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Extended Audio Sample There’s Something I Want You to Do: Stories, by Charles Baxter Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Baxter Narrator: T. Ryder Smith, Scott Sowers, Kevin R. Free, Andrea Gall Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From a contemporary master of the short story: a dazzling new collection—his first in fifteen years—that explores the unpredictable and mysterious in seemingly ordinary experience. These interrelated stories are arranged in two sections, one devoted to virtues (“Bravery,” “Loyalty,” “Chastity,” “Charity,” and “Forbearance”), and the other to vices (“Lust,” “Sloth,” “Avarice,” “Gluttony,” and “Vanity”).

They are cast with characters who appear and reappear throughout the collection, their actions equally divided between the praiseworthy and the loathsome. They take place in settings as various as Tuscany, San Francisco, Ethiopia, and New York, but their central stage is the north loop of Minneapolis, alongside the Mississippi River, which flows through most of the tales. Each story has at its center a request or a demand, but each one plays out differently: in a hit-and-run, an assault or murder, a rescue, a startling love affair, or, of all things, a gesture of kindness and charity. Altogether incomparably crafted, consistently surprising, remarkably beautiful stories. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Five stories named for virtues and five for vices make up this collection from a master craftsman….Baxter’s characters muddle through small but pivotal moments, not so much confrontations as crossroads between love and destruction, desire and death….The prose resonates with distinctive turns of phrase that capture human ambiguity and uncertainty: trouble waits patiently at home, irony is the new chastity, and a dying man lives in the house that pain designed for him.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Baxter’s delightful stories will make readers hungry for more. Fortunately, there are more out there, and one hopes, more to come.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Bare storylines can’t convey the quickly captivating simple narratives…or the revealing moments to which Baxter brings the reader…Similarly, Baxter, a published poet, at times pushes his fluid, controlled prose to headier altitudes, as in ‘high wispy cirrus clouds threatening the sky like promissory notes.’ Nearly as organic as a novel, this is more intriguing, more fun in disclosing its connective tissues through tales that stand well on their own.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Charles Baxter’s stories proceed with steady grace, nimble humor, quiet authority, and thrilling ingeniousness. In this his latest collection, all is on display—as are his honoring of the mysteries of love and his dramatic explorations of American manners, mores, family, solitude, and art. He is a great writer.”

    Lorrie Moore, author of Bark

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author
Author Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author of several works of fiction, including Saul and Patsy; The Feast of Love, a National Book Award nominee; Through the Safety Net; and Believers. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.