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All the Names They Used for God Stories A haunting diverse debut story collection that explores the isolation we experience in the face of the mysterious often dangerous forces that shape our livesAnjali Sachdeva's debut collection spans centuries continents and a diverse set of characters but is united by each character's epic struggle with fate A workman in Andrew Carnegie's steel mills is irrevocably changed by the brutal power of the furnaces; a fisherman sets sail into overfished waters and finds a secret obsession from which he can't return; an online date ends with a frightening inexplicable disappearance Her story Pleiades was called a masterpiece by Dave Eggers Sachdeva has a talent for creating moving and poignant scenes following her highly imaginative plots to their logical ends and depicting how one small miracle can affect everyone in its wakeThe world by night Glass lung Logging lake Killer of kings All the names for God Robert Greenman and the mermaid Anything you might want Manus Pleiades

  • Hardcover
  • 259 pages
  • All the Names They Used for God Stories
  • Anjali Sachdeva
  • English
  • 16 July 2014
  • 9780399593000

10 thoughts on “All the Names They Used for God Stories

  1. Roxane Roxane says:

    What an outstanding short story collection I knew nothing about this book going in and was thrilled by each story There is so much range here and there is a nice fabulist edge to nearly all the stories The writer wields so much confidence and control in her prose and my goodness what imagination what passion there is in this work From one story to the next I felt like the writer knows everything about everything One of the best collections I’ve ever read Every single story is a stand out

  2. Emily May Emily May says:

    Over the past few months I've picked up a number of short story collections and this one happens to be one of the least memorable There are only nine stories in All the Names They Used for God but several made me think huh? and not a single one really stood out to me I can almost always pick out at least one or two gems in a collection but all left me fairly cold hereIt's somewhat odd that these stories were lumped together into a collection at all There's nothing really tying them together no overarching theme or link that unites them Instead they are a series of strange dreamy snapshots of completely different times and places One story follows a man post breakup as he goes on a wilderness retreat date with someone new; another Glass Lung follows a Danish man after he inhales glass shards during a steel mill incident and rendered disabled and hardly able to speak later finds himself uncovering a hidden tomb in EgyptTo say the stories are random would be an understatement I also really understand the use of dreamlike and dreamy to describe this collection In fact they do sort of all feel like dream seuences and like when someone else feels the need to share their weird dreams with you they didn’t feel real or tense or emotional I did not feel drawn into any of the worlds or compelled to care about any of the characters Some of the concepts were interesting but a story must be than its concept to impress me If you're looking for hard hitting emotional short stories try What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky insteadBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    35 When I am reading s book of short stories I usually jot down a few details about each story as a memory aid I do not however look at these notes unless I absolutely have to rather trying to see how much I remember just from the story titles A good way for me to gauge how memorable and note Worthy is each story After finishing this well written collection I am happy to say I remembered uite a fewThey run the gamut from the past to the future each one full of characters trying to escape their fate Nature science religion all themes represented Loved the first story The world by Night the character Sadie and her strange fascination with a cave Not sure I fully understood the end but loved getting there trying on my own interpretation Enjoyed Robert Greenman and the mermaid a mermaid story with a twist The title story is also memorable two young girls kidnapped by soldiers who discover they have a secret power that serves them years later My very favorite though was the last one Pleiades seven sisters who were born threw scientific experimentation and the tragedy that ensuesAll in all a marvelous and interesting collection of shortsARC from Edelweiss

  4. Maxwell Maxwell says:

    Anjali Sachdeva has written a diverse compelling and strong debut collection of stories I can't think of any other collection I've read that is this eclectic—there are stories about genetically perfected septuplets a man with glass lungs John Milton writing his epic poem weird blobby aliens who take over earth and witchy women who put men under their spells It's bizarre and fun and emotional and uite wonderful I think this would be a great collection for people who don't read short stories that often because there's bound to be one you'll like And if you like one you will probably like them all since her writing consistently delivers I received a copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley but as always all thoughts opinions are my own

  5. Monica Monica says:

    Let's just say I liked the book I liked a few of the stories a lot I thought others were meh In a book with only nine stories than one meh can diminish an overall rating First off I think Sachdeva is a fantastic writer Graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and has taught writing at several renowned universities and through this book has won several awards; it's clear that she is a writer's writer Certainly she has a way with words and is a gifted storyteller with a weird wild and vast imagination But I confess in reading the reviews for this very well received book in the literary world there was some talent and turn of phrase that was lost on me view spoilerMini review of individual stories The World by Night Depressing and feelings of loneliness and abandonment were the intent of the author and she successfully evoked these emotions But I don't really want to feel those emotions so It's very well written The author is clearly talented Isolated woman on the prairie seeks comfort in a cave after her husband gone away to seek work 4 iffy stars extremely well crafted and depressing Glass Lung Weird but really interesting I liked it Through a freak accident an man inhales glass in a gaseous state that hardens in his lungs His life is difficult He can't stain himself too much or breathe too deeply or the glass will break and he'll suffocate drowning in his own blood from the shards He and his daughter go on an expedition to Egypt and things change for the better 45 StarsLogging Lake Another good one where a man who went through a break up because he was boring tries to spice up his substance by experiencing new things with a new girlfriend who disappears on a hiking trip while communing with wolves Man ends up marrying his ex girlfriend Some symbolism around how getting out of your comfort zone makes you interesting Yes sounds weird but was a good story 4 StarsKiller of Kings Blind man writes with the help of angels in this tale of tete a tetes with Galileo I believe this one reuires familiarity with Milton It was strange and I didn't understand the symbolism andor messaging 3 StarsAll the Names for God Really good Magical realism makes an appearance as 2 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram return home after 9 years They have learned a means of controlling men though a little magical realism cum hypnotism The ordeal is harrowing The end is satisfying and no they do not kill their husbands 45 StarsRobert Greenman and the Mermaid WEIRD Man who is content with his newly married life except that his wife is the primary breadwinner He finds a job on a boat that go out for a couple of weeks at a time and finds a mermaid becomes obsessed and mysteriously dies in the end I think he was the shark?? This one was symbolic exploring themes such as is contentment servitude toxic masculinity predator vs prey etc It was a good story 4 StarsAnything You Might Want Interesting tale of a woman controlled by her father escapes with a man who abandons her for his ex girlfriend Some implied magical realism I liked it Sachdeva doesn't much like the patriarchy Me neither 435 StarsManus Weirder Story about mucous aliens who covet human hands I think this one was rife with symbolism as well The importance of touch and the reason the aliens wanted to deny human the ability to touch things helped to subdue them or make them assimilate I think there was some profound symbolism here but I didn't uite get it 35 Stars Pleiades Seven identical children are born to geneticists that obviously modified something They don't survive Another weird one 35 ish hide spoiler

  6. Marie Marie says:

    Wonder and terror meet at the horizon and we walk the knife edge between them These words end the introduction to this powerful haunting collection of short stories  Sachdeva explains in her introduction that in old times people knew better than to trust their gods  Gods enter these stories in unexpected sometimes wondrous and sometimes terrifying ways   I put gods in uotations because what enters into these stories is never called god or what is expected of god but instead is a force a magical entity something otherworldly that is hard to put a name toSachdeva's stories take place in many locations around the globe and at many different time periods some past others present and one in a horrific dystopian future  Sometimes this magical presence offers harm or mischief into the character's life and at other times it offers comfort but most often both occur  Even when this magical entity is helping the characters out of a horrible situation there is a terrible flip side to it For example the young women kidnapped in Abuja are able to fool their captors by looking into their eyes and hypnotizing them  They continue to use this skill in their lives as they evade not only their captors but to their advantage to steal from others  And on a deeper level even though they have escaped their captors they can never return home as the innocent young girls they were  They have irrevocably changed  In another story a newly wed fisherman becomes enad of the mermaid he encounters off the coast of Newfoundland  However as his enamorment of the mermaid grows the rest of the world fades in beauty and interest for him  Now this mermaid is in love with a giant great white shark and sings to bring fish to the shark so he will be well fed and not wish to eat her  This makes the fisherman extremely successful when fishing in these parts however there is an extremely disturbing development when tropical fish begin to fill their netsThese stories are deep and convoluted  They force the reader to ponder serious uestions  There are dark mysterious forces at work within these stories but such ethereal beauty as well  I thought these stories were incredibly well conceived and executed  There is something unnerving and unsettling about them that touches upon something real that is hard to put into words  The title is so appropriate because there is so much we cannot uite perfectly describe but feel and many ascribe it to Gods or higher being  I would highly recommend reading thisThank you to netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

  7. Resh (The Book Satchel) Resh (The Book Satchel) says:

    A difficult book to reviewI enjoyed three stories in the whole collection1 The World by Night The story takes place in a cave There is hope and hopelessness Beautifully written and shows how delicate human relationships are2 Robert Greenman and the Mermaid a fisherman who thought he was happy with life meets a mermaid Themes of happiness wonder death prey and predator relationships etc3 Anything You Might Want well written; about futility of human relationships and the need to freedom from other peopleI found the following stories interesting for various reasons some for the plot some for the characters and some for the writing But I did not feel completely satisfied on reading themGlass Lung A man who inhales shards of glass and then accompanies his daughter and the man she fancies to Egypt on an archaeological excavation All the names they used for god Girls kidnapped by jihadists and how it damages them Killer of Kings angels being muses to artists Manus a futuristic world where alien like beings exist and humans have to give up their hands for metal appendages and be 'forked' and Pleiades 7 sisters made scientifically by parents who are geneticists and the challenges they face There are a few other stories in the collection as wellMost stories were not memorable I love magical aspects in stories but they were either too subtle or not definitive enough for me At the end I always felt there was something 'missing' Also I am unsure if there is a common theme that threads these stories together or they are individual ones meant to enjoyed one at a timeI'd recommend the book for the writing because Sachdeva really knows her craft but not necessarily as a short story collection to enjoy That said I definitely think she is a writer to watch out for Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

  8. Alison Alison says:

    This has to be the best short story collection I have read There was just enough fantastical elements that it felt somewhat realistic and the satire was subtle but there in each story but never took away from the entertainment of the stories All the Names for God the short story in this was amazing and I found myself thinking about it long after I read it Individual story ratingsThe World by Night 5 stars I was on edge the whole time I read this trying to figure out how this was going to end It's dark and wondrous and takes place in a cave You can feel the hope and hopelessness all at once somehow Glass Lung 4 stars This was a complex story about a family hope for treasure and the wonders of the world and the strange things that can happen I loved the father in this Logging Lake 3 stars not sure of the overall point of this a camping trip that turns strange and a relationship that is based around how interesting one person is Killer of Kings 3 stars I liked the overall concept of angels being muses for artists and their jobs aren't done till the artist has completed their work Ending was interesting but left me slightly confusedAll the Names for God 5 stars fantastic women escaping awful fates and accepting the things they went through and who they have become About how others want them to be damaged but they are okay as they areRobert Greenman and the Mermaid 4 star about a lone mermaid and a fisherman who thought he was happy with life How the world is filled with wonder and once you realize that you become unsettled Anything You Might Want 5 stars about getting what you want in relationships all relationships when you need them The importance of freedom from other people Manus 4 stars a futuristic world where alien like beings have come and integrated themselves into human life and over time they take the humans' hands Seems small until you consider how important hands are and the sense of touch and really hit harder than I expectedPleiades 5 stars interesting story about 7 sisters who were made scientifically and begin to die and poses the uestion if Nature really rules over the world and is the reason they could not exist

  9. Cody | CodysBookshelf Cody | CodysBookshelf says:

    Release Date022018 All the Names They Used for God Anjali Sachdeva’s debut release is a stellar collection of short stories that explores the strangeness that is the human experience and our small stature in the vastness of the cosmos Rewards abound for the short story lover science gone awry in “Pleiades”; abandonment and love gone wrong in “Anything You Might Want”; man versus wild and the call of suicide in “Logging Lake” These are intricate spinning tales that took me off guard Does this collection have a theme? I don’t know Perhaps spirituality is the link and there is the title to be considered; these stories do ponder the concept of a God and how much say he — or it — has over our lives and how much of what happens to us is pure chance Bits of magical realism abound see mermaid tale “Robert Greenman and the Mermaid” but overall these tales are unwavering realistic looks at the human condition I was pleasantly surprised by these stories I suspected I would like this collection but I was knocked for a loop Compelling and challenging in eual measure this author is one to watch I await her next release with baited breath Thanks to Netgalley and Spiegal Grau for the advanced reader’s copy

  10. Dave Dave says:

    The stories set out in this collection are loosely connected by otherworldly moods inspired by bits of magic and soft dream filled prose The scenes visualized here range from a pioneer woman seeking adventure in underground caves fishermen bewitched by mermaids a future where aliens replace our hands with metal appendages an ode to schoolgirls in Africa captured by jihadists a cold miner’s daughter on the prowl and a wild vivacious spirited woman who disappears as the wolves howl Thank you to the publishing house for a copy for review

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