Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Fresh Complaint

The first collection of short fiction from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey EugenidesJeffrey Eugenides’s bestselling novels have shown him to be an astute observer of the crises of adolescence, self-discovery, family love, and what it means to be American in our times. The stories in Fresh Complaint explore equally rich­­—and intriguing—territory. Ranging from the bitingly reproductive antics of “Baster” to the dreamy, moving...


Details Fresh Complaint

TitleFresh Complaint
ISBN9780374203061
Author
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
LanguageEnglish
GenreShort Stories, Fiction
Rating

Reviews Fresh Complaint

  • Larry H
    2017-10-29
    I'd rate this 3.5 stars.Ever since Jeffrey Eugenides burst on to the literary scene in the early 1990s with The Virgin Suicides , he's proven himself to be an expert commentator on the foibles of the human condition, sex, adolescence, relationships, family dynamics, and, at times, the often-mundane challenges of everyday life. He further cemented that reputation with Middlesex and The Marriage Plot , so when I heard that he'd finally be comin...
  • Elyse
    2017-10-12
    Audiobook....I like Jeffrey Eugenides. I enjoy his writing - I loved “MiddleSex”.....and I like “The Marriage Plot” much more than most in my local book club. But - I’m so-so about these 10 short stories. I was taken in right away with the first story: “Complainers” — Della and Cathy are friends. Della is much older and married. Della’s husband runs into financial problems after making some risky investments which failed after h...
  • Andrew Smith
    2017-10-23
    I’d really enjoyed the author’s novel Middlesex (where I discovered a dictionary’s worth of words I previously had no knowledge of) so the opportunity to read a bunch of short stories from the hand of this gifted scribbler was something I wasn’t going to pass up. All of these stories have been previously published in magazines in the period 1989 – 2013. I wouldn’t say there’s a common theme, though a sense of dissatisfaction with l...
  • Meike
    2017-10-07
    “No one knew what the original music sounded like. You had to make an educated guess and do the best you could. (…) Sometimes you thought you heard the music, especially when you were young, and then you spent the rest of your life trying to reproduce the sound. Everybody’s life was early music.” This collection of ten short stories covers almost three decades of Eugenides’ writing career, from 1988 to the present, and it is interesting...
  • Terri Jacobson
    2017-09-13
    This superb collection of short fiction by Jeffrey Eugenides includes stories written between 1988 and 2017. The stories were all new to me. (I've enjoyed Eugenides long fiction and was unaware he wrote stories as well.) The writing in this collection is terrific and the themes are hard-hitting and intense.In Baster, a woman has a party to celebrate her insemination with donor sperm. The ending in this story, as in many, is powerful and somehow s...
  • Staring·Girl
    2017-07-26
    Complainers 5/5Air Mail 3/5Baster 5/5Early music 5/5Timeshare 3/5Find the Bad Guy 5/5The Oracular Vulva 5/5 Capricious gardens 5/5Great experiment 4/5Fresh Complaint 5/5 * * *
  • Melissa
    2017-10-29
    I was in Austin this past weekend doing a panel for Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump's America, but I had the first day of the festival all to myself. One of the big events I’d been dying to attend was the panel with Jeffrey Eugenides and Claire Messud. It’s a six hour drive from South Texas up to Austin, and I used the opportunity to finish listening to Fresh Complaint, a collection of stories written between 1988 t...
  • Erin
    2017-10-12
    So disappointing. I found the last story to be just insulting. I expected better.
  • Sharon
    2017-05-25
    I've loved Eugenides' novels--Middlesex is a lifetime fave--but reading this story collection on the heels of work like Difficult Women and Her Body and Other Parties, the stories just feel tame, safe, predictable, and somewhat short on meaning. The Gay and Marchado stories are so wild and raw and fearless and pull the very soul of of you for you to examine, while these are perfectly nice, well-written, mildly contemplative stories. Glad I read i...
  • Beth
    2017-10-09
    These were undeniably well-written, but had an undercurrent of misogyny that I didn't like--it's the same feeling I get when reading Updike (see especially: Early Music, Baster, and Fresh Complaint). I also would have preferred if the stories were in date order.
  • Erin
    2017-10-23
    2.5 stars. To anyone who knows my reading life, it’s not a secret that I usually don’t care for short stories. But Jeffrey Eugenides is such a good and interesting writer, that I couldn’t resist trying this collection out. I had my doubts going in - this is a collection of 10 short stories and all but two of them were published in various periodicals ranging from the 80s to a few years ago. Theoretically I think it’s a good idea, because ...
  • Corinna
    2017-11-24
    This collection of stories was very hit or miss, but mostly miss. The misogynistic overtones were disappointing from an author whose work I’ve really enjoyed in the past.
  • Kathleen
    2017-09-19
    My review for the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...Jeffrey Eugenides' new collection may be called "Fresh Complaint," but the stories themselves are less fresh and more retrospective. The book consists of an array of material ranging from 1988 to 2017, including "Air Mail," which was selected by Annie Proulx for the 1997 edition of "The Best American Short Stories" and "Capricious Gardens," which began as part of his maste...
  • Kristy
    2017-09-06
    Jeffrey Eugenides' short story collection features a variety of stories written across the course of his career, many featured earlier in various publications in previous forms. From the sperm switching antics of "Baster" to the complications of nationality and marriage in "Fresh Complaint" to money and morality in "Great Experiment," we're treated to Eugenides' usual excellent writing and perspective on characters and life. I often skip story co...
  • Anna H
    2018-02-02
    Wow. Jeffrey Eugenides deserves all the accolades typically heaped on Pulitzer Prize winners. In my reading journeys, I've often disagreed with these book jacket platitudes. In fact, I've found candidates for the prize usually better and more skilled writers than the winners, but in "Fresh Complaint," we find a scribe truly worth all the hype. This is a compendium of Eugenides's work spanning three decades, and it shows his growth as a writer; ea...
  • Lauren
    2017-05-18
    4.5 Jeffrey Eugenides is back! Not only is he ahead of schedule, but he brought us short stories. This is a wonderful collection that showcases his exquisite writing again and again. Although his last two books were tomes, his impeccable character development certainly doesn’t need many pages to bring his subjects to life. Fresh Complaint is made up of ten short stories over about 300 pages. They take place between the 1980s and present day, ...
  • Richard
    2017-12-28
    This is a wonderful collection of short stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides.I had not read anything by this writer and was surprised he wrote The Virgin Suicides as I felt I should have known this already.I was not surprised by the quality of the writing which oozes warmth and compassion on each page. He is a gifted storyteller who can take routine events and create lasting situations that reflect life in all its varied t...
  • Kirsty
    2017-10-29
    I am a big fan of Eugenides' novels, and was so excited to see that he was releasing his debut collection of short stories, Fresh Complaint. It is comprised of ten stories in all, written over three decades. I must admit that I did not find any of these tales as engaging, nor as enjoyable, as I was expecting at the outset; some even entirely failed to capture my attention. Whilst they were well formed, they lacked any punch or surprise, things wh...
  • Maggie Livingstone
    2017-10-10
    Maybe I just don't find a collection of short stories as satisfying as a novel, but I found this grossly underwhelming. I ADORED all 3 of Eugenides's other books--Middlesex is one of my top 5 all time fave books! But Fresh Complaint didn't do it for me the way I expected it too. Still interesting, and good writing, but just not as compelling...*sigh*
  • Louise
    2017-09-17
    I need to stop reading short stories,I don't particularly enjoy them. I was drawn in by the author though,having enjoyed all his other books.These are well written,with a few leaving you plenty to think about.Unfortunately I always feel cheated the story isn't longer,and there's no more detail.My fault entirely.
  • Alena
    2018-02-01
    I had trouble engaging in this novel. It took me weeks because I hesitated to pick up these stories. He’s a great writer but these mid-life stories are just so melancholy. Just not the right choice for me.
  • Sarah Furger
    2017-10-08
    Loved this collection of stories. As I've come to expect, Eugenides explored topics such as gender identity, the income/wealth gap, (in)fidelity, and aging with sensitivity and care. I was amazed at the depth he managed to give his characters in only a few pages. Truly a master craftsman.
  • Bookend McGee
    2017-11-27
    Some of them were amazing.
  • Leo Robertson
    2018-01-18
    I'd wager that most people picked up this book with the same idea in mind: "Well, he's not a short story writer, but he doesn't publish new stuff all that much and I'd like to get a Eugenides fix."And this book surely provides!Unfortunately most of these are like introductions, or "first acts", than they are complete objects in and of themselves. I enjoyed these first acts, but I wouldn't have stopped these stories so early.It surely comes from s...
  • Matthew
    2017-10-24
    To err is human, Alexander Pope famously wrote. And while I’m uncertain whether or not this line was thought of by Jeffrey Eugenides when compiling the short stories that make up his collection, Fresh Complaint, it’s the first thing that came to my mind. We as people are flawed, we make mistakes, oftentimes leading to crisis of varying affect. This recurring theme is prevalent throughout the acclaimed author’s first collection of stories. A...
  • Vivek Tejuja
    2017-12-10
    Jeffrey Eugenides’ writing has come a long way. Who am I to judge that? His ardent fan. One of his ardent fans, who could not get enough of The Virgin Suicides or Middlesex or The Marriage Plot (weakest among the three and yet, I loved it to bits). One of his fans who cannot stop raving about his new book “Fresh Complaint”, a collection of short stories that shows family love, discovery of the self, adolescence, identity and what it means t...
  • Mary-Beth
    2017-10-13
    I wanted to like this book of short stories by the masterful Jeffrey Eugenides so much more than I actually did. The stories collected here were written over a period of decades, which makes the references to times/dates in the stories very confusing; each story has the year it was written on the last page of the story.The best story, by far, was the title one, which was written in 2017 and is the last in the collection. Skip the rest of them and...
  • Maria
    2017-10-09
    Well this was a let-down. Apart from a few insightful, delightfully well written paragraphs, the stories are bland and forgettable. Not particularly dark, not funny, nothing to think about for a second longer after you turn the last page. Oh well.
  • Azita Rassi
    2018-03-10
    Superb. Easily the best collection of short stories I’ve read in the past five years. Thank you, Alena, for recommending the book.