Reviews of Any Small Thing Can Save You by Christina Adam

Any Small Thing Can Save You

A Bestiary

by Christina Adam

Any Small Thing Can Save You by Christina Adam X
Any Small Thing Can Save You by Christina Adam
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2001, 158 pages

    Paperback:
    Sep 2002, 240 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Like the richest classical paintings, these 26 short stories explore the surprises and beauty of the natural world. Read a complete short story now. Great gift!

Medieval bestiaries were instructional works gathered from the fables and tales told by travelers. They described beasts and fish and fowl that few had ever seen. For the characters in Christina Adam's Any Small Thing Can Save You, each animal that passes through their world reflects a measured truth about love---between a husband and wife, a child and a parent, a brother and sister, at a moment of danger or discovery.

Like the richest classical paintings, the entries in this engaging bestiary treat those unexpected moments when we are suddenly awakened from our daily routines, surprised and restored by the beauty of the natural world and our capacity for love within it. Any Small Thing Can Save You casts a wise eye on the kinds of simple intimacies we all long for, and on the truest opportunities for real salvation.

Artfully designed, Any Small Thing Can Save You is truly a gift.

A is for ASP

When she taught Latin in high school, her students had performed an elaborate skit that ended with the death of Cleopatra, stung by an asp. The cast found every opportunity and application for the word "asp," with Milton-like s's--that soft susurrus--hissing out into the audience, held as long as possible before the final p. Twenty years later, Helena still laughed to think of where, anatomically speaking, the Latin club had located the fatal strike, but in fact, she was terrified of snakes. When she and her husband had fixed fences on the ranch, it was the one thing she found comforting: At that altitude, there were no snakes. It was never necessary, even in tall grass and weeds, to watch where they were going.

When they retired and moved south to New Mexico, the neighbors cautioned them not to water at night, a practice that brought snakes down from the desert. They were to watch for the wedge-shaped head of a rattler, and listen for the dry, warning sound. ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Elegant minimalism that creates lasting images.

Publishers Weekly
Medieval bestiaries were compendiums of animal lore particularly descriptions of exotic and fantastic beasts as well as anthologies of moral instruction the fiery breath of the dragon provoked fear of hell, while the pelican, bringing her dead children back to life with blood from her own breast, was an allegorical Christ. The animals in this collection of 26 vignettes (one for each letter of the alphabet) from Adam (Sleeping with the Buffalo) are generally more commonplace than their antique counterparts, but the revelations they inspire are profoundly affecting and often gorgeous.

Author Blurb Alice Munro
There is indeed a quiet magic about it, a cumulative power.

Author Blurb Dianne Benedict, author of Shiny Objects
. . . incredible . . . . water to a parched throat.

Author Blurb Jim Harrison
[A book] of surpassing grace and beauty.

Author Blurb Kim Barnes
This book is...spellbinding in its vision.

Author Blurb Kim Barnes, author of In the Wilderness
I read this book first with curiosity and then with wonder. The prose is heartbreakingly beautiful. The simplest of acts becomes infused with meaning and affirmation. With wisdom, insight, and a hawk's eye for detail, Adam weaves the lives of animals into the lives of the men and women whose daily existence seems precariously balanced between hope and despair. This book is an uncommon gift, spellbinding in its vision.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Any Small Thing Can Save You, try these:

  • Ninety-Nine Stories of God jacket

    Ninety-Nine Stories of God

    by Joy Williams

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More by this author

    From "quite possibly America's best living writer of short stories" (NPR), Ninety-Nine Stories of God finds Joy Williams reeling between the sublime and the surreal, knocking down the barriers between the workaday and the divine.

  • Ordinary Life jacket

    Ordinary Life

    by Elizabeth Berg

    Published 2003

    About this book

    More by this author

    In this superb collection of short stories, Berg takes us into the times in women's lives when memories and events cohere to create a sense of wholeness, understanding, and change.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Bitch
    Bitch
    by Lucy Cooke
    In middle school biology class, many of us were told that men hunt and women nest, that testosterone...
  • Book Jacket: Jackie & Me
    Jackie & Me
    by Louis Bayard
    Louis Bayard's Jackie & Me offers a fictionalized version of the early relationship between John F. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Facemaker
    The Facemaker
    by Lindsey Fitzharris
    The summer of 1914 saw the beginning of World War I, the bloody conflict known as the 'war to end ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Read Now
    How to Read Now
    by Elaine Castillo
    Toni Morrison once wrote, 'My project rises from delight, not disappointment.' This remark appeared ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Dirt Creek
    by Hayley Scrivenor

    "A heart-wrenching mystery, Scrivenor's remarkable sense of place brings Dirt Creek to life. A stellar debut."
    —Jane Harper,

  • Book Jacket

    Some of It Was Real
    by Nan Fischer

    A psychic on the verge of stardom and a cynical journalist are brought together by secrets that threaten to tear them apart.

Who Said...

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wishes W H B W R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.