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Fortune Smiles
Fortune Smiles: Stories | Adam Johnson
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his acclaimed novel about North Korea, The Orphan Masters Son, Adam Johnson is one of Americas most provocative and powerful authors. Critics have compared him to Kurt Vonnegut, David Mitchell, and George Saunders, but Johnsons new book will only further his reputation as one of our most original writers. Subtly surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, Fortune Smiles is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we dont often hear, while offering something rare in fiction: a new way of looking at the world. In six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. Nirvana, which won the prestigious Sunday Times short story prize, portrays a programmer whose wife has a rare disease finding solace in a digital simulacrum of the president of the United States. In Hurricanes Anonymousfirst included in the Best American Short Stories anthologya young man searches for the mother of his son in a Louisiana devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine follows a former warden of a Stasi prison in East Germany who vehemently denies his past, even as pieces of it are delivered in packages to his door.And in the unforgettable title story, Johnson returns to his signature subject, North Korea, depicting two defectors from Pyongyang who are trying to adapt to their new lives in Seoul, while one cannot forget the woman he left behind.Unnerving, riveting, and written with a timeless quality, these stories confirm Johnson as one of Americas greatest writers and an indispensable guide to our new century.Praise for Fortune SmilesMasterful . . . Each [story] is a miniature demonstration of why his remarkable novel The Orphan Masters Son won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.The Washington Post Entrancing.O: The Oprah Magazine Audacious . . . These six long, fearless stories explore dangerous territories, both personal and political.San Francisco ChronicleOne of the most original and compelling voices in contemporary American fiction.Entertainment Weekly [Johnson] is always perceptive and brave; his lines always sing and strut and sizzle and hush and wash and blaze over the reader.The New York Times Book Review (EditorsChoice) Johnson packs more voice in his stories than most authors do in a novel.EsquireA highly literary writer willing to take risk after risk after risk.The Boston Globe[Johnson] serves up six sinewy stories that shock and surprise. . . . [Theyre] compulsively readable tales about characters whose lives are largely ignored, undervalued, or simply uncharted.ElleRemarkable . . .Fortune Smilesis the best short story collection sinceTenth of December. . . . Johnson is one of Americas greatest living writers.The Huffington PostJohnsons [stories] will burrow their way into your heart, leaving you shaken but also exhilarated and enriched. . . .Fortune Smiles[is] worth treasuring.USA Today (four stars) Superb . . . explosive.The Wall Street Journal
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rachelk
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‘Rules of Civility‘ 4 ⭐️
‘The Girl Who Fell From the Sky‘ 3 ⭐️
‘Diary of an Amateur Photographer: A Mystery‘ 3 ⭐️
‘Fortune Smiles‘ 4 1/2 ⭐️
‘Siddhartha ‘ 3 ⭐️

#JuneWrapUp #WrapUp #SummerReading

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego A successful month I'd say! 💖📖💖 3mo
rachelk @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Yes, I think so too 😊 3mo
41 likes2 comments
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rachelk
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Pickpick

A brilliant collection of stories that are hard to put down, even when they make you uncomfortable. Characters here deal with the trauma caused by loss— of country, health, innocence, love, identity, or self. A few stories are among the best I‘ve ever read, others not quite as strong but still well worth reading. #shortstories

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KevinT
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My first book recommended by Litsy . Thanks ! I really enjoyed it.

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BaBaBaBillyAndTheBooks
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Pickpick

In "Fortune," the past is a place -- one that characters feels homesick for, leading an engineer to bring a dead president back to digital life; a warden to revisit his treatment of former prisoners; and a defector to turn two helium tanks and a chair into a rooftop flight to the only home he knows: North Korea. The journey to the past feels impossible, yet inevitable, and the book argues that there is an honor in taking off and making the trip.

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BooksAtNight
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Awww I‘m sorry you‘re having a horrible day @TricksyTails ! #catsoflitsy Angel and Kiamo are fighting over who should be the first to cuddle you. Hopefully tomorrow will be better! #letsmaketricksysmile

Clwojick That face! Aweee! 😂😍♥️ 2y
BooksAtNight @Clwojick I call this shot “But mom he started it!” 2y
TricksyTails Oh my heart! This is too cute! Thank you so much for sharing and making me smile! 😍😸😸♥️ 2y
31 likes3 comments
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LiteraryAnecdata
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I may have been a bit ambitious at the library...

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shawnmooney
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saresmoore This story was a heavy skim for me. It is so intense. 2y
shawnmooney @saresmoore That makes a lot of sense. I am still in the middle of the story but it just might end up being my ‘favorite‘ ! 2y
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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shawnmooney
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Megabooks Love this collection, although that is my least favorite story. 2y
59 likes1 comment
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shawnmooney
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#QuoteOfTheDay

I didn‘t care for this novella-length second story, ‘Hurricanes Anonymous,‘ set in Louisiana in the immediate aftermath of Katrina, but, man, this final paragraph is breathtaking!

LeahBergen Wow. That‘s spectacular. 2y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen Ain‘t it just? 2y
saresmoore Oh, I actually really disliked this story until I finished it and now I love it! 2y
32 likes1 stack add3 comments
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shawnmooney
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This, the opening story in the collection, is simply stunning!

#QuoteOfTheDay

DrexEdit Adam Johnson is awesome. His other book (tagged) is terrific too! 2y
44 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Brooke_H
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These stories wrecked me. Not a weak tale in the bunch. #GIVEAWAYSTORIES

Liberty You won the giveaway! Please email your name and address to Liberty at Book Riot dot com and I‘ll send you the books. 🎉 2y
9 likes1 comment
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saresmoore
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My Friday evening is booked. I've already read the first two stories in this collection and—pardon my French, but—holy schnikes is it great! The first story stepped into my heart and searched around ruthlessly, the second made me uncomfortable and left me mildly devastated. So yeah, so far, so good!

Jess_Read_This I love when my Friday evening is booked too! Happy reading!❤️ 2y
saresmoore @Jess_Read_This Thank you! Same to you! 2y
See All 14 Comments
saresmoore @ReadingEnvy I haven't, have you? 2y
8little_paws Yaaaaaaaaasssssss 2y
irre I loved his short stories!! I need to read his novel. 2y
bookandcat I listened to this on audiobook and it was fantastic. 2y
ReadingEnvy @saresmoore twice! My book club read it the first time I attended so I reread for that night so as not to embarrass myself. 😳 2y
saresmoore @8little_paws @irre @bookandcat I'm so glad to hear your enthusiasm! I always get a bit nervous when the first two stories are so good—I always wonder if the rest will hold up! 2y
saresmoore @ReadingEnvy Twice! Haha! That's saying something. Judging from the writing style in this collection, I think I would enjoy a novel. 2y
LauraBeth I've been wanting to read The Orphan Master's Son but this also sounds great 2y
Flaneurette I still think about some of these stories months after I read them- in fact I'd like to conjure up a hologram of president Obama right now and talk to him. 2y
saresmoore @LauraBeth I am loving short stories right now for dipping in and out. These are exceptionally written! 2y
saresmoore @Flaneurette For real. That story was really impressive. I immediately bought into it. 2y
97 likes7 stack adds14 comments
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Pedrocamacho
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Mehso-so

This a book of short stories. Some of the stories are clever. Others are fun and still others are uncomfortable. It's a quick, decent read.

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Jessicav
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Next up! I think I'm finally in the mood for some short stories and I've never read Adam Johnson before. I have high hopes!

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AlizaApp
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Pickpick

Brilliant but devastating #shortstory collection. Incredibly well done but also I can't stop thinking about the pedophile one. #roguebookbingo

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Alicia
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The amazing Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, Arizona was doing "blind date with a book" and this was my pick! So excited for these stories they sound amazing and crazy!

saguarosally I saw this but then I remembered my usual bad luck with blind dates. 😄 3y
JDHawkins Good choice! I loved this book! 3y
58 likes2 comments
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Spiderfelt
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Mehso-so

Most of this collection was fantastic: original ideas that kept me completely engaged, until I made it to the sixth story. #triggerwarning: child porn. It was like watching a train wreck. At first I could not tear myself away, and then suddenly I couldn't bear to listen to it anymore. I decided not to give up on the book, and skipped ahead to the last story. Critics rave about almost all of the stories, but no one mentions Dark Meadow. Beware.

mdhughes72 Yeah I remember that. Icky. 3y
8 likes1 comment
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bellasocks
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Pickpick

Loved this collection!

8 likes2 stack adds
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LaurenMagoo
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Is anyone else subscribed to Seasons of Stories by Penguin Random House? I subscribed two weeks ago, and I love it! Each week they email you a short story in 4 parts, 1 part per day (Tuesday-Friday) from a collection (which you can buy of course). It's a great way to "preview" a short story collection and find great stories. I just finished Nirvana by Adam Johnson and I loved it, I want to pick up his book now.

Suet624 Yup. I'm getting them too. It's a great way to start the morning. 3y
BookishMarginalia @LaurenMagoo Hi! I just sent you an email about SecretSantaGoesPostal 🎅🏼 3y
LaurenMagoo @BookishMarginalia I just replied to your email, I'm so sorry - your emails went to my spam folder 3y
bellasocks I love waking up to these emails. I'm definitely a fan of short stories now. Previously I really had not read many collections. 3y
10 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Dogearedcopy
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This time last year, I was wrapping up reading 'Fortune Smiles' - the short story collection from Pulitzer Prize winning author Adam Johnson. Each of the shorts is a very curious creation in tone and style, but all are solid in construction and realistic however alien the pretext (Pictured: Author & my daughter at the Fortunes Smiles book tour stop at Powell's, Portland, OR; August, 2015) #TBT

29 likes3 stack adds
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Nebula_of_Books
Pickpick

I love getting to review books before their release date because every now and ten I get one that makes me excited to spread the word of the upcoming book, sort of like a juicy secret I can't wait to share. This short story collection is just something special. There wasn't really a bad one (something hard to do with short story books) and it's no wonder this book got as much praise as it did.

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Dogearedcopy
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When in Portland, OR... Head to Powell's! It's the mecca of books in the PNW and rivals The Strand in NYC in terms of selection. I always see something at Powell's I haven't seen before, and I never escape w/o having spent beaucoup bucks! The last time I was there for an author event (Adam Johnson) *and while I was waiting in line for the signing, picked up 4 more books that caught my eye!*#getindie

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mauveandrosysky
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Pickpick

#Recommendsday: The stories in this award-winning collection – distinctly melancholy, darkly funny, bleak and sometimes surreal – are thematically consistent: they‘re about lonely people facing extraordinary challenges. Every single story is captivating and memorable, rare for a short story collection.

38 likes5 stack adds
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KathyWheeler
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Pickpick

The short story is a format difficult to do well. Adam Johnson does them very well.

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Thekelburrows
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Buy one, get one (dust cover) free

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CAGirlReading
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I don't have any as fun as yours but this one's my favorite signed book!

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Megabooks
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Pickpick

5🌟 I resisted reading this, but I'm glad I gave in. The most difficult story is told from the perspective of a child porn collector. How he got inside that mind and lifestyle, I'll never understand. The collection covers a broad range for six stories, and the prose and plots are top-notch.

irre Loved it! My first Adam Johnson. Did you read The Orphan Master's Son? 3y
Megabooks @irre Not yet! Is it good? 3y
irre @Ebooksandcooks I haven't read it. I was going to ask you! 😀 It's on my shelf. I loved the short stories so I'm hoping it's just as good. 3y
13 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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bookloversnevergotobedalone
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Pickpick

This was my first time reading Adam Johnson, and I really like his writing style. Great short stories. The Orphan Masters Son has just been pushed up on my TBR list.

Megabooks I loved that book. Not one bad story in the bunch! 🌟 3y
12 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Curley_Bender
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Fresh off the Holds shelf at my local library. After The Orphan Master's Son, I'd follow Adam Johnson anywhere.

strandbookstore us too! 4y
12 likes15 stack adds1 comment