If you still don't love her after that, I'm not really sure we can be friends anymore. View all 5 comments. Mar 03, Nadine Larter rated it it was amazing Shelves: my-library , my-library-read. Have I mentioned that I love Aimee Bender yet? I wonder: If I start experimenting with drugs would I be able to come up with this sort of writing? That would be great.
Pity I can't afford drugs. Silly drugs, I mean, of course. Like mushrooms or whatever it is that makes things look a little brighter and sparklier. I'm giving this book a 5 because I think that being the type of person who writes these sort of weird and confusing-for-most-people stories is kind of important. Year ago when I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake I did not love it as I expected to because I hadn't been expecting magical realism I knew little of the genre back then and I was almost frightened by the darkness of it.
I have kind of evolved since then, and am honestly kind of writing in that direction myself now. I have become more open to obscure voices sharing beautiful content. I am so grateful to be meeting these voices. They are growing me. Even when I don't like them, they are growing me. I have learned to set aside expectations and receive what I am given instead of bemoaning what I have not.
I cannot help now but envy Ms. How free she is in spirit. How unconventionally wise. How odd. How exquisite. How real. I should read Lemon Cake with my fresher eyes now. View all 4 comments. Jun 29, Shweta rated it really liked it. Heavy on personification. Preferred the stories in the first section over the latter two - more state of mind stories. Oct 17, Ben Loory rated it really liked it. Jan 27, Nefariousbig rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed.
Master of intriguing short stories that connect the reader to the characters. I feel the need to read all of Aimee's stuff just to make sure I am not missing some sort of amazing feeling I have not felt before. The nameless "finding guy" made me cry: "He lay in bed that night with the trees from other places rustling, and he could feel their confusion.
No snow here. Not a lot of rain. Where am I? What is wrong with this dirt? Crossing his hands in front of him, he held onto his shoulders. Concentrate hard, he thought. Where are you? Everything felt blank and quiet. View 2 comments. Apr 04, Jason rated it it was amazing Shelves: twisted-fantasy-of-the-mundane. The linking is personal as always This one is considerably bleaker than The Color Master , but still has that dreamy, dark fairy tale vibe that drew me in so effectively in that collection.
The reason why it didn't work so well for me is the fact that the symbolism is much more heavy-handed and clumsy, and the slight absurdity of magical realism feels less natural and smoothly blended in than it does in Aimee Bender's later work. In short, it's an extremely engaging and quite unsettling little treat, written with Bender's usual sup This one is considerably bleaker than The Color Master , but still has that dreamy, dark fairy tale vibe that drew me in so effectively in that collection.
In short, it's an extremely engaging and quite unsettling little treat, written with Bender's usual superlative skill with words, but not necessarily her best creation. Mar 10, Jason Jordan rated it liked it. The first time I read this, I gave it four stars. Recently I had to reread it for a fiction class, and after poring over it a second time, I have no choice but to lower the score to a three. Initially, I think I was enchanted with Bender's work due to her unique plots and characters.
Following my second run through, I can't say that there were many characters I liked, and the characters I did like usually weren't the protagonists. View all 7 comments. An heiress secretly auditioning men; a wife whose husband returns from the war zone with no lips; a woman who gives birth to her mother; a mermaid going to high school; two mutant girls — one with an ice hand dripping healing water, and the other with a fire hand lighting cigarettes after school hours; an orphan with a knack for finding lost things; an old couple who dreamt the same dreams.
And life in between. This short story collection was sold to me as a gallery of interesting women and some An heiress secretly auditioning men; a wife whose husband returns from the war zone with no lips; a woman who gives birth to her mother; a mermaid going to high school; two mutant girls — one with an ice hand dripping healing water, and the other with a fire hand lighting cigarettes after school hours; an orphan with a knack for finding lost things; an old couple who dreamt the same dreams.
This short story collection was sold to me as a gallery of interesting women and some of the stories in it were indeed interesting, really atmospheric, and weird, which made them seem too short. May 11, Vincent Scarpa rated it really liked it. I first read this collection in high school, loved it despite not really 'getting' any of it, and over the past few years would crack it open every now and then to read the first two stories—"The Remember," and "Call My Name.
And "Call My Name," because I'm always amazed at the way Bender can get a reader [specifically, me] to sympathize with characters who lack any redeeming qualities whatsoever. As was the case in high school, there are still a few of these stories I just did not, for lack of a better word, get.
A story like "Marzipan," though I much enjoyed the sentence-level writing and thought the premise itself was inventive, still left me unsatisfied and feeling like I'd missed the set-up, the punchline, or both. I felt that way about a few other stories, too—like "Legacy" and "Drunken Mimi. That said, I love so fiercely the other stories in this collection that I quickly forgive those stories [and "The Healer," too, which seems to be a favorite here but left me puzzled] and applaud the rest. My favorite story of the bunch, though, is "Skinless.
Which leads me to what I've come away with after the re-read: the idea that, in Bender's stories, understanding is not nearly as important as evocation. What the stories bring to the surface in the reader surely matters more than anything else. Dec 10, Megan rated it it was ok Shelves: reviewed. This is the first book in a while which I've actually felt some hatred towards. I began to cringe every time I picked it up, but I hate to not finish a book especially one this small; surely I can power through it I kept telling myself.
So thank god that's done. Several of the stories had pretty much the exact same type of female protagonist - vain, superficial, vapid, and horny. It started to bother me that I was essentially reading about the same stupid bitch in completely different plot lin This is the first book in a while which I've actually felt some hatred towards. It started to bother me that I was essentially reading about the same stupid bitch in completely different plot lines. I couldn't escape her. When the stories weren't about these stupid whores they were just rambling random stories centering on one weird occurrence and just ending up nowhere.
There was no plot or point to any of these stories. The only saving grace, and the only reason I gave it 2 stars instead of 1, is because occasionally the author would write some pretty cool descriptions. But a few pretty sentences are not worth it. Shelves: short-stories. It was suggested she was a female Etgar Keret, but Keret is far more artful and thoughtful in his shorts. Whereas I have the sense he's a melancholy and thoughtful man who hides his sensitivity with a cuddly veneer, I feel Bender is a Keret-wannabe who hides her lack of insight and wisdom with her cute, "imaginative" story lines.
Dec 11, Rossy rated it did not like it Shelves: one-star. Strange stories, not interested in any. May 24, Christine rated it really liked it.
This book was marvelous. Each and every story surprised me somehow. I think my favorite one was "The Healer"; a lot of the images in this collection will stick with me for a long time. Dec 17, Maria rated it liked it. After going through the first three short stories I wrote one word on my journal: peculiar.
The girl in the flammable skirt : stories / Aimee Bender. - Details - Trove
Now, after having read every single one of them, I find myself going back to it. I honestly believe peculiar fits this collection of short stories like a glove. I must confess that at first the what the hell am I reading line crossed my mind. The characters were so beyond everything that I simply couldn't bond, couldn't understand.
I was growing slightly frustrated. What was the point of reading these? Sim After going through the first three short stories I wrote one word on my journal: peculiar. Simply appreciating the brilliant landscape painted by Aimee Bender's extraordinary writing and ignoring what was happening inside the train?
Mind you, that would have made this book already more than worth reading. But then Not only was it extremely clever, it was heartbreakingly beautiful. There was so much power, so much rawness. And the absurdity that would have made me shake my head? It just made it more poignant. From that moment on, I found myself looking at these stories from a different point of view, with a different set of eyes. That was how I fell in love with Fugue and its wonderful line, "But truthfully?
Let me tell you what I honestly think. I think, maybe he hasn't even noticed that I'm gone. I have. And the scar people nodded, yes. But it felt somehow wonderful, they said. For one long second, it felt like the world was holding them closer. Before she knew it was the candles, did she think she'd done it herself? With the amazing turns of her hips, and the warmth of the music inside her, did she believe, for even one glorious second, that her passion had arrived? She gives these bizarre people, and situations, so much life that they become real, become possible in your mind.
I think that's fascinating. All in all, it was quite an interesting experience. Peculiar , most definitely, but rather worth it. Jul 05, Vonia rated it it was ok Shelves: short-stories , ghosts-spiritual , death-grieving , loneliness , magical-realism. The thing is, she is a wonderfully whimsical writer, but it is a little more weird than I like.
There were barely any stories in this collection that did not fall into the category of, well, magical but not realism really at all I also liked "The Bowl" for purely stylistic reasons written in a "Choose Uour Oen Adventure" style; "You randomly receive a bowl, green on the outside, white inside. Wondering why, you go into work the next day to find your boss dead Other than that, well written, but not what I like. I like cute magical realism. Innovative, creative, fantastical, magical. More realism. At least a realistic magical conceptualization read: Sarah Addison Allen.
Aimee Bender is very well known in the magical realism world, especially for her novel The Particular Sadness of the Lemon Cake. This is my first experience with her work but it definitely won't be my last. There are sixteen stories in under pages so each one is very short but I think that the length of the stories were judged perfectly.
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None of the stories felt like they were two slow and each one felt distinct and memorable, though some definitely more than others. Short story collections a Aimee Bender is very well known in the magical realism world, especially for her novel The Particular Sadness of the Lemon Cake. Short story collections aren't usually something I gravitate towards but I've read a couple this year and this is definitely my favourite.
Aimee Bender's writing style and imagery really hooked me into this collection and I will be picking up more of her work in the future. Each story had a darkness to it, some raw and emotional, others disturbing and sexual, but I really enjoyed this collection overall and would highly recommend it. Jun 21, Andrea rated it it was ok Shelves: short-story-collections. While I admire Bender's imagination and bold writing style, I couldn't help feeling like many of these stories were "thin. My favorite stories in this collection are the ones that felt the most complete to me and all happen to be in the third and last section: "The Healer," "The Loser," and "The Ring.
Dec 29, Thinking Chimp rated it it was ok. Some interesting concepts, but mostly pointless stories. Equivalent to conceptual art, but in written form, which may be highly creative in its interpretation within the philanthropists' clique, meaningless and unskilled to the working class. No speech marks, which may also be a new concept, but is extremely irritating.
All this should have been countered by some beautifully shaped words, but it wasn't. I'd rather pick at grass on a cold day. Nov 17, Tim rated it it was ok. This book tries to put the cart before the horse. In an effort to be an artist and I suspect to impress her writer's group peers she has made some sparkly that lacks substance. An interesting an idea, an opportunity to dig into a character - but they then fall flat. Was the idea to just wow the reader with strange set-ups? At least it was a fast read.
Nothing to see - move along, folks! Dec 13, M. Shelves: best-ever , short-fiction. When I came home from school for lunch my father was wearing a backpack made of stone. A young boy full of imagination and wonder, dreams of one day becoming a super hero. Dressed for the mission, the boy foils a robbery, fights off bullies and rescues the girl to affirm his dreams and the AmazoBoy! A young girl copes with the debilitating illness of her wheelchair-bound father by escaping to a fantasy world where she takes on the burden of her father's stone backpack.
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