The Drowning Girl
India Morgan Phelps-Imp to her friends-is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth-or from something far, far stranger...
Caitlin Kiernan is simply one of the best, the most original, and gifted writers in fiction today. She writes deep and dark horror stories and challenges you the reader as well as her many amazing protagonists to join her on a trip down the rabbit hole. Can you tell she is a real favorite of mine? I have read most of Kiernan’s work and have been taken in by her works, ever since I read The Red Tree, my first endeavor into the mysterious mind of Caitlin Kiernan.
In this book, The Drowning G...more
it's a ghost story, a mermaid story, a siren story, a wolf story, a crazy person story... all wrapped up in one. maybe that's why it's so hard to grasp--where it's not mythological, it's psychological, or maybe mythopoetic.
all of the above, i can handle. even in one book. it's a stretch, no doubt--this is not a fishhook book, where you get nabbed by the hook and pulled along. you have to do some serious swimming against the current here...more
Drenched in philosophy, history, psychology, science, and autobiography Kiernan uses her encyclopedic knowledge to weave a tale so dense it is sometimes difficulty to see where she is going but fascinating nevertheless. Imp seems to be the ultimate unreliable...more
It's dark - there's...more
This was a gem of a novel! It was scary and disturbing, filled with magic and myth and magnificent prose that rivals any of the classical Gothic ghost stories. Caitlín R. Kiernan takes well-known tropes of speculative fiction, blending horror, fantasy and psychological thriller elements, and creates something entirely new. I have not read any of the other Nebula nominees for 2012 yet, but it’s going to be damn hard to keep up with this one.
The Good: Fantasti...more
I mean that apart from individual biases--though anyone adhering to a strict diet of heteronormative gender-binary lit should probably let this one go.
The Drowning Girl is heavy on theme, on the tension between fact and truth and how experience and identity can color the interpretation, the chronology, and even the very existence of events.
The Drowning Girl is only vaguely linear, and occasionally beautifully incoherent. This is not your grandfather's plotline. If y...more
As readers, we get a peek inside the mind of a fascinating, nuanced, unique character. It's a compulsive read; it's a good thing I read it on vacation because I had to keep going to find out what happened next and devoured it as fa...more
When I first saw Caitlin Kiernan, I thought she was obnoxious. It was my first time at the Readercom science fiction convention in Burlington, MA, and I had gone to a panel discussion called "Wet Dreams and Nightscapes" or something like that to hear Samuel Delany talk. Samuel Delany's a weirdo but he usually ha...more
There's not a literal ghost anywhere that's scarier than Imp's early conviction that she met the woman named Eva Canning twice, once in July and once in November, and that each time was the first time. Her memo...more
Like her mother and grandmother before, twenty-something Imp Phelps lives with schizophrenia. Her medications help her live an almost normal life. S...more
This is the theme at the heart of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which is a monumental achievement for author Caitlín R. Kiernan. While it shares some thematic points with its predecessor, The Red Tree, it is nevertheless distin...more
I'm not going to bother talking about the premise (brilliant) or the structure (beyond innovative) because you can read about these things in the Amazon description.
I will, however talk about how none of these blurbs are accurate in preparing any reader for this book. And I don't mean that in the way y...more
Despite Imp's unreliability, it's still easy to emphasise wit...more
India Morgan Phelps or Imp is a schizophrenic who happens to see a ghost. In her mind it seems to tie in with a painting she saw as a girl, and soon she becomes obsessed. She struggles to find reality in this memoir.
The Drowning Girl is a novel that borders heavily in horror, not for any gross atrocity, but the spiraling loss and challenges of Imp’s mind. It starts with Imp trying to tell her ghost story. Imp tells us of her past, and the curse of insanity that haunts her family. The fa...more
This is a ghost story, with a mermaid and a werewolf. Wait, no - it's a story where a siren bi...more
Imp maintains that a haunting isn't so much being followed around by a ghos...more
Reading THE DROWNING GIRL feels much like that. The charismatic but unreliable narrator, like any true artist, is able to convey the feeling of her own insanity without unraveling it's mystery. As I read, trying to match dates and references to reality, I realized I was...more
Caitlin Kiernan is a talented author. this much is true. there are words and paragraphs and portions of this novel that are so beautifully written they begged to be framed as art. but then there we...more
I can't recall how I first heard about The Drowning Girl; maybe it was just from surfing the Goodreads site. It was obviously sufficiently positive for me to purchase it, even though I don't tend to gravitate towards 'dark fantasy'. I do know what I expected when I started it though: an easy-to-read piece of genre f...more
The characters are unlikeable, pretentious and humourless. They are all so miserable you wonder how they ma...more