Coup de Foudre

Coup de Foudre The third collection by the celebrated author of Thirst and PEN Faulkner Award finalist Pu and Other Russian Fantasies Coup de Foudre is the groundbreaking work of literary invention Ken Kalfus s

  • Title: Coup de Foudre
  • Author: Ken Kalfus
  • ISBN: 9781620400852
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The third collection by the celebrated author of Thirst and PEN Faulkner Award finalist Pu 239 and Other Russian Fantasies, Coup de Foudre is the groundbreaking work of literary invention Ken Kalfus s fans have come to expect The book is anchored by the biting title novella, a sometimes comic, ultimately tragic story about the president of an international lending instituThe third collection by the celebrated author of Thirst and PEN Faulkner Award finalist Pu 239 and Other Russian Fantasies, Coup de Foudre is the groundbreaking work of literary invention Ken Kalfus s fans have come to expect The book is anchored by the biting title novella, a sometimes comic, ultimately tragic story about the president of an international lending institution accused of sexually assaulting a chambermaid in a New York hotel With irony and compassion, Kalfus skewers international political gridlock and the hypocrisies of acceptable sexual conduct.In The Moment They Were Waiting For, a murderer on death row casts a spell granting the inhabitants of his city the foreknowledge of the dates they will die In An Earthquake in China, a baseball player contends with a publicity visit to a hospitalized child who is far ill than expected The Un is a nostalgic story of a young writer s struggles as he tries to surmount the colossal, heavily guarded wall that apparently separates published writers from those who are not.The stories in Coup de Foudre vary boldly in theme, setting, and tone, yet they each share Kalfus s distinctive humor and intellect, inextricably bound with high literary ambition.

    951 Comment

    • Leah says:

      A master of the short story formKen Kalfus has become one of my favourite writers since I first read Equilateral, his brilliantly written take on the Mars sci-fi story. His collection of short stories about Soviet Russia, Pu-239 And Other Russian Fantasies, confirmed my first impression, while also letting me know that he is a true master of the short story form. So I was primed to love this new collection, which consists of a novella and 15 short stories. And I'm pleased to say that the book li [...]

    • Corny says:

      This is a remarkable collection of stories is uniquely conceived. The author is unafraid to tackle difficult subjects. Some of the stories have the aura of science fiction, such as the one in which everyone in a small town is aware of their exact date of death. The author imagines how people would deal with this information. In another story, Dr. Iraq, a journalist misses a deadline because his father is protesting against a war that he has gone on record as favoring. When his son espouses the w [...]

    • Sara says:

      Like Jim Shepard, Ken Kalfus is a writer I always look forward to, although I didn't quite enjoy these stories as much as the title novella or his previous collection, Pu-239--or his novel Equilateral which is literary fiction's answer to Charles Stross's glorious takedown of Steampunk. Read it or be invaded by Martianstipope/charlie/blog-These stories felt more like experiments, grandly successful for the most part, but distancing.

    • Andrew Grenfell says:

      I liked this book. Why can't I give 3.5 stars? Arrghh, I'll be generous and round it up to 4. The (long) title story is good, well written, though some may find the subject matter objectionable. Most of the other stories are very readable, and have a good breath of variety; "Mr Iraq" in particular stayed with me for a while, with its frantic imagining of how familial obligations can clash with political beliefs.

    • Gabrielle Viszs says:

      Le résumé en dit long sur ce qu'il pourrait y avoir dans ces 52 pages. Une histoire fictive qui découle d'un fait réel sans que nous, lecteurs, nous sachions ce qui est véridique ou non. Ce n'est pas ce qui est proposé entre ces lignes. D'ailleurs, qui n'a jamais osé imaginer ce qui a bien pu se produire ce fameux jour-là, entre l'un de nos ministres et cette femme de ménage dans un grand hotel New-yorkais ? Ici, l'auteur entre dans la tête d'un homme politique et écrit une lettre qui [...]

    • Maria Ryan says:

      Love at First SightWhat can I say, the entire collection is brilliant. Coup de Foudre is what I would call foundational literature. In the title novella a prominent political figure sexually assaults a hotel chamber maid, someone, he himself deems insignificant enough not to matter. His letter making amends after the fact is pure folly but his consequences are well deserved. In The Moment They Were Waiting For, an execution sets off a new era of oblivion. In Borges’ Library, we learn that read [...]

    • La république des livres says:

      Le site NetGalley m’a contacté pour me faire découvrir leur site. Ce site propose de mettre en relation blogueurs, bibliothécaires ou libraires en contact avec certaines maisons d’éditions pour obtenir des services-presses. Ils m’ont proposé pour tester leur site de lire l’un des seuls livres en libre-accès (les autres sont diffusés après autorisation de la maison d’édition).Ce livre si vous ne l’avez pas compris, reprend l’histoire si médiatisé il y a quelques années d [...]

    • Akin says:

      It's a very cold collection of stories. Analytical. Human, in the sense that many of the principals behave in the illogical fashion that only humans can manage, but yet (somehow) stripped of emotion. Sometimes this works, sometimes not so much. Actually, thinking about it more, i think it is that Kalfus inserts a distance between himself and the protagonists of this collection. When I say 'inserts', I mean that it seems as though the author made the conscious decision not to be involved in the m [...]

    • Scott Smith says:

      Ken Kalfus writes with a bold pen. His fearless exploration of taboo topics, quirks of science, and human conflict--both modern and timeless--gets right in your face. My favorite, the title novella Coup de Foudre, is a crime tour de force. "The Moment They Were Waiting For" echos the wonderfully odd stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's a powerful tale. As a story about a writer writing, I expected to dislike "The Un-" but found it so true to life and to my own experience as a writer that it b [...]

    • Matt says:

      This is a collection of three parts-- the title novella, which retells the story of Domenique de Villepin and his attack on a woman working at a NYC hotel, a brace of odd, experimental stories, and then a clutch of somewhat more realistic stories. I started out loving Kalfus' weird stories best, thrilled by what he did in PU-238 and then especially _Thirst_. But in this collection, at least, I preferred the more realistic stories in the third section, where Kalfus seems to understand, at a deep [...]

    • Mike Cunha says:

      “Coup de Foudre” is a demonstration of just what a strong writer Ken Kalfus is. Klaus can create engaging and compelling stories from not only large but even the smallest and seemingly mundane events: from a global finance leader’s perverted assault to a moment of poor judgment in a second-grade classroom, routine eye surgery or even the daily attempts of a writer to live up to his vocation. The short stories in “Coup de Foudre” vary in style, from the gritty realism of the title novel [...]

    • Jason Furman says:

      The title novella is an impressive attempt to get into the head of Dominique Strauss Kahn around the events in the Sofitel. Just about the only elements that are fictionalized is DSK's name itself is changed and, of course, the entire interior monologue is imagined but in a way that seem very real and plausible.The rest of the book is a short story collection, many of them with elements of the fantastic but otherwise showing a huge range and variety. For example one of them about a condemned pri [...]

    • Guy Salvidge says:

      It's hard to imagine a writer much better than Kalfus. I didn't like everything here equally; a few tales were lighter fare, but I enjoyed many of them very much indeed. The title novella is a biting satire on a prominent scandal and very amusing to boot. My favourite story was probably 'Mr Iraq', but Kalfus seems to be able to make any subject matter interesting. Like, for instance, glaucoma. I think I've read pretty much everything Kalfus has published in book form and it wasn't a waste effort [...]

    • John Wheeles says:

      Mr. Kalfus may be a brilliant writer of the Hitchcock variety, maybe. That said, I find myself disappointed when story after story leaves one wondering what happened. In one story there is a discovery in a closet that leads to an arrest, what was in the closet? My mind comes up with countless possibilities but I'll never know. Same type of unresolved information presents itself in other stories as well. I'm left wanting, is that the mark of literary genius??? I'm not sure, if so our author quali [...]

    • Cecile says:

      Excellent collection of short stories, the first one is the highlight, a witty and provocative fictional narrative which the author imagines being written by DSK himself about his self inflicted predicament with a NY hotel housekeeper. Others are excellent too, my own favourite being The moment they were waiting for, Square Paul Painleve, The large Hadron collider, Mercury, Mr Iraq, The Un.

    • John says:

      I have to agree with "Corny's" review as it is right on the mark. I liked all the stories and have already given it a friend to also enjoy. I won this great book on GoodReads and like I do with most my wins I will be paying it forward by giving my win either to a friend or library to enjoy

    • Jerry Peace says:

      I like this collection; I really do. But it doesn't touch me. The plots are cool, if a tad short of dialogue, ironic, breathed on by whimsy, and I just can't get into them. I see both the skill and the creativity, yet I don't feel them. Well worth the read, though.

    • Elise says:

      Some thought provoking stories, but most seemed to slip away after reading.The title novella re-imagined the regretful aftermath of Domenic Straus Khan (sp?) after his ignominious assault on a hotel chambermaid.

    • Meaghan says:


    • Leigh Himes says:

      Not for the feint of heart, but amazing. What a writer. (NOTE: This is very R rated and a fictionalized version of a major news story, so be warned.)

    • Scott says:

      Title story was good, then Rush to finish

    • Michael says:

      Immensely enjoyable. Stylish prose. Punchy short stories. Science/philosophy put into literary form. "The Un-" is particularly great. Satire from a consummate craftsmen.

    • Teressa says:

      I really did not enjoy this book.Maybe it was the style of writing that I did not like.It may have just been me,but I did not understand the stories,especially the endings

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