Emperor of the Air: Stories

by Ethan Canin

Hardcover, 1988





Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1988.

User reviews

LibraryThing member stevetempo
Not my typical kind of book and that's why I decided to read it and I enjoyed it. Several of the stories were very engaging and connected with my own experiences in life. My favorite was a story titled "We are Nighttime Travelers."
LibraryThing member Clara53
These are stories that are written with much rumination and a sort of subdued passion (if that's possible). All the stories are narrated from the first person and almost all of them (8 out of 9)are written from a male perspective, the protagonists being men of various backgrounds, profession, and age range, but through all of them there runs a theme of a man who is disenchanted with life, or self-searching, questioning. The stories touch upon family relations (at times dysfunctional), our sense of mortality and how we deal with it, and human emotions that come up against all sorts of turns that life offers. My favorite out of all the stories is "We Are Nighttime Travelers". There is a line in it where the narrator defines reading poetry as "deciphering other men's riddles". But at the same time, the stories at times have a poetic streak about them, or at least something other than pedestrian...… (more)
LibraryThing member YESterNOw
The title story is awesome, and most of the others are close to it in quality. He nonchalantly switches between tenses and viewpoints from sentence to sentence, creating an almost dizzying tapestry of emotions and observations. The only dud is "We Are Nighttime Travellers," which reads as a parody of Canin's entire style. A 28 year old writing about a senile couple who have been married for almost 50 years? Stay within your bounds, Canin.

RIYL: Michael Chabon
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LibraryThing member olevia
This is a re-read for me, though I somehow - and unaccountably - had no memories of reading them. Old age, amnesia? Whatever the cause, these are near-perfect stories.
LibraryThing member mahallett
listened to this. 4 stories--emperor of the air, where we are now, we are nighttime travellers, star food.
had listened before in july 94.



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