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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,397 Ratings  ·  446 Reviews
Storms, snakes, sinkholes, and secrets: In Lauren Groff’s Florida, the hot sun shines, but a wild darkness lurks.

The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Riverhead
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James Vickers I am a native Floridian. The book is very evocative of Florida. The descriptions of Florida and Gainesville are beautiful. I enjoyed the stories and…moreI am a native Floridian. The book is very evocative of Florida. The descriptions of Florida and Gainesville are beautiful. I enjoyed the stories and didn't find the book depressing, though some plot points can be weighted emotionally. (less)
Deborah Read my review. If I had to link it more closely to one or the other, I'd say the style and tone are more like Fates and Furies. It's beautifully…moreRead my review. If I had to link it more closely to one or the other, I'd say the style and tone are more like Fates and Furies. It's beautifully written but very bleak.(less)

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Emily May
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The truth might be moral, but it isn't always right.

Snakes, gators, swamps and storms form the backdrop of these exquisitely human stories.

I have to say I enjoyed Florida so much more than Fates and Furies. Groff's writing style is dense and wordy, metaphorical and poetic and - sometimes - exhausting. Reading her full-length novel was a chore, but for me at least, Groff seems born to write short stories. Small, hard-hitting snippets of lives that still make you feel emotionally-drained, but al
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ew
3+ stars

I loved Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. I thought the writing was absolutely brilliant and the story and characters were really original. So I was pretty excited to get my hands on Florida, which is Groff’s latest short story collection. Unfortunately, I can’t rave about the stories in the same way I raved about Fates and Furies. I recognize her talented writing, but there was a flat clever feel to her stories that made it hard for me to feel engaged. Most of the stories focused on wome
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any book called “Florida” needs to be infused by a thorough sense of place and Lauren Groff does just that. I have been a fan since LOVING Fates and Furies a few years back and have been meaning to pick up more of her books and this very strong collection of short stories has cemented her place in my heart.

While not every story is set in Florida, Groff’s protagonists all have a connection to that place, a connection they sometimes strain against and sometimes welcome. Her protagonists are women,
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Here's the thing - I really do love Groff's writing. These short stories are no exception; she is a master craftsman. She paints so well with her words and phrasing. It's just that.....I don't do so well with "dark," and all eleven of these stories are pretty dark. I don't think Lauren Groff likes Florida very much!

Here's what I took away from this collection:

Florida is mold, feral cats, snakes, bugs, humidity, rot, spanish moss, vines, gators, sinkholes, homelessness, tent cities, termites, mos
Rebecca Foster
Two major, connected threads in this superb story collection are ambivalence about Florida, and ambivalence about motherhood. There’s an oppressive atmosphere throughout, with environmental catastrophe an underlying threat. Set-ups vary in scope from almost the whole span of a life to one scene. A dearth of named characters emphasizes just how universal the scenarios and emotions are. Groff’s style is like a cross between Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and her une ...more
“When she was pregnant with Jude’s sister, she came into the bathroom to take a cool bath one August night and, without her glasses, missed the three‑foot albino alligator her husband had stored in the bathtub. The next morning, she was gone.”

Florida. Hot, sticky, treacherous, or as one character says “damp, dense tangle. An Eden of dangerous things.” I have spent time there, and I now live in a similar climate in Australia, so I can easily imagine myself in many of these stories. “Moving
Rose (Traveling Sister)
2.5 stars

Apparently, there is nothing more to write about in Florida besides miserable mothers, storms, and snakes. At its best, the short stories in Groff's new collection read like rough studies of Carson McCullers. There's Southern Gothic elements: anthropomorphized desperation, fleeting, mysterious characters, and the sense that life is essentially a giant screwball carnival. "Eyewall," "Salvador," and "Dogs Go Wolf" were about the only stories I'd deem successful.

At its worst, Florida is a
Kasa Cotugno
During a recent visit, Lauren Groff shared that when her husband proposed moving back to his native Florida, she, appalled, made him sign a contract that they would leave in 10 years years. That was more than 12 years ago. In the intervening years, she has come to love the state and all its weirdness, and even gave it the top acknowledgement for this, her excellent book of short stories. She knows she is a short story writer, having entered Amherst as an aspiring poet and having the intelligence ...more
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this collection! As a Florida boy, I had high expectations and Groff met them and surpassed them. She captured the other side of the place that tourists — and the popular imagination — often miss, the grittiness and the quiet desperation. This collection is filled with a palpable sense of danger lurking around every corner in the natural world. The protagonists go to great lengths to protect themselves from panthers, gators, snakes, hurricanes, etc., but time and again find the gr ...more
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, short-story
4.5 stars

The writing is brilliant - slow, atmospheric, dark, vulnerable characters and has themes of loneliness, grief and loss. The book is a delight from start to the end. If you enjoy stories for their quality of narration and not necessarily look for a definitive ending, this one's for you. An excellent short story collection of 2018
Unfortunately, this book is going to be placed upon my DNF shelf. I absolutely loved Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies a five star read and more for me. However, this collection of short stories is doing nothing for me. The writing is wonderful but the characters and I are not making any connection at all and that makes the book drag for me.

So sorry to say I will stop at the 30% mark. Perhaps someday I will go back to it.
Jessica Woodbury
I have spent a long time thinking Lauren Groff and I just weren't a fit. Before this I'd read all three of her novels, and while I liked each better than the last, her distinctive style and prose were never the things that I liked the most. A story collection didn't seem like a good bet for us, since story collections tend to lean into an author's style and give less opportunities for the big plots that I've preferred from her. Ultimately I decided to try it, and I decided to do the audio since ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
This was my first real experience of Groff. The final story in this collection, Yport, was included in Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists 3 which I read several months ago, but that didn’t help me much because it has been so majorly re-worked by the time it gets into this collection that it is almost a new piece (same basic story, but significantly edited): I was comparing the two for the first few paragraphs, but the changes are so numerous and significant that I gave up and I'm not s ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book doesn't bother with quotation marks, and it's full of snakes. I hate both of those things. Yet here I am, giving it 5 stars. Enough said.
Rebecca Renner
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much that I think I want to reread it. Some of the stories hearken back to Groff's Arcadia (my previous favorite of her books), and others chart new territory entirely. The stories themselves are both domestic and exotic, and they are deeply rooted in the state I love. I'm so used to reading literary fiction that's very New York-centric, so it was both delightful and strange to recognize the city where I was born (Gainesville) as the setting for many of these stories.
Jim Coughenour
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, florida
Two months ago I moved from San Francisco to St Petersburg, Florida. Not long after I’d arrived, I spotted Groff’s book* and thought, ah, an introduction. I’m not sure what I expected, my curiosity only sharpened by an essay I’d stumbled upon the same week, Sarah Viren’s “Everything Went Wild”.

When I said I was moving here, my friends in California were appalled and my family here was worried that I’d hate it. Since I’ve moved I’ve met a number of people, almost all strangers, who are delighted
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-6
6 out of 5.

I never wanted this collection to end. I forced myself to hang onto stories, to leave the collection where I couldn't get to it for a day or three, just so that the experience would extend. Groff is, of course, a master writer -- but this collection might be the strongest, most important thing she's produced. It is honest, brutal, open, poignant. It is a look at today, at the world today, at everything wrong today and at the little moments that happen outside of the wrongness too. An
Riley Redgate
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
[silently screaming]

if this has "ghosts and empties" and "the midnight zone," it's already the best book of 2018

EDIT: it does and it was
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-collection

“Florida is mold, feral cats, snakes, bugs, humidity, rot, spanish moss, vines, gators, sinkholes, homelessness, tent cities, termites, mosquitos, hurricanes, lizards, panthers, "a damp and dense tangle," bleaching sun, dread and heat...”

“What had been built to seem so solid was fragile in the face of time because time is impassive, more animal than human. Time would not care if you fell out of it. It would continue on without you.”

Reading through this collection of stories, it quickly becomes
Katie (katieladyreads)
Maybe since I’m a Floridian this books makes me defensive, but damn I swear Florida is not as scary and depressing as Groff makes it out to be!
Jaclyn Crupi
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved some of these stories more than others but I loved them all.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Perhaps Lauren Groff has found her calling.

This is not to discount her previous long-form accomplishments – regardless of my wavering opinion of them – as it’s clear Groff has cemented herself as a writer to watch. But if Florida, the best-selling novelist’s latest short story collection, proved anything to me it’s that she’s firmly within her element when crafting short-form fiction.

My first experience with Groff was in reading her promising tale of hippie idealism, Arcadia, her sec
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had already read a few of these stories, previously published in The New Yorker, and was delighted to revisit them. Lauren Groff has an altogether unique writing style, and I am warming to it more with each book she publishes. I enjoyed the unusual Arcadia and was even more transported by her dazzling and singular Fates and Furies. This new collection of stories has all her gifted and intriguing lyricism: poetic language, brilliant and unexpected similes, psychological underpinnings and dead-o ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I had previously read two stories from this collection, The Midnight Zone and For the God of Love, for the Love of God - they were both standouts in the Best American Short Stories series in 2017 and 2016. Other than these two stories, I only *really* enjoyed one, Eyewall, about a woman who is visited by ghosts during a hurricane.

These stories are about lonely dissatisfied women and mothers, the dark thrill of the Florida jungle, and uncertain, unsettling dangers. These are all themes that I
Donna Hines
"How delicate the ties that bind us to another."
"You think there are still good people in the world?"
Plenty to capture the sense, take hold of the mind, and address the lives we live today!
With 'soul sucking heat' we address 'the truth might be moral but it isn't always right."
This novel by Lauren Groff explores raw natural beauty and the hazards that lie within with exquisite and careful precision.
Lauren is able to master the intricacies of pleasure v pain, depth v despair, love v chaos.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In my heart of hearts this might be a four star experience, but the midnight zone is just *so good* and I’ve read so many substandard collections lately that it’s refreshing to be reminded that Lauren Groff really is operating at the top of her game
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kind of hit-or-miss for me but dang Lauren Groff is crazy talented and I'm pretty sure we are destined to be best friends some day.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Lauren Groff is a gorgeous writer. I've seen comparisons made to Roxane Gay's style in Difficult Women, and I wholeheartedly agree. I think the first half was much stronger, but over all this was a solid collection.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gorgeous writing with an incredible sense of place. I adored Arcadia, and this is even better.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let the language of Lauren Groff flow over you. With stunning descriptions touching on real life issues such as racism and pollution, this collection of short stories is incredible. The writing is just so precise and spot on. Groff writes about the side of Florida which tourists miss and don't see. We get hints of global warming running through the stories as well as a sense of desperation and such loneliness amongst the characters. Her way of writing is quite unique; she does something that not ...more
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Play Book Tag: [Decathlon} Florida by Lauren Groff 3.5 stars 7 22 Jun 24, 2018 10:01PM  
The Mary Sue Book...: Florida 1 4 Jun 11, 2018 07:26AM  
Lauren Groff was born in Cooperstown, N.Y. and grew up one block from the Baseball Hall of Fame. She graduated from Amherst College and has an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Hobart, and Five Points as well as in the anthologies Best Amer
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“He’s like a perfect, windless pond, her husband once said. You throw something in just to watch it sink, and you’re going to see it on the bottom staring back at you for the rest of your life.” 2 likes
“Now a hunger that cannot quite be located in the body comes over her, a sense of yearning, for what? Maybe for kindness, for a moral sense that is clear and loud and greater that she is, something that can blanket her, no, no, something in which she can hide for a minute and be safe.” 2 likes
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