Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Burning your boats: the collected short stories” as Want to Read:
Burning your boats: the collected short stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Burning your boats: the collected short stories

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,876 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
"Baudelaire, Poe, Dream-Shakespeare, Hollywood, panto, fairy tale: Carter wears her influences openly, for she is their deconstructionist, their saboteur." So writes Salman Rushdie in his introduction to this essential dark fantasy collection, the complete stories (1962-1993) of a master of perfervid prose, dark eroticism, northern Gothic exuberance (think Isak Dinesen), a ...more
Published April 1st 1996 by Henry Holt (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Burning your boats, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Burning your boats

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
an ex-lover gave me the gift of angela carter, and when she did, she confessed that every time she opened her copy of "burning your boats" that she found some new story she had not read before. shortly after that, i got my own copy of the collection. i've had it for several years, travelled with it, kept it close to my beds and my toilets, and the same seems true for me. i am forever falling in love with this book, forever reading tales of werewolves and purple-madam-puppets and tigers outloud i ...more
Christopher Stevenson
Oct 29, 2011 Christopher Stevenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
If she were alive today, they would say, "Bad woman! Bad!" because of her lack of compromise on textual aesthetics. When she was alive, they said, "Bad woman! Bad!" because aesthetics of her characters. You can't just like Angela Carter. You can't say, "Oh! this was a good book..." You have say, "Even though I oppose the idea of marriage, I would wed this collection."
Mar 18, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Why am I only discovering Angela Carter now? Life so sucks.
Sep 18, 2008 Oliver rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dreamers, jungians, fairy tales lovers
Reading a short story by Angela Carter is the equivalent of visiting a friend who has travelled the world and now lives by herself in an apartment filled with cats, trinkets and incense. Some days, as you sit in this friend's living room, waiting for her to brew some exotic tea, the scent of burning incense lulls you into a reverie, the way in which the sunlight hits the smoke gives her living room a mysterious feel. At other times, your friend makes the mistake of lighting too many incense stic ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Shane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angela Carter was indeed the master of the short story during her short life, and I wished that I had read her stories earlier in my writing career for there is much to learn in her approach to the craft. In this collected work that compiles all of her short writing over a 30-year period, we are introduced to a variety of styles, subjects, arrangements, voices and situations that led me to crown her the "magician of the short story."

Gothic is the overaching mood of her stories, but that is the o
This is a complete collection of Carter’s excellent short from her sadly short career. Her work takes stock imagery of our imagination (legends and historical figures) and plunges it into her surreal and gothic imagination and re-imagines, demythologizes, or makes it utterly unrecognizable. Resembling the work of Borges, Dineson, Brothers Grimm, Burroughs, Hoffman, and Poe but still really being unique and in her own voice. Highlights include “Loves of Lady Purple”, “The Tiger Bride”, “Fall Rive ...more
Jennifer Ochoa
I was destined to not like it. Beyond the fact that I rarely enjoy short stories, I also find Carter's style excessive, baroque, more imagery than story. I love minimalist writing and Carter is the at the absolute other end of the spectrum. I'm also burned out on fairy tale themes and most of these stories are evocative of them (if not outright reimaginings of classic tales).

Some of the stories I ended up skimming more than reading, I was that impatient with her writing. Normally, I'd give a boo
Dec 20, 2014 Mira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More people need to know about Angela Carter. There are several reasons for this- she did dark and sexual fairy tales before they were cool and better than anyone else has, she wrote a nonfiction coherant analysis of the Marquis de Sade’s writing in relation to feminism that wasn’t just throwing up her hands and giving up, she blurred the lines of magical realism in a manner comparable to Borges- but an incentive I’d like to add is that she’s one of the best writers of gothic short stories I’ve ...more
I really should have put a review on each of the collections in this omnibus separately. But, in my eagerness, I neglected to do so and now am writing one for the omnibus as a whole, since I can't help but see them in relation to each other.

I love how the stories are arranged in more or less chronological order. It really allows one to see how Carter's style improved and evolved over time. The first collection, Fireworks, is by far the weakest of the four and that is in part due to Carter strugg
Helen McClory
Mar 04, 2016 Helen McClory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of stories that read at times like discourse on the idea of stories, deconstructed as they go - so at times difficult and laboured. Also: smoky, purple, repetitive, othering, verbose.
but there is so much in them and they keep giving.
பதாகை இதழில வெளிவநதது - (

இளவரசியால முததமிடபபடட தவளையும (‘Frog Prince‘ கதையின மூலப பிரதியில இளவரசி தவளையை தூககி எறிவதாக வருகிறது), அழகியின கணணீரில நனையுமBeastம ராஜகுமாரனாக தஙகள நிஜ உருவைப பெறுகிறாரகள. இபபடிபபடட நிகழவுகளை தேவதைக கதைகளில நாம அடிககடி காண முடிகிறது. பிறகு ராஜகுமாரன இளவரசியை/ ஏழைபபெணணை மணநது கொளள, அனைவரும சநதோஷமாக வாழவதாக முடியும கதைகளில, இளவரசியோ ஏழையோ பொதுவாக பெணதான தன கனவுகளை அடைவதாக, அவளே அதிரஷடசாலி எனற கறபிதம, வெகுஜனப பிரகஞையில உளளது. இதில
Nov 27, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a different kind of read for me. Kind of" fairytale-ish." I really enjoyed those stories that I read and found myself pondering each tale. I believe that, for me, pondering books is a good thing. Probably would have given it a five had I read all the tales.
Orna Ross
Oct 30, 2012 Orna Ross rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world of an Angela Carter short story is a world at once fantastic and familiar. Tigers, werewolves and other beasts stalk through; Bluebeard, Red Riding Hood and Puss-in-Boots perform new, startling acts. Hollywood, pantomime, the fairground, Shakespearean comedy all lend their forms to have them smashed up and put back together as something quite different.

But through it all the feeling of familiarity is there, not because we have heard the tale or seen the show before, but because it is
Lisa M.
I first encountered Carter in an English class, where I was required to use a school of literary analysis to analyze one of three given texts (I choose Carter's "The Tiger's Bride.") I selected feminism (although I almost chose deconstruction!) and found that this story changed my personal life and how I view sex and my sexual relationships. So, I had to buy the book. This review will pertain primarily to "The Bloody Chamber" section of this book, which contains her collected fairy-tales, one of ...more
Angela Carter is a phenomenal stylist, of this there can be no doubt. I truly enjoy her juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque, often depicted in single sentences, so that one doesn't quite know whether to be smitten or disgusted. Many of her tales possess a sort of profound, gothic heaviness that occasionally appeals very much to my sensibilities.

It has to be said though that quite a few of the stories in this collection, especially some of the early ones, feel like writing exercises
Jul 30, 2014 Mary rated it it was ok
I feel like Angela Carter's stories are a bit like really rich chocolate truffles. One or two at a time are wonderful but eating thirty in a row will just make you sick. I made the mistake of reading straight through these stories and I just got sick of them by the end. Some of them were good, others not really at all. And some I'm not sure should really be qualified as stories since they seemed to be more thoughts or essays. There was also a lot of sex which got to be ridiculous (with people, w ...more
If Cory Bernardi (an unfortunate Australian politician who made an even more unfortunate comment about Gay Marriage and bestiality) ever read this book his head would explode. I am sure (well more hopeful, but doubtful) that he is intelligent enough to see the metaphors, but it would it would make Q&A more interesting. The amount of tigers and wolves sinking their teeth into the virgins delicate flesh would make you very drunk in a drinking game.

But that doesn't stop me from wanting look up
Jun 15, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it
I have a text file document of authors and books I'm interested in checking out, and Angela Carter's name has been there for a while. I finally picked up this complete short story collection from the library and just plowed through it. It took me a while -- I would recommend breaking up this heavy tome into the separate shorter collections it contains -- but it was generally delightful to read (though, not always easy). The introduction here is by Salman Rushdie, and I was startled at times by t ...more
Gabriel Valjan
Mar 26, 2014 Gabriel Valjan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Salman Rushdie clues readers in on the fact that Angela Carter was no violet, nor did she do anything halfway in his Introduction to this short-story collection. Angela Carter died from lung cancer in 1992. This collection could have done without the Early Work section – stories written in Angela’s teens -- because I think it may give the reader the wrong impression that Angela Carter “arrived fully-formed”, to use Rushdie’s phrase.

Carter is often presented as a writer who retells fairy tales, a
Jan 20, 2011 Msmurphybylaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went ahead and bought the book. I pick it up in-between great books and shitty ones to help me shift my attitude.

I don't recommend reading it as a whole. It is very dense and the little genre's need ample time to simmer.

Angela Carter packs so much life into shorts that I am lifted out of my mind long enough to gain perspective on whatever it is that I am into at the moment.
I need that shift often so I keep this book at my bedside.
Ah! Japan...time to visit.
Nov 16, 2013 Krystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used one of Carter's stories in my thesis back in undergrad and I always meant to come back around and read the rest of her works. Taken as a whole, they can be a bit overwhelming but there is no denying, the woman could write a creepy, gothic fairy tale re-visited like no other. I think the stories from The Bloody Chamber were my favorite though; there she was in full-on fairy tale mode and I don't think anyone could retell a fairy tale like Carter.
Feb 14, 2016 Debra rated it it was amazing
Angela Carter blows my mind - and nowhere more so than in her short stories, all of which are collected here. This collection spans her entire career, from stories published in the early 1960s, when Carter was in her early 20s, to stories published after Carter's untimely death in 1992.

Something I really enjoyed about having all her stories compiled together was that it was possible to watch Carter's skills as a writer develop and her interests shift with time. Her particular version of English
Dec 02, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably, hands down, one of the best collections I have every read. Carter's prose is phenomenal. Her stories are an electric mix of fairy tale and feminist punk rock. No offense to Neil Gaiman, but a mediocre story from this collection could bite the head off the best in any of his collections. I'm just sad that this is it as far as her short fiction goes. On to the novels.
Joseph Kay
Sep 04, 2015 Joseph Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any book containing the Lady of the House of Love and the Erl-King is immediately worth five stars, but it's reassuring to see the Bloody Chamber wasn't a one off among her short story collections. Reading all these accumulated its interesting to see her exploring the same ideas, presenting the same images in different ways as she tries to work out the best way to do so and clear them from her head (I am reminded of Barth's comment in an interview that every writer has a certain number of concep ...more
Jesse Bullington
Carter's short stories are peerless, and this little beast houses all of them. Taking it off the shelf and reading a story or two from time to time restores my faith in the world and in writing. All hyperbole aside, Carter is one of the most brilliant authors of this or any other age.
Nov 06, 2014 Bbrown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I sometimes have trouble unravelling exactly how I feel about a short story collection: individual stories in isolation are one thing, but a story that might normally knock my socks off doesn't always strike me as so impressive when I'm reading it after having read thirty other stories by the same author immediately prior. I tend to think that the short stories of most authors simply don't work well in large collections, since most authors don't have the range in writing style to keep such colle ...more
May 04, 2012 Helena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes her stories become too confusing and/or philosophical and i did eventually tire of EVERY SINGLE character having sex with EVERTHING SINGLE thing in the universe, including fruit :) But i still LOVE this book!
These stories are horrible and devastating. I challenge myself to reread them in 20 years, if I'm still alive.
Carolyn Mck
A difficult book of stories to rate, partly because I didn't read them all. This is a collected edition of Carter's stories. I had already read (and loved) the 1979 set, titled The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories and I have Black Venus (1985) on my shelves. That left Early Work ((1962-6), Fireworks (1974) and American Ghost (published after Carter's death in 1992).

Carter is a confronting writer, often writing about subjects like incest and child abuse in ways that often left this reader uncomf
Juli Rahel
Jun 05, 2015 Juli Rahel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Short story collections can be hit and miss. Is there a unifying theme or idea, such as in The Bloody Chamber and other Stories in which Carter adapts fairy tales, or is simply a random collection? What happens when you love one story but dislike the next? It makes reviewing collections quite difficult at times. I have become a major Angela Carter fan in the last year and Burning Your Boats has only increased my love.

Rather than being a "genuine" collection, it is a kind of 'biggest hits' compil
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
  • Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales
  • In the Forest of Forgetting
  • Black Heart, Ivory Bones
  • There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales
  • Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England
  • Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics)
  • From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers
  • Novelties and Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction
  • The Classic Fairy Tales
  • The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: Stories
  • Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing
  • The Collector of Hearts: New Tales of the Grotesque
  • Seven Gothic Tales
  • Red as Blood, or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer
  • Stranger Things Happen
  • Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale
Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. Th
More about Angela Carter...

Share This Book

“Those are the voices of my brothers, darling; I love the company of wolves.” 92 likes
“They were connoisseurs of boredom. They savoured the various bouquets of the subtly differentiated boredoms which rose from the long, wasted hours at the dead end of night.” 29 likes
More quotes…