Diane’s Book Club (members are all retired teachers) read The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and loved this story of a grumpy independent bookseller. A. J. Fikry loves books, but he really really loves short stories. That’s why each chapter leads off with a short commentary on one of his favorite short stories. I had to go back and reread Irwin Shaw’s “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses” because I didn’t quite remember it. The rest of the short stories were familiar Old Friends, but I did go back an reread Flannery O’Conner’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.”. It’s was as good as the first time I read it. This book is a homage to reading and the power of books to change lives. There are a number of surprising twists in the plot so I’m being deliberately vague (I hate Spoilers). I highly recommend The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry! Trust me, you’ll thank me after you’ve read this book. GRADE: A

Table of Contents
Lamb to the Slaughter, 3,
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, 27,
The Luck of Roaring Camp, 41,
What Feels Like the World, 79,
A Good Man Is Hard to Find, 87,
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, 129,
The Girls in Their Summer Dresses, 159,
A Conversation with My Father, 173,
A Perfect Day for Bananafish, 187,
The Tell-Tale Heart, 199,
Ironhead, 213,
What We Talk about When We Talk about Love, 239,
The Bookseller, 247,

11 thoughts on “THE STORIED LIFE OF A. J. FIKRY By Gabrielle Zevin

  1. Patti Abbott

    Have to read this one. MY book group is all retired teachers except me and one nurse too. I love GIRLS IN THEIR SUMMER DRESSES.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Well, obviously I’m going to have to read this one. I’m familiar with most of the stories (just from the titles I remember), and may have read them all. I did read the Irwin Shaw along with the rest of his stories a few years ago and recognize O’Connor, Salinger, Carver, Poe, Twain, Harte, Dahl, Fitzgerald immediately.

    Lately I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction stories as well as straight fiction.

  3. George Kelley

    Jeff, you’and Jackie would enjoy THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY. It’s one of those books that would appeal to a broad audience. You’ll appreciate the twisty plot.

  4. Richard R.

    I don’t understand what this is at all. A collection of short stories? Is she the editor? So what twist plot? I don’t get it.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY is a novel. Each chapter starts with a short discussion of one of Fikry’s favorite short stories. A twisty plot is one where there are a number of surprises. Trust me, you would really enjoy this book.

  5. Richard R.

    George, I knew what a plot twist is, I asked what would make a collection of short stories have a twisty plot. But you said it’s a novel. Still sounds like a mixed bag to me. I’ll skip it. Or would, if I could read the darn thing. *SIGH*

  6. Jeff Meyerson

    How’s this for service? I read the review yesterday, put the book on hold at the library, and when I went to get something else today…it was already there!


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