The Dream Life of Astronauts: Stories

The Dream Life of Astronauts Stories For readers of Tom Perrotta and Lorrie Moore this sharp and affecting short story collection takes place in and around Cape Canaveral from the s to the present day showcasing Patrick Ryan s mas

  • Title: The Dream Life of Astronauts: Stories
  • Author: Patrick Ryan
  • ISBN: 9780812989724
  • Page: 100
  • Format: ebook
  • For readers of Tom Perrotta and Lorrie Moore, this sharp and affecting short story collection takes place in and around Cape Canaveral, from the 1960s to the present day, showcasing Patrick Ryan s masterly understanding of regret and hope, marriage and family, and the universal longing for love.The Dream Life of Astronauts balances heartbreak with wry humor as its characteFor readers of Tom Perrotta and Lorrie Moore, this sharp and affecting short story collection takes place in and around Cape Canaveral, from the 1960s to the present day, showcasing Patrick Ryan s masterly understanding of regret and hope, marriage and family, and the universal longing for love.The Dream Life of Astronauts balances heartbreak with wry humor as its characters try to make sense of the paths they find themselves on A would be Miss America auditions for a shady local talent scout over vodka and Sunny D a NASA engineer begins to wonder if the woman he s having an affair with is slowly poisoning her husband a Boy Scout troop leader, recovering from a stroke, tries to protect one of his scouts from being bullied by his own sons an ex mobster living in witness protection feuds with the busybody head of his condo board a grandmother, sentenced to driver s ed after a traffic accident, surprises herself by falling for her instructor.Set against landmark moments the first moon launch, Watergate, the Challenger explosion these private dramas unfurl in startling ways The Dream Life of Astronauts ratifies the emergence of an indelible new talent in fiction.

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    • Patrick Ryan

      Patrick Ryan Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Dream Life of Astronauts: Stories book, this is one of the most wanted Patrick Ryan author readers around the world.

    866 thoughts on “The Dream Life of Astronauts: Stories

    • So let me make one thing clear before you make the decision whether or not to read this collection of short stories based on the title: despite taking place at or around Cape Canaveral (in some cases simply in the same Florida county), the majority of these stories have nothing to do with astronauts.While a few have the space program as a narrative thread within them (or at least mention something space-related in passing), for the most part, these well-written stories are about people who find [...]


    • "My grandmother's having sex with that driving school man.""Uh-oh," the bird man said.Mrs. Kerrigan's grip went slack, causing Steve to tilt to one side. "Do you even know what that means?" she asked Becca."There's a thing, and a hole, and the thing goes in the hole ---""Never mind! I know you're going through a hard time right now, Becca. I think maybe you're angry at your parents for not staying together, and you're angry at your mother for travelling so much.""She's not traveling. She moved t [...]


    • A short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger. So said Stephen King. I am a lover of short stories and I’ve found that that kiss can be anything from a brief (too dry to care), sloppy (too undisciplined) or intense (need a bit of distance).Patrick Ryan gets the formula just right. He’s a natural-born storyteller and I loved every single one of these nine touching stories. All of them take place around Cape Canaveral as public enthusiasm for the NASA space program was dying down. A [...]


    • Enjoyable collection of short stories that draw the reader in from the start. I like how some of the minor characters return as the main character in later stories, usually taking place years down the road. Nice way of tying some of the stories together. Wonderful description too. Not a collection to read if you want only happy endings, however. But at least they're realistic endings.


    • Patrick Ryan's collection of short stories, 'The Dream Life of Astronauts', takes on several universal themes. The characters he evokes often appear in more than one story, usually after a passage of time. All of them are searching for ways to find more meaning in their lives, often sliding backwards as they try to go forward. The protagonists are often troubled by addiction, family dysfunction, divorce or loneliness. The one thing they have in common is that they all live in Florida near Cape C [...]


    • “The Dream Life of Astronauts”, a short story collection by Patrick Ryan, captured me with the very first story. “The Way She handles”, is set in the summer of 1973 during the Watergate hearings. I remember it well and appreciated all the references, and I even felt a little rush when the love song from “The Poseidon Adventure” was mentioned and I knew what that was (“The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern”) and then spent the rest of the day trying to get that tune out of my h [...]


    • The area around Cape Canaveral, consisting of several long islands, contains a population not all connected to the Space Center, but affected by its proximity in different ways. I was reminded of stories set in and around, say, Las Vegas, in which people leading ordinary lives cannot help but be associated with the Strip even if they never set foot there. Each of these 9 stories presents a character recognizable in their human qualities. Ryan's writing style is smooth, his situations, distinct. [...]


    • I was a first reads winner of "The Dream of Astronauts:Stories.This is a book of short stories. Most take place in Florida in and around Cape Canaveral.Most of the stories take place around big historical moments, such as Watergate, In 1969 at the time of the rocket sent up for the moon landing. the Challenger explosion. A teenage boy watched the arrival of his hippie uncle and the slow break up of his parent's marriage. A foster girl lives on a farm around the time of the first moon landing. A [...]


    • An excellent collection of short stories with a common thread of the Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The characters are all drawn from the lower rungs of success, with failed careers, marriages and relationships, populating the pages, set against headline news events such as the Watergate scandal, and more poignantly, the Challenger disaster.Ryan's characters are all instantly memorable, despite their seemingly normal existences, due to his incredibly evocative writing style. He picks [...]


    • This was an unusual and entertaining book of short stories. They all take place in the Cape Canaveral area of Florida in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Most deal with dysfunctional families and I enjoyed how some of the same characters would show up in a later story under very different circumstances. The stories immediately grab your attention. Here are 2 of my favorite opening sentences:“We never would have laid eyes on Ike if his dad hadn’t gone to sleep on a pair of railroad tracks somewhere [...]


    • This is a wonderful collection of funny, insightful, and sometimes heartbreaking stories. Ryan has a knack for describing the ordinary in a way that is anything but. His prose absolutely sings and his love for his characters shines through, even when their behavior isn't all that lovable. A brilliant read–I couldn't put it down.


    • Fast read. Storytelling that feels like the work of someone who really understands the craft. Many of these stories ruminated on the domino effect of cruelty - how one hurt makes the victim lash out at another. I liked that. My favorites were the title story, which was really clever and suspenseful, and then the last - You need not be present to win, which was the most emotionally resonant.


    • Loved this! Great voices, great humor. Captures a time in America I remember well. I don't typically read short story collections, but I found myself looking forward to each new story. I will say there is a bit of unevenness here--some of the stories were standouts, and one or two were not. But that seems to be par for the course with short story collections. I love humor and pathos in equal measure and this had both.


    • More 4.5. A surprisingly strong collection of lives that never really take off but like the Challenger, are glorious in its mess.


    • I received a free copy of this e-book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I requested this book because the blurb said it deals with people and situations around Cape Canaveral in the 1960’s. I am a gigantic space nerd, and I love anything that has to do with the space program of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. This short story collection sounded perfect. I began reading and found myself wanting to put it down forever at about 20% done. I pressed on, because I k [...]


    • Really solid collection. Ryan writes well from the POV of the elderly. I liked the second half--beginning with "Fountain of Youth"--more than the first, particularly "Go Fever," "Earth, Mostly," and "You Need Not Be Present to Win." Some people complained that there weren't enough astronauts in the collection, but I thought there were plenty of astronauts, that it was perfectly adequate on the astronaut front. Perhaps these readers should read a nonfiction book that is actually about astronauts. [...]


    • I made it through the first two stories, which were like a cross between Family (minus cute Kristy McNichol) and Afterschool Specials (minus the absurd humor"I can fly!"). Completely puzzled by the glowing reviews. It's hard not to get annoyed when this is so pedestrian and my wife, an unknown writer, has so much better material that is undiscovered.


    • I received this book from for a review.I read this book, but I can not say I enjoyed it. The stories were all very dark and they all left me feeling sad. I thought these were astronaut stories, but they are stories that are set in the Cape Canaveral area with some loose ties to NASA.Maybe other people will enjoy this book, but it is not a good match for me.


    • Some really great short stories, with a real sense of place. I was distracted by how some of them intersected but not all of them. I hope the author writes a novel, there seemed to be larger stories to tell.


    • Stunning stories. Compelling, unique, and beautifully written. Ryan's ability to write from so many diverse points of view blows me away. Besides, I LOVE the title of this collection.


    • Confession time: my fellow readers will tell you that I don't really like short story collections. I don't know what it is, I've just never really cared for them. I like some of the biggies, sure: George Saunders, Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman. But for the most part I just prefer getting lost in a novel. The Dream Life of Astronauts hasn't changed my mind, exactly. But it's made me feel bad for throwing so much shade the way of the story collection.I decided to read this book at this moment for a [...]


    • This is a collection of nine somewhat intertwined short stories, set around Cape Canaveral, Florida around the heyday of the space program. Ryan sticks close to reality, while moving and living through its fringes just enough to provide a sense of exploration but with the occasional thud of a reality-check.Ryan has an easy touch. These are not lighthearted stories, nor are they heavy. But they do get to the soul of the characters involved. The title story traces an encounter between a gay teenag [...]


    • Disclaimer: I received this book for free through a ' giveaway.I'm hit or miss with short story collections. Either I speed read through the stories without paying too much attention, or they immediately draw me in so I'm entirely engrossed. This short story collection fits the second scenario. I took my time reading the stories, so I could try to find the connections between the different characters (some of the characters are featured/mentioned in multiple stories) and to let the words sink in [...]


    • Sometimes you pick up a book and the reading is so easy it almost feels like cheating. This is how I feel with this collection. The writing is effortless, the characters natural and the stories grounded. Despite the title, the stories are not about astronauts - in fact only a few deal with the space program at all. But the characters live in that world. A world where one man can go to space, while another struggle just to live. I didn't know that the stories would take place over the years or th [...]


    • This collection of short stories is perhaps a glimpse of what the Drive-By Truckers catalogue might cover if they were from Eastern Florida instead of Northern Alabama and Space City. I was expecting something "All American" and instead got something nearer to American Southern Gothic. These are plainly written can't look away stories of the lost, the lame, the licentious, and the lecherous set in the shadow of Cape Canaveral.


    • The writing is good, and if you are looking for a perceptive view of the bleak, every-day life of families, you may enjoy this. I found the stories to be mostly pointless--describing situations I know exist, but without enough insight or unique writing to make up for the depressive feeling that go with hearing about them.


    • Its one of those books when you say just say no. I will admit I did not read all the short stories but what I did read left me questioning my taste in picking out good reads. Don't waste your time on this one.


    • A neat set of short stories about people who live around Cape Canaveral. Only one character is an astronaut. All stories are touching, some make you wonder. Characters from earlier stories show up in later stories. Fun.


    • This collection of short stories set in and around Florida, at the epicentre of the US space program, is a little bit of a mixed bag. Some of the stories transport you to a time and place in a delicious, engaging way, while others needed a couple readings to really cement them in my mind.


    • lots to admire here, but i especially liked the way all the stories--even the few i didn't get too into--felt lived-in, like the writer really took the time to figure out these characters and their worlds. no swoop-ins here. highlights for me are miss america and the title story.


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