Read The Egg and Other Stories by Sherwood Anderson Online


Published two years after the innovative, influential 1919 masterpiece Winesburg, Ohio, this collection of short stories solidified the author's reputation as a major American writer. Despite their narrative simplicity (similar in style to the work of Hemingway, who was highly influenced by Anderson's technique), these stories explore intriguing psychological depths, redolPublished two years after the innovative, influential 1919 masterpiece Winesburg, Ohio, this collection of short stories solidified the author's reputation as a major American writer. Despite their narrative simplicity (similar in style to the work of Hemingway, who was highly influenced by Anderson's technique), these stories explore intriguing psychological depths, redolent with personal epiphanies, erotic undercurrents, and sudden eruptions of passion among seemingly repressed, inarticulate Midwesterners....

Title : The Egg and Other Stories
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ISBN : 9780486414119
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 133 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Egg and Other Stories Reviews

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-01-14 18:21

    Do you seek the comfort of escape in the films and literature that you immerse yourself in? If you answered "Why, yes!" to this question and started delighting in the notion of romantic comedies and glitter-and-magic-stuffed, demigod-like characters leading impossibly perfect lives with lots of hot sex and money and adventure, then read no further; Sherwood Anderson is not for you. Don't waste your time with this review, let alone this book, and I will say why once more so that I am sure you can hear me: Sherwood Anderson is not for you. Sherwood Anderson is for me, and for people like me, the middle of the road humdrums who want to read about other middle of the road, early to mid-life crisis having humdrums trapped within the confines of our own brains, we who are over and over again crashing into the same self-imposed wall between ourselves and our "biiiiig dreeeeeams." Sherwood is for those of us who think we are lost in the maze of life, but who are actually just making infinite laps around the same square of shrubbery within it. I'll grant you that there is an unfathomable number of people following this same pattern, but not everyone feels compelled to face it by either climbing up that wall or taking a sledgehammer to it. Some are sated if you simply dangle a shiny toy over it, something purdy to play with. I could be coming off as snotty and/or "superior" here, but that is not my intention, as I firmly stand behind the cliche "to each, his own," and I, too, have spent many years distracted by shiny things. That (finally) considered, Anderson's stories feel like rubbing alcohol: it stings, it cleanses, you will thank yourself later for the pain. Suck it up and salve the wound.The Triumph of the Egg, much like the more popular Winesburg, Ohio, explores the disparity between the external lives and inner turmoils of normal folks experiencing abnormal moments of pain, self-analysis, and perhaps even clarity. Anderson's specialty is that dubious zone where heartbreak and blind, numb acceptance meet. (Clarification: I mean "heartbreak" in so many more ((and often more important)) senses than simply the romantic.) This novel examines people who have been defeated for so long that they have become almost wholly unaware of it, but he does it at the exact moment when one recent circumstance or another has served as (a) catalyst(s) for long-overdue self-examination. As we all know, turning the microscope on oneself can be a scary and isolating thing, one all too often shoved back down our throats with substances and other distractions (shopping, television, surface-level relationships, you name it) to be forgotten for as long as we are able. Some of Anderson's characters continue seeking themselves, and some give up in favor of these temptations which are so much quicker, easier, and more readily available. They sink back down with their baubles and plug up their ears once more, desperate to escape the torment of reality and the ghosts of their youthful aspirations whispering to them in venomous, threatening tones. My meaning? Sherwood Anderson's stories and poems are not all epiphanies followed by sunshine and rainbows. Not everyone can win, or even has the forethought and will to try, which is just another fact requiring acceptance in this, our haphazard, indiscriminately harsh world. However, if you are in a place where you want to know that there are endless others who also feel they have made the wrong turn ten too many times, that the way they saw it back then and the way it is now are less similar than a rain forest and Antarctica, Anderson is a perfect read. He is often quite painful, especially for his readership who are in the midst of uncomfortable change, transition, and reflection; this is where he found me. This is why I will read this book again. This is why I wholly recommend it to anyone in doubt about themselves and the reality projecting out in all directions and dimensions around them. Sherwood Anderson is (scalding hot) chicken soup for the (neurotic, forehead slapping, considering dipping a toe in the waters of drastic change, I've had it up to here and I'm finally ready to do something about it) soul, regardless of whether or not these thoughts bare tangible fruit in the end. Some people collapse within themselves, some decide to remain stagnant, and a few go running forward in the night, barefoot and blind to all but the step ahead of them, free and vanishing into the dark in a race for the dawn.

  • Eddie Watkins
    2019-01-02 11:32

    Next time I read this collection, and there will certainly be a next time, it will be fall, and I will be intensely aware of the fallness of that fall, the ripeness and death of it, the bright red rattling melancholy of it, the drifty isolated inwardness of it, the chill forced domesticity of it; for Sherwood Anderson is the autumnal writer; no one writes about dried leaves like him. Leaves should be carried away, go dancing away, not be beaten straight down off the trees by rain. So says Sherwood in paraphrase.There is a naturalism here - the subject matter is certainly naturalistic - but not a lot of naturalistic details, only just enough to give his self-absorbed and internalized characters somewhere to actually be in the world. I don’t know if it was the nature of the font and layout of the copy I read – largish font with wide margins all around - but I had the sensation while reading of everything taking place in a great blankness – towns fading to nothingness on their peripheries, lazy paths winding off into the void, everything one step away from being overtaken by the surrounding blankness and getting erased, solidity appearing beneath the feet as his characters step off into this blankness - which only served to enhance the overall effect of the stories. The writing reminded me quite a bit of Gertrude Stein – the two were friends – and not only in its atomized word-by-word style, but also in the almost simple-minded seeming manner of expression of insights into human psychology and motivations, though Anderson goes much deeper than Stein in this regard. There is a great clearing away of brush and debris in Anderson’s manner, an intentional obliviousness to the extraneous, as he continually gets at the inner workings of his characters.Emotional imprisonment and melancholy, along with the tangible desire to escape such conditions, which only exacerbates, are very comforting to me; in literature at least.I do remember my love for it but I don’t remember the molecular details of Winesburg all that well, but in my mind The Triumph of the Egg is the next logical step as it feeds on Winesburg’s various portrayals of small town imprisonment and frustration to present a few tales of people who actually do escape to somewhere else. Not that they’re any better off when they get there.Standouts: I Want To Know Why, Seeds, The Egg, Brothers, The New Englander and, especially, Out Of Nowhere Into Nothing which almost qualifies as a novella and is a masterpiece.The Egg is cringingly, tragically hilarious.The collection is organized as a unity, with a visual introduction consisting of clay busts of characters within the story executed by the artist Tennessee Mitchell, a poem to begin it and a poem to end it, one character who appears in two stories, and a few short impressionistic-type stories that are not really stand-alone but do add to the overall atmosphere of the collection. It has the feel of an experiment, however homespun the subject matter. I suspect that The Triumph of the Egg is not as popular, or even known, as Winesburg because it crosses the line into grotesquerie too often and too well. It makes people uncomfortable. It loses readers who do not want to confront or even acknowledge their own grotesqueness. But there are other reasons.There is the necessarily crude and over-riding preoccupation with the sex impulse, and its dominate role in our motivations. In fact every major story in this collection revolves around it. There is the racism, which pops up here and there in his flippant use of "nigger" and his general idealization of “their” connection to unobstructed impulses of the naturally authentic. But after a while none of it bothered me; I was too taken away by the stories themselves and the manner of their telling; and by his strange brand of stunted wisdom. His drawbacks in the end only served to enhance the authenticity of his vision, as he himself merged partially with the grotesques he portrayed, thereby validating its universality, however marginal.And Sherwood Anderson is stunted; with weird whiffs of adolescence stubbornly residing in his middle-aged mind, though within his handicaps is a perennially immature, and valid, wisdom. He is the writer/philosopher of that youthful impulse that ever thinks there is something better, something more, “over there”, a world of possibility, however continuously squashed it is. Though he’s no optimist squashing is not final, as there’s also the unstoppable gross rankness of life itself that ever tosses out new possibilities in its unstructured growth.

  • Mariel
    2019-01-11 16:24

    The song was a command. It told over and over the story of life and of death, life forever defeated by death, death forever defeated by life. from 'Out of Nowhere Into Nothing'"In every human being there are two voices, each striving to make itself heard." Terrible truths about life sound in the routines in Rosalinds father's home. Water from the pail hits the floor like innocent feet. She is always awake waiting to be afraid again by what they know, and do they want. Throwing stones to test the depth and a heart fall for the answer. Living with her brother and his wife in Chicago she is not frightened by what they know. In the crowds there's a rest for the tiring ache. When you walk by opened windows and a light is on. Staring into another life, if you can have faith in it meaning something is everything. There is always a new face to outrun the historical lines. I'm heart in my throat if she can make those life on top of life too much feelings something to live on longer than I've been able to do it. I've been lost on where understanding can go too. When the voices are heard how do the voices stay alive without the searching? Rosalind can imagine it is in the knowing smile of her neighbor in the town of her parents. Has it been him forever and her never alone. I don't know if it is in the old bachelor Melville Stoner's said out loud I knew your thoughts. How can intimacy of rhythms tear down secrets. She can find sweetness in it and I still don't know. She's looking for proof to hold in her hand and maybe that's it.Rosalind goes home to see if it is possible to be with her mother and know herself with another presence resting on the unspoken. That's a danger, I think, to risk that hope on the chance of faith. I don't know about this married boyfriend of hers that she wants her mother's say so. Should she be his lover in flesh. Her ego is kitten stroked when the man who couldn't sing anymore can let it out again in her presence. The man Walter Sayer's self written life splits off. The woman is his dream-life so he can sing. The wife and kids and job are his real life. When he fantasizes about Rosalind he thinks he could make love to Rosalind if he could go on after as if it had never happened. It's all bull shit, this you can't sing if you're not going to make a brilliant career out of it. It's in these stories over and over that one's soul is imprisoned with their spouse. No ends possible they have the heart to see but sex and rings and bills. She loves her Walter Sayers. Does she or is he all she knows. All I know of their conversations is his claims of needy defeat and some condemnation of Americans vampiric existence over the natives. It must have suited her ego to listen to him. She liked to believe her home town of Willow Creek incapable of housing another spark. Only in the places to go big city of Chicago. As if there weren't costs for anyone who fed off the land, Walter. I can see her searching his exhale and inhale for what she always felt was missing life and settling for his holes in the big picture. Why does the choice to live with another person make it impossible for the chooser to feel/see/hear/even want another possibility? Do all songs forget about them? This must be why love stories are predominately about beginnings over the middle and end. Rosalind's mother says don't do it, don't do it, don't it. Her husband was bad in bed. She cleans, she cooks, she gets fat. Don't parallel with me. I don't know what to do with the songs but how do you not hear anything else but that. How did Rosalind live next door to Melville and see his mocking smile when he speaks to the widow with the hens. His eyes must have said don't leave me alone with myself and his smile must have said I can only live by myself because I don't know how to listen, only know. I'm haunted by the sight of the middle aged man face down hunting the scent that made the bees drunk on life. There must be another kind of listening that he had and I wish I knew what it was to go looking for bee scents. How did she not feel torn that he lived until the age of forty with his mother as his housekeeper? Come on, there's something fucked up about living with another person that way. Them going down for you to go up. Eyes must have looked at one another as they lived on the way to dying without seeing. What did they want to be seen by others? If another human being could really hear you what would you want them to hear? Would you know what you were really saying in those two voices? I believed that Rosalind had those voices. I feel like she's still going to be lonely. There's only so much naked to the human soul. Elsie ran into the vastness of the cornfields filled with but one desire. She wanted to get out of her life and into some new and sweeter life she felt must be hidden away somewhere in the fields. from - 'The New Englander'The young woman Elsie has feelings that are not thoughts with another home in a greater elsewhere. They are the everything you see when you're alone. A deflating self balloon. I don't know what to call it either. I saved the last few pages of this book and went on a long drive to get the that feeling when the trees look like they are moving and not me. With worlds between I can almost see. On the other side are the fields and getting in the mental running. I can't love one more than the other. I've done that always. To still do it makes childhood feel like it is never going to end, that the desperate wish for something good to happen is never going to come true. I know what it feels like when Elsie is small to the world and huge eyes to herself. She has moved with her parents to live with her older brother and his family in Iowa. Her family are far away like listening to something you won't look at. Sharper and more afraid. I can hear the shouts and the dead rabbits in their cornfields. See the promise between her younger niece and her sweetheart. Feel unrelated life as they are far away from Elsie's quiet feelings. A hard smile came and went on his face. "She isn't like a young tree any more. She is almost like Winifred. She is almost like a person who belongs here, who belongs to me and my life," he thought. from 'The Door of the Trap'He could breathe as he did before he counted every brick of his prison but Hugh won't let that happen. He locks the door to his study from his wife and another way to be. Their talks on the sofa, their children out of the gray of his obsession. I don't get the father in 'Brothers' either. Kids can be awesome. That there's no pleasure in witnessing their personalities assert over or to experience? Adults too. Hugh doesn't want their say in his festering beliefs. It is on purpose. When I was a kid my mom had a coworker who boasted of dumping his wife because one night she was watching Lifetime network. "Lifetime is what my life had become!" Why couldn't they see anything else in anything else? When they approach the pearly gates they will be turned away to the sarlaac pit if they didn't moisten their dicks on a more exciting pussy, I guess. The husband in 'Brothers' murders his wife's life, the only one she will get, in a darkened hallway outside their home. Firey eyes burning dreams of a pretty face in the office across where he fixes bicycles. The choking desire of his brother telling the story is what got me. The sacrifice of the dog he holds in his arms as he forgets any other life to be had for the unattainable dream. These dreams have nowhere to go. Hugh the embittered family man brings home a young student from his school to be his tree as the bike mechanic's secretary was his starry tentacle offering nothing. I was moved by the out of his sight family life without Hugh. The girl is in his sight and out of it, growing closer to his sons. Kissing them and loving them. I don't know if the wife was really okay with it. If she had muted dreams or blames on the marriage prison. Why didn't they want anything else than to go back before they were married and gamble it all again on a seperate satellite remaking them into one who could never be thirsty or hungry ever again? Did the murderer's brother see anything than crying in death and miss the living altogether? I don't know but I get a twisting feeling in my gut wondering about it. I'm feeling a little sick for that girl who is tossed out of the man's prison. The girl and the old man should get together and sit with hearts in their mouths trying to taste what family feels like and that shell being all they saw. What if you could take the shards from fallen stars everybody like Elsie got and put it all together. That horse wasn't thinking about running. He don't have to think about that. He was just thinking about holding himself back 'til the time for the running came. I knew that. I could just in a way see right inside him. from 'I Want To Know Why'The faith in the same connection, the unsick horse running fever, is tears in his eyes. The pride for something beautiful with no ownership. I feel the purity in the wanting to be apart of something but a bit sick about the blindness to what happens to the horses. Wouldn't they rather be wild horses couldn't stop them. The black stable hands he envies in their mutual horse lives. I feel torn about horse training, in keeping them dependent on human care when they could have done for themselves. What if the men who were taking the jobs they could get had wanted to do something else. But the pull of that envy to be another person is killer for me. I try to make myself feel it as often as possible. I could get into the making himself believe in the shared mental running with the beast and the betrayal when Jerry Tillford the trainer sells out the unspoken love for the horse into boasting for himself to win another temporary dance with a female. Coarse words from a window. The hot breath between lips and nightly loving is taking place somewhere else for Jerry and the boy doesn't separate the two. He doesn't know that people are liars outside and bury the truth in their hearts. Not dead, not quite, but not holding everything. Another man in another story wishes to be a leaf blown away by the wind. A dead dry thing. I would like to be between trees in away there's some kind of an horizon. And edge of a forest, maybe. In 'The Egg' the ugly naked chickens walk into death under wheels. Stroking out to the sun. If you could see all lives as the same then some of them make it and there are eggs. Eggs to chickens to the oval of life. If you can't there's life to death. The father keeps nature's fuck ups floating in jars. Maybe they'll be worth something some day. Another move to another job. Change doesn't last long enough to make life feel any different for long. The father gets a fantasy about being the center of happy young people. They open a restaurant by a train station. The horrible thing about new faces in the big loud world is getting lost in it. Their happy faces to the outsider who doesn't just know something sweet. That's the hardest thing, the faith in something good behind another soul. Rosalind could do it but I can only do it some of the time. In 'The Egg' the father loses his mind to beating at that door. His son can't ride on the life to death to life again loop. That's a tough one too. I had a feeling about all of these stories that they could have something I always wanted and don't know how to get it. It's funny 'cause they are all near one side of things. When you can't have faith in it and when you can. Being close to where it was happening was enough to twist me inside no matter what happened. Whatever happens I kinda want it to go the other way. A husband follows the echos of Napoleon and General Grant. His wife is floating as a stranger, a picture. If he tried to get the beat of her heart drums to do the Morris dance to maybe it'd be go back and forth between dream and solid windows. Real in belief. I think he liked the far away thunder, though. The girl, Mary, who is going to lose her cold father to cancer in "Unlighted Lamps". He wouldn't do what you have to do to be believed by another person. He wouldn't be proof to his wife and he loses her. No one says why did the mother leave her baby daughter with a man who leaves her to live all by herself. The living ghost isn't dead yet and it is almost too late. When it is too late I know that he loved her and she wants the real person she always dreamed of. The too late is more real than what it could be. This time the unheard voice doesn't matter. I could feel beating within her the strangers, the wish for something different. I loved how the dots weren't all connected in a constellation that said the world is too damned small. It's too small and is that all there is, just life and death. I absolutely loved it. That's the only time I feel a voice. I can't stop thinking about my suspicions. The girl in Willow Creek who bursts into tears as her friends finger the carefully selected trousseau of another girl. Please don't do it, please don't do it! It has different meanings when Rosalind cannot put herself in the place of the girl with the looked for future. She is later the aching regrets of the lonely girl, mourning a life of her own for the engaged girl. That's amazing to me to swallow down unnamed feelings for people that could have existed. The holding them as not trivial is the best I ever had to combat the putting up of prison walls.

  • Aaron
    2019-01-02 17:29

    Some of the comments that people have left about this book leave me baffled. The Egg and Other Short Stories is the greatest collection of short stories in the past one-hundred years. There, I said it! Like, Winesburg, Anderson explores a side of society, many people in his time refused to talk about and explore--the eccentrics, the lonely, and those who who were not accepted such as the homosexuals. Not only that, he shows the hypocrisy, humanity and charity that exists in American people. In the end, this book will make you laugh one second, and cry the next. There is a reason Anderson is the Godfather of the American Modern Generation (Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck). The bad reviews on goodreads of this book will die--The Egg and Other Stories will live on.

  • Po Po
    2018-12-25 14:32

    No non-sense fiction for the common man (and woman). Simple and forthright, almost alarmingly shrewd and perceptive. All of these stories explore the infinite layers of man [and woman's] alienation with each other and oneself.Reminds me of Steinbeck's style: resplendent prose with distinctly unaffected beauty. As evidenced by his writing, Anderson is (1) an astute observer of human interaction and (2) a surveyor of the vast and labyrinthine complexities [and contradictions] of the internal landscape.+ "I cannot shake myself out of myself.... I cannot come out of myself."+ "Are there no words that lead into life? Some day I shall speak to myself. Some day I shall make a testament unto myself."

  • Stephanie Griffin
    2018-12-27 12:44

    Sherwood Anderson, who greatly influenced Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, published in 1921 a collection of short stories called THE EGG AND OTHER STORIES. It came two years after his classic WINESBURG, OHIO. The title story in this collection is quite humorous, while most of the stories have themes of mortality, lives not fully lived, yearnings, dreams of escapement, disappointments, and the necessity of connection between people.Anderson’s writing is wonderful. He really gets inside of the minds of his characters. He tends to be repetitive in his words, but not to the point of irritation.Although his words are wonderful, this is not a book you want to read if you’re depressed!

  • Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion
    2018-12-25 14:42

    This collection of short stories is even better than Winesburg, Ohio and with their diversity I find myself understanding/enjoying Anderson a great bit more. For me, this is the writer who truly defined/crystallized/understood modernized America. What strikes me as different from Winesburg is that Anderson takes his soulless, lifeless characters in town and shows much more of what it is that they struggle against.....and he does so in beautiful ways. In "I Want to Know Why," we come face to face with a youth who loves the soul, the essence, the beauty of a horse......only to find another man loves the same horse only for the money which can be reaped from it. In "Seeds," the character pines, "I want more than anything else in the world to be clean." In "Brothers," the leaves themselves "should go dancing away," lending an image of "what beauty could be." In "The Man with the Trumpet," we read the desperation of one shouting for something better than humanity's normal course: "I said they might build temples to themselves." And in the novella "Out of Nowhere into Nothing," the protagonist somewhat abruptly even finds an alternative to the usual lifelessness, for at the end of the story Rosalind felt she "was a creator of light." I will be interested to go back and reread, but I do not recall any characters arriving at any desires, conclusions, or thoughts much beyond their trivial, mundane, day-to-day existence in Winesburg, Ohio.The use of nature in this series of stories is also exceptional. While at times dry and coarse with death, it is mostly light and airy, just as Anderson's wording, to such an extent that the reader could almost float through the text. The land joins with humanity to be so airy it's almost an illusion, mirage, or apparition. This begs the question which I think Mr. Anderson would repeatedly ask: What is the essence behind all this superficial form?I agree with my good friend and colleague, Eddie Watkins: The Library of America series needs to grant Mr. Anderson his due. I also agree with that same good friend and colleague that this book will definitely be reread. In the fall, in the woods, on a boat, in Kentucky, in Russia, with tea.......all would work well.Glad to see Hemingway and Faulkner gave Mr. Anderson his due, because in my view they hold a hollow stick next to his pen. Entirely original and authentic: weeds, winds, phantoms.And please remember: Chicken farming is not for you!!!!

  • Jenny
    2019-01-17 15:44

    I feel the same as I did when I read this before. I love Anderson's simple style. He really knew how to capture small town life and make it important (idea from the back cover of my edition). He had such a way of creating characters. They weren't developed; they were brought into being. They came with stories of their own of such depth that they felt real. These aren't just characters; they're people. Anderson's people matter more than their stories. Plot isn't so important. People are, and language is. Without language, his people couldn't exist or share their existence. The best part of reading it this time around was seeing which stories I marked then and which ones caught my attention now, several years later. Some I liked just as much, but a few I didn't really care for this time. I can understand why the "me" of then liked or didn't like certain stories. I recommend this book to lovers of people in stories and to readers who want to read pre-Hemingway, pre-Fitzgerald, and pre-Faulkner, all of whom read Anderson and claimed a kinship with his writing. Faulkner even went so far as to call Anderson the father of his stories (back cover of my edition). It's easy to see why.

  • Jake
    2019-01-04 17:34

    The back cover of this book says that Sherwood Anderson inspired Steinbeck, Hemingway and many other classic American authors and I believe it. These are some powerful little stories without flowery language which focus on being human. The song of life and death. Looking forward to more Sherwood.

  • Thatsbadshiva
    2019-01-11 19:28

    Done, and it always bums me out when I do so. The stories are timeless and at times formless. The stories are like ghosts trying gliding through the pages, giving the reader a peek of the ghostly form and then they disappear. Just a perfect little book that's ever been writ!

  • tai
    2018-12-24 13:51

    this wasn't terrible, but just not worth spending time on when there are so many other more fulfilling things to read and a limited lifespan in which to read them. not anywhere in the ballpark of "winesburg."

  • Krissy
    2018-12-24 13:37

    I had a bit of a difficult time with this book. Especially since my mom lent it to me with the hope that I would read and enjoy it. I am not a fan of short stories in general. I like my books with a definite beginning, middle and end. These stories often had one or the other missing. Several ended abruptly without the reader knowing what is happening, or will be happening. I feel like much of this book made me profoundly sad...sad for the characters who want more than their lives have given them and yet can't seem to accomplish "more."I also had the bad timing of reading this after reading P.G. Wodehouse's Reggie Pepper and Jeeves and Wooster stories. In my opinion, everything looks gloomy after Wodehouse!Looking forward to rereading Winesburg, Ohio, which I last visited in college. I remember those being amazing.Sorry Mama! Glad to have read it, sad I didn't love it.

  • William
    2019-01-20 19:21

    This a dark work. Or rather a series of dark works. I cannot call them essays, and they are not short stories in the classic sense. Perhaps vignettes, or portraits, or excerpts of life as the author saw it. But in any event they are dark and I cannot read more than one or two at a time. At times I am reminded of Twain's descriptions of small towns and people, but it would be Twain infused with Ambrose Bierce's view of man and life.Some say Anderson's work is about post-industrial, small town life in the Midwest. Perhaps so, but I find it more universal than that. It is the human condition of which he writes.

  • Bill S.
    2019-01-13 14:28

    I guess I did Anderson backwards. Winesburg Ohio is his masterpiece and the consensus seems to be that he declined after this and hurt his reputation by tackling novels -- a format he never mastered. Anderson's style is to let the protagonist of the story tell the tale, in their voice and from their viewpoint. As you read you feel that you are sitting on a porch with the character and they relate the story just as people do in real life, oftentimes wandering off into other trains of thought, but then bringing you back with "But, that's not what I wanted to tell you about." Anderson chronicles the lives of ordinary people and his most common theme is the modernization of America and what was lost in the process. He loves small town America, horses, and detests materialism. The best story of the set, and his best known is "The Egg." It is a tragic story of a boy's father who was "intended by nature to be a cheerful, kindly man." He was happy to work for another as a farm hand. But, then he got married and "The American passion for getting up in the world took possession of" him. A failed chicken farm is followed by a failed restaurant business. It is comic and tragic. He is completely undone trying to perform tricks with eggs to impress one of his few restaurant customers. He can't get the egg to stand on end or slip it into a bottle, thus, the Egg Triumphs. I liked this better than Sinclair Lewis or Howells who spent entire novels to capture the essential point here. I can see the influence of Chekhov on Anderson. His stories raise questions but don't always provide answers. In some cases I found this to be very perplexing. "The Dumb Man" and "The Man in the Brown Coat" left me befuddled. At other times, I liked his subtle approach. "I Want to Know Why" is a good coming of age tale and I felt that the point of "Brothers" is that the insane man realizes something that most of his miss. We are all connected, related, and somehow responsible for each other. Our "father" (Whom I took to be God) "has gone to sea." Anderson wrote often of infidelity. Anderson abandoned his first wife and children to pursue his writing and then married a secession of other women. Thus, he probably knew of what he wrote in "The Other Woman." The main character, like many in these stories, cannot explain, but only describe what he feels. He states that he loves his wife -- perhaps too often -- but cannot get out of his mind the fling he had right before their marriage. He returns to this same theme in the story within the frame of "Brothers." Here again, a man becomes obsessed by another woman that he knows he can't have - "unattainable like far off stars...but she is real." He ends up knifing his wife. Quite a dim view of human nature.One question for Anderson - Why does everyone have gray eyes?

  • Jennifer M. Hartsock
    2018-12-22 11:46

    Sherwood Anderson crafted a realistic short story that not only unearths the grotesque in human nature, but demonstrates the value of dropping out and breaking away—by showing us just the opposite. In THE EGG, Anderson describes a contemporary (modern for the time) farm-hand who has childlike (innocent, imaginative) ideas, but is pushed to “do better” in life. This portrays more than just anti-success, but anti-success due to “getting ahead” because society pushes you to do so. Anderson is obsessed with self-discovery, even if the ending isn’t a happy one. The heart of Sherwood Anderson’s story is about the egg, not the chicken. The egg (childhood dream) holds so much promise, but the reality of the world (the life of a chicken) is full of hardship and disappointment. Sherwood Anderson, himself, experienced a “moment of being” when he walked away from his American dream. I believe THE EGG demonstrates what the anti-success Anderson would’ve gained from chasing the American dream, just as the father did in his story.

  • Matthew
    2019-01-07 12:23

    This passage from 'The Door of the Trap' made me burst out with laughter:"He asked the merchant's son to stay for a moment and, when the two were alone together in the room, he grew suddenly and furiously angry. His voice was, however, cold and steady. 'Young man,' he said, 'you do not come into this room to write on the back of a book and waste your time. If I see anything of the kind again I'll do something you don't expect. I'll throw you out through a window, that's what I'll do.'"So many strange little moments like this in the work of Anderson.

  • WendyMcP
    2019-01-22 18:47

    After my first reading Sherwood Anderson while I was in high school, I was completely enamored of his short stories, his mastery at character sketches, and his vivid descriptions created with few words. That was before I'd read Chekov. Upon this re-reading of Anderson's classic, "The Egg," I kept thinking how rudimentary his writing is compared to Brother Anton. I believe I'm now ruined for any short stories not penned by The Russian. Anderson was an excellent American short fiction writer of the early 20th century, but he was no Chekov.

  • Erin
    2018-12-31 13:47

    According to Raymond Carver, Sherwood Anderson thought "The Egg" was the best thing he'd ever written. His other favorite stories were "The Untold Lie," "Hands," "Out of Nowhere into Nothing," "I Want to Know Why," and "I'm a Fool." RC would add "Death in the Woods" and "The Man Who Became a Woman," at the least.

  • Judy
    2019-01-05 14:32

    I think that the author was mentally strange and that "infected" all of his characters in this collection of short stories, just as in his "Poor White" and in his short stories, "Winesburg, Ohio." All his characters are trying to find themselves, or escape from their selves -- and all seem a bit "out of it." I will never read anything by him again!

  • Colin Bailes
    2019-01-17 11:33

    Reading Sherwood Anderson, I learned the same thing he had to tell Faulkner: stick to what you know. The most ordinary of people can live extraordinary lives. What goes on behind the doors of one's home can be more interesting and complicated than an epic poem. Anderson also helped me with sentence structure. Clear and concise sentences that are simply beautiful.

  • susie
    2018-12-24 13:48

    i love sherwood anderson, and this was a decent collection of his short stories, but i really have a problem with the cover. it is literally an egg draped in velvet laid on a scanner. designers, this is lazy and you should be ashamed of yourselves. let us not speak of the interior. dover thrift editions is sorely in need of a brand-wide redesign.

  • Drpsychorat
    2019-01-05 16:39

    I enjoyed the short stories in this book immensely. Anderson shows a deep insight into the human condition and develops his characters with compassion and tenderness. This collection is a real gem. Read it if you get the chance.

  • Bliss
    2019-01-18 16:32

    One of the best or the best?

  • Grant
    2019-01-05 12:28

    As great a collection of stories as I have ever read. The title story in particular is a prefect example of the form.

  • Miguel
    2018-12-28 14:36


  • Mary
    2019-01-01 14:36

    I thought I was getting good at interpreting off-the-wall stuff, but a few of these stories still have me baffled.

  • Mark
    2019-01-18 11:29

    This set of short stories was written shortly after Winesberg Ohio and deals with the same themes. It has the lyricism and consistent high quality of Winesberg -- the work of a true artist.

  • Nicole
    2018-12-28 11:22

    The only really notable story is the egg, and other from that I don't really see why a book was made to house these stories.

  • Diana
    2019-01-21 17:22

    I actually only read The Egg, and it was a homework assignment.

  • Jason M.
    2019-01-07 14:26

    If this was just a review of "The Egg" (probably one of my top-ten favorite short stories) I would have to say 5 stars, but...