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"Sex Scenes From a Chain Bookstore": A Story by Aryn Kyle

"Sex Scenes From a Chain Bookstore": A Story by Aryn Kyle



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Published by Simon and Schuster
From a stunning story collection "Full of spirited female rebels who can take or leave 'no' for an answer...inspired, intrepid characters from a writer who has talent to spare, and then some." - Elle
From a stunning story collection "Full of spirited female rebels who can take or leave 'no' for an answer...inspired, intrepid characters from a writer who has talent to spare, and then some." - Elle

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Publish date: Apr 5, 2011
Added to Scribd: May 03, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Praise for 
Boys and Girls Like You and Me 
“In every situation she creates, Kyle provides an honest look at complex relationships through her witty, honest, bitter-sweet prose.”
The Star-Ledger 
“What Kyle does best—and, lucky or her readers, re-quently—is parachute into ordinary 
. lives and use herextraordinary talent to render them unorgettable.”
 —The Miami Herald
“Stories about the tender, terriying path rom youth to adult-hood.”
“The complex emotional lives o women and girls are exploredin this riveting collection. [Kyle’s] haunting characters, withtheir vulnerability and cruelty, live on in the imagination. Astrange, darkly humorous trip into the emale psyche.”
 —Kirkus Reviews
“[Kyle’s] short story repertoire is intelligent indeed; eachpiece is compelling and compact, with prose that creates awhole world in only a handul o pages. .
. They’re everyday stories, but Kyle’s succinct prose elevates them to a strikingly otherworldly status.”
 —The Minnesota Daily
“Kyle has written an engaging collection o tales. Fans o Lor-rie Moore or Alice Munro’s short stories will fnd much toappreciate in these moments o emale experience.”
 —Library Journal
Brides 1Nine 25Economics 49Sex Scenes from a Chain Bookstore 67Captain’s Club 81 A Lot Like Fun 111Company of Strangers 131Take Care 149Femme 173 Allegiance 179Boys and Girls Like You and Me 207

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clem_bojangles reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Aryn Kyle’s short story collection is a compilation of stories about girls and women who are struggling. The girls in Kyle’s stories are struggling with their identities and sense of self. They are women who are like people readers know in their own lives, and they are women that readers might even recognize in themselves.

The stories in Kyle’s short story collection illustrate the trials and tribulations of girlhood in the modern United States. The female protagonists present in her stories make mistakes and some of the poorest decisions possible. Some of these are characters are drowning in their own lives, and others whose actions should make them completely unsympathetic. Yet Kyle’s skillful portrayal of these women allows even the most irritating character to become empathetic, and Kyle’s ability to pull back the layers of each character’s actions and emotions makes each story a much more rich, satisfying experience.

In “Nine,” Kyle manages to capture the voice and behavior of Tess, a young girl struggling to cope with the abandonment of her by her mother. She acts out in small ways, telling lies and making up stories to compensate for her sadness. The story is both heartbreaking and funny, and the characters are some of the most vivid that I’ve recently read in short stories.

“Company of Strangers” follows Lilly, a young woman who is reconnected with her brother after their father’s death. Lilly is troubled, and when her brother leaves his two children in her care for a few hours, she takes them to a pirate-themed restaurant before bringing them back to the apartment of a waiter she meets for a one-night stand. Even as the reader recognizes how completely inappropriately she is behaving, Lilly is sympathetic; that is the power of Kyle’s writing.

In the last, eponymous story, the depressed narrator waits for her married boyfriend to visit her in her crappy apartment in a dying town. She squanders her days getting drunk and writing term papers for college students. It is an unlikely friendship with a troubled teenager in her building that begins to bring her out of her funk.

Kyle’s stories are fascinating and heartfelt. This is the rare kind of collection that begs to be read in a single sitting. Highly, highly recommended, for fans of short stories and fans of reading in general.

Boys and Girls Like You and Me by Aryn Kyle. Scribner, 2010. Library copy.
hippielunatic reviewed this
Rated 5/5
This collection of short stories is one of the best explorations of female emotion and depth that I have read in a very long time. While there are a couple of times I found myself wanting to stop reading, as I was fed up with the bleakness of the female existence and pitiful nature of some of the characters, I forced myself to venture on. For that, I am very thankful.This is a strong reminder that humanity has rough spots, and that women of all ages deal with pain and sadness in a very distinct set of ways. There are the bitches. There are the loners. There are the women who cycle through complacency and paranoia. And I could recognize a piece of myself in each of these stories.However, I have to say, one of the strongest stories has a lead male. "Captain's Club" is one of the saddest tales I have ever read.
kmaziarz_4 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Damaged and damaging young girls and young women (and one young boy) are the stars of Kyle’s eleven moving and almost painful short stories. The process of maturity is never an easy or smooth one for Kyle’s protagonists, some of whom willfully throw themselves into paths leading to self-destruction, others of whom learn both the costs and the benefits of betraying others for self-gain. Stand-outs in the collection include “Nine,” “Sex Scenes from a Chain Bookstore,” and the title story. Recommended for fans of the short fiction of Lorrie Moore, Margaret Atwood, and Aimee Bender.
catheolson reviewed this
Rated 5/5
This was a great book of short stories about various girls and women, most of whom make poor choices in friendships or relationships. I really liked about every story in the book. The writing was great. I enjoyed the dark humor in many of the stories and was touched by many of them. I recommend this book.
ridgewaygirl reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Boys and Girls Like You and Me is a group of short stories about young people, from children through young adulthood, whose families have broken down in some way. A few are unbearably sad and a few have moments of hope at the end.The most poignant tells of a nine-year-old whose mother left and now her father has brought home a girlfriend. The best of the book was a story called Economics, in which a college freshman watches another girl crumble under the weight of familial expectation. It has the most gorgeous and unexpected ending, not happy by any stretch, but hopeful.
dark_phoenix54 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I don’t usually care much for short stories; I don’t understand them most of the time, and so they bore me. This collection is different. It grabbed me from the first paragraph and never let go. In each of these eleven stories about young women and girls (and one young boy), I recognized either myself or people I know. There are many, many ways that a woman can mess up her life, and several of these ways are brought to living, breathing, despairing life in these tales. It’s uncanny how vivid these short tales are, despite dealing with the mundane situations of life. Affairs with married men, trying too hard to be accepted, allowing a betrayal to ruin one’s life, compulsive lies- they’re all here, bad choices aplenty. In all these stories, you have the feeling that these lives could have reached dead ends, but you keep hoping for these people. Each story *does* end with the possibility that these lives can be turned around. These are stories about women and girls, but it’s not chick lit.
kitkeller reviewed this
These stories are so disappointing. I loved Kyle's first book, and was really anxious to read this one. But the characters are too strange to be real; the situations are also un-believable, in that they're too weird to seem authentic. Disappointing...
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