Read The One-Room Schoolhouse: Stories About the Boys by Jim Heynen Online


In more than one hundred perfectly pitched, sometimes perverse, and always surprising stories, Jim Heynen displays his mastery of country wisdom, speech, and behavior as he reveals life in a Midwest where electricity is a magical novelty and cities a distant rumor. These are tales of farmboys finding their way, contending with grown-ups, city kids, birth, death, bats, ratsIn more than one hundred perfectly pitched, sometimes perverse, and always surprising stories, Jim Heynen displays his mastery of country wisdom, speech, and behavior as he reveals life in a Midwest where electricity is a magical novelty and cities a distant rumor. These are tales of farmboys finding their way, contending with grown-ups, city kids, birth, death, bats, rats, skunks, and even mean ponies. Or choosing between corncobs and peach tissues, hurling rotten eggs, getting in trouble, helping out, and trying to conceive of the mountains and oceans and forests they've never seen. Their adventures are an education in  the natural world, as well as an aknowledgment of what is both common and strange in human nature. Whether true of just funny, sad or even magical, The One-Room Schoolhouse is indelibly American....

Title : The One-Room Schoolhouse: Stories About the Boys
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679747697
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The One-Room Schoolhouse: Stories About the Boys Reviews

  • Mary
    2019-05-10 22:42

    Jim Heynen's brilliant piece "That Could Have Been You" anthologized in Flash Fiction Forward led me to The One-Room Schoolhouse , which is more of the same: sparse and simple tales about "the boys," a unnamed group of mischievous farmboys on the cusp of adulthood, but still young enough to feel the wonder and strangeness of childhood. This format of interrelated short short stories works especially well for a book you intend to pick up and put down at random. As it happens, someone else has a hold on my library copy, and I had to read through it rather quickly, so some of the stories had less of an impact for me, but there are gems in this book, as the blurb on the cover reads: "A few tales...are tiny masterpieces." Especially the stories with unexpected twists or compelling imagery.What Happened During the Ice StormCatching PigeonsElectricityThe HikeHabitsHoof RotPiesThe Minister's WifeScar TissueFirefliesThe GrandfatherA good read for flash fiction enthusiasts and anyone interested in reading about growing up "country." 3.5/5 stars.

  • Janet
    2019-05-24 18:29

    Not every story hit the mark with me but the ones that do more then make up for it. "Pies" is my favorite read-a-loud story especially around our Thanksgiving baking. While "Thinking about the City", "Indoor Toilet", "The Girls", and "The Minister's Wife" have become classic "read out loud" family traditions many of the others have a stark dark earthiness perhaps inappropriate for sharing out loud. I was introduced to the book during a poetry class as an example of "prose poetry". This book requires patience to extract the "gems". For me it offered a glimpse into the past- with all its harsh realities and local color. Written in language that is the stark antithesis of sophistication- Heynen transports us to another time and place from a boy's point of view. I am reminded of my father's stories of growing up on a farm in rural Minnesota before the War.

  • Pete
    2019-05-26 18:37

    alternately dark and sweet shorts on the mostly blank "boys" of a rural somewhere. definitely drawing on native american storytelling, doing its own great thing as well. people would probably call this flash fiction, whatever, it's good, read it. this is what people think a prairie home companion is, but actually PHC is trash. this is not trash.

  • Shawn
    2019-05-17 17:21

    Good stuff, and great bathroom reading as the vignettes are short and stand by themselves. In the end, a good, aggregated, imperfect picture of live. There's definitely some animal cruelty, which is part and parcel with farm life at the time I suppose, but it was sort of cringe-inducing. I picked it up for my dad, sight unseen, but ended up reading it before giving it to him.

  • Lee
    2019-05-26 16:37

    I read this book over a year ago, maybe longer ago, but so many of the images have stuck with me. Each story is brief, but pregnant with meaning and suggestion. So much is explored regarding masculinity, boyhood, growing up, life and death... There is so much subtlety and complexity in what Heynen has to say about manhood versus boyhood. How the boys feel pressured to mock the women and girls, but aren't as strong as the men, and wind up doing work with the women. How the boys are seduced by violence but also possess a sensitivity to nature and animals that the men no longer do. No one else mentioned it, but a couple of the stories and images also hint at a latent homoeroticism or sexuality that begins to creep in. These boys, who, as a group, not individuals, are the protagonist of each story, are something else. Not quite human, not quite man, not women, not grown-up, but not fully innocent either. Such beauty and honesty. I can't recommend it more, especially as a writer learning how to use every line, every word to its fullest.

  • Neil McCrea
    2019-04-30 15:33

    I stumbled on this book almost by accident, and while I hesitate using too many superlatives, the fact remains that this book significantly changed the way I look at my own writing.The One-Room Schoolhouse consists of a series of very short stories, 2 or 3 pages on average, connected by setting and character. All the stories feature "the boys" as their protagonist, a group of pre-teen boys simply identified and acting as a group rather than as individuals. In each episode the boys deal with a prosaic bit of rural middle America, and transform it into the stuff of high drama.Strongly recommended.

  • Sara
    2019-05-07 19:41

    kind of like Palm of the Hand Stories meets Prairie Home Companion, but no at all, really. It just seemed fun to write that. Really it's full of short shorts about farm boys, free bunnies, climbable cows, and pie. Heartbreaking? maybe, at times. Lassied out, perhaps. Shouldn't everything be lassies out? My dad grew up on a farm in Minnesota, so I like to think this is a window into that. It's good, good short farm writing-- a small book to pick up anytime for a quick satisfying page, or slipping into for a hundred pages or so. Maybe it's not that long--85 pages? I'd have to check.Either way, I don't tire of this animal-rich prose too easily.

  • Samantha
    2019-05-21 15:33

    I often found myself asking why I was continuing to read this. I finally skimmed the last 20 + pages. It had good moments, but was ruined too often by cruelty.I do not like all of the animal abuse in it. It's not entertaining, which a book should be. The very last chapter is particularly upsetting to me. The cruelty of it like so many other stories in this book is completely unnecessary. It is not the last thing you want to remember when finishing a book.

  • angrykitty
    2019-05-01 19:37

    i picked this up off a discount rack, and found the stories to be really enjoyable. they're not gonna change the world or anything, but if you like cather (the book is set in a rural location), you might want to give these a try.

  • Simona
    2019-05-16 15:30

    Each story held a moment of turning, where the most mediocre thing suddenly became beautiful.

  • Holly
    2019-05-15 18:25

    The only bad part of this collection is that the last story is such a sad one, in many ways...

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-04 20:19

    A few gross moments. Many poetic moments. Sometimes boring. Sometimes completely beautiful. And not to mention, farm animals. Lots of them.

  • K. Rezaiezadeh
    2019-04-27 18:47

    Interesting slices of flash fiction aimed at a part of American society that much of literature seems fine with forgetting these days.

  • Courtney
    2019-05-17 17:43

    so they can put it on the back. It's frigging brilliant and the stories are exactly bathroom length.

  • Sharon Sherman
    2019-05-18 16:44

    Fun easy read. Stories about the boys on the farm.

  • Rachel
    2019-05-06 23:40

    These little stories are gems. So much surprise and grace in this book. My 70-year old Mennonite father loved it as much as I did, read it aloud to my mother after dinner.

  • Holly Ristau
    2019-05-06 20:48

    Read the summer of 1995 and this was my response at that time: Short short stories about growing up in the early 1900's. Some pretty good ones!