White Man's Problems: Stories Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
In nine stories that move between nouveau riche Los Angeles and the working-class East Coast, Kevin Morris explores the vicissitudes of modern life. Whether looking for creative ways to let off steam after a day in court or enduring chaperone duties on a school field trip to the nation's capital, the heroes of White Man's Problems struggle to navigate the challenges that accompany marriage, family, success, failure, growing up, and getting older.
The themes of these perceptive, wry, and sometimes humorous tales pose philosophical questions about conformity and class, duplicity and decency, and the actions and meaning of an average man's life. Morris' confident debut strikes the perfect balance between comedy and catastrophe - and introduces a virtuosic new voice in American fiction.
Includes narration by Sarah Polley and Kevin Morris.
Cover art by Karen Green.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 46 minutes|
|Narrator||Matthew McConaughey, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, John C. McGinley, Josh Holloway, Pete Yorn, Minnie Driver|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||11 August 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 90,211 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
465 in Fiction Short Stories
6,887 in Short Stories (Books)
122,580 in Genre Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from other countries
I first heard of this collection when I saw that Matthew McConaughey had recorded an audio version of the opening story, "Summer Farmer." I stuck with the written version, and there were instances where I honestly was awestruck by Morris' use of language. While the characters in these stories are mostly average, everyday people, Morris' writing is definitely not. Here's one example from "Summer Farmer" which gut punched me:
"It is true of any of us that, should a stranger meet us at the intersection of elevator and automobile when the chill cloud of memory hits; if he should recognize the subterranean cascade of longing and remorse; if he knows well the depthless sadness of not seeing a child rise into the brace-face, the inappropriate midfriff, the biology major, the bride; he would be privy not just to the naked basis of our being but to our utter defenselessness to the lateral and vertical rhythms and movement of this world."
Among my favorite stories in the collection were: "Here Comes Mike," a story about faith, courage, and family, which looked back at the life of a high school basketball player whose life of promise was derailed, told through the eyes of his youngest brother; "The Plot to Hold Hands with Elizabeth Tremblay," which recounted the exploits of a high school student with a crush on a fellow student; "Miracle Worker," about a lawyer who takes on the once-powerful patriarch of a formidable family on behalf of a former employee; and the title story, which looked at a divorced father who can't stop making mistakes while chaperoning his young son's class trip to the Washington, DC area.
Not all of the stories are perfect; a few (including the aforementioned "Summer Farmer") seemed almost unfinished, leaving me a little confused and disappointed, because they were so powerful up to that point. But overall, this is a strong collection, buoyed by memorable characters, emotionally resonant situations, and excellent storytelling. Definitely one I'm glad I stumbled on, and one I'm pleased to heartily recommend.
It's almost as if the collection used this title to incite judgement just to prove it wrong as the author demonstrates themes such as how we value our priorities, juggling public appeal with personal satisfaction, and criticizing stereotypical privilege as generalized blame. I'd encourage anyone who is turned off by the title or the indication to put that aside, read this book, and consume it as a wonderful piece of literature.