Some reviewers felt this use of a similar persona was repetitive and frustrating, but in my opinion this collection is a unique exercise in taking one persona and placing her in different circumstances [...]


    26. A 'New & Noteworthy' bookclub selection, this collection of stories is about the women you've been, are and know. It's a fantastic group of stories that I can only describe as representing the modern, Southern, young and perpetually 'stuck' woman. The stories are snapshots into the heads of these characters and refreshingly, brutally honest. Here are some of my notes from the discussion: - These women are not making decisions, putting them off; they are not 'doing' anything - No healthy rela [...]


    27. Mary Miller, more than any other contemporary writer I’ve read, is able to peel away the masks and veneer that hides our damage, that disguises our bad habits, that camouflages our heartbreak and depression among the ethos of our modern America, and show us who we really are. Her ability to bring the fascinating details of a seemingly mundane life to the fore is on a level few others can attain. The women in her stories struggle through various levels of societal or personal dysfunction, yet s [...]


    28. Although few, if any, of the stories in "Always Happy Hour" are directly linked, there's a satisfying and lovely crescendo to the book, an ending built upon all that comes before it. To me the book is about making the choices you must make simply because of who you are, and then feeling bereft when some amorphous societal standard doesn't seem to agree with your life. It all leads to the final story, a snapshot of a woman in a new city (Austin) nearly breaking down as she talks to her mother on [...]


    29. Autore Mary MillerPagine 264Edizioni Black CoffeeUna raccolta di racconti che ha come protagoniste le donne, con le loro ferite, insicurezze e dipendenze.Donne spesso fragili e inclini ad assecondare i comportamenti egoisti dei loro uomini per timore di perderli e per non voler essere da meno rispetto alle loro ex.Una scrittura limpida, a volte cruda e impietosa ma molto realistica.Mi ha ricordato molto "donne che amano troppo" della Norwood per quella subitanea sindrome della crocerossina che s [...]


    30. Praise for Miller for not following the stereotypical portrayal of love. This book's short stories tell tales of women, some too strong, some lost, some stubborn, and all looking for love in the wrong places. Miller depicts the ideal of love and compares it to it's raw, sometimes grim reality. These stories are nothing short of honest, each portraying a different love, a different story, a different dynamic. Each one ends with you wondering what will happen and pondering it on your own time. Thi [...]


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