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Radio Iris

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  161 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Radio Iris follows Iris Finch, a twenty-something socially awkward daydreamer and receptionist at Larmax, Inc., a company whose true function she doesn't understand (though she's heard her boss refer to himself as "a businessman").

Gradually, her boss' erratic behavior becomes even more erratic, her coworkers begin disappearing, the phone stops ringing, making her role at L...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Two Dollar Radio
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This book was mostly a misfire for me, it was like some dreamy druggy Nico song that went on for 200 pages. The author definitely has skill but in service of what, exactly? Maybe I'm old school but a novel needs to tell a story, not just toss some atmosphere in your general direction. I kept reading because I was waiting to develop an interest in any of the characters, but that never happened. It was never compelling reading and Kinney seemed to go to lengths to make uninteresting daily chores a...more
Great book, an impressive depiction of contemporary loneliness in daily office work. Iris is a receptionist in an office that seems to have almost no one working there and a distant boss who doesn't seem to be up to anything in particular. Iris sees things differently, choosing to notice details that most people don't - to the point where it alienates her from most people. She lives in minor details and daydreams about them for much of the novel, which is the novel's biggest strength. By paying...more
I am still not sure what the plot of the story was and kept reading waiting for something to happen that never came. Not the best book I've ever read.
From publisher for review

Read 4/4/12 - 4/8/12
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended to fans of whimsical writing with slightly unnerving, twisting tension
Pgs: 209
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio
Release Date: May 2012

I was first made aware of Anne-Marie Kinney's debut novel Radio Iris when Two Dollar Radio submitted it back in December as their Indie Book Buzz feature. It sounded absolutely amazing and I was desperate to get my hands on it.

I mean, a book about a socially awkward receptionist working for a co...more
This whole book was weird. I kept waiting for a plot to develop and though it started to get into some back story on the main character it was underdeveloped and left you waiting for more. The ending was extremely bizarre and I have no idea what even happened. Maybe it was supposed to be a metaphor for something but, if so, I didn't get it. I wouldn't really recommend this book to anyone unless you're just looking for something to fill your time. It left me unsatisfied, to say the least.
The best way to describe my rating is to say I liked the mood Kinney set with her prose. The setting/subject matter was mundane (9-5 office life) on purpose, described with such detail that anyone who's been a desk jockey can relate, but with a bit of a dream-like, fantastical quality. Iris is fascinating and complicated, and I feel like I never totally figured her out. I look forward to seeing what this author produces in the future.
Joe Milazzo
A novel that, with quiet assurance, estranges us from many of the rules and expectations that have come to define the form. There's something Bartelby-like about the titular heroine -- her loneliness, her relationship to both vocation and workplace -- but the nausea (Sartre, not Exene) that suffuses the book is both completely original and rather beautiful.
oooooooooooooo ........... don't know the last time i read a book where i waited for the entire book for it to get "better". this book was nonsensical and depressing. don't bother.
I can honestly say that I feel dumber after reading this book. Don't waste the time and effort it might take you to turn the page.
This book is reminiscent of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender but not nearly as good. Iris and her brother Neil are both alienated from life. Neil is too intense, Iris's heartbeat could barely register on a stethoscope. Iris wants to relate to Neil, Neil wants - what? Only to fly, I guess. In Lemon Cake the main character had taste as her only significant sense, Iris has hearing, particularly music, specifically - for a woman in her mid twenties - a love of Oldies. She loves d...more
I gave this book 3.95/5 stars on A digital ARC was provided to me by Two Dollar Radio.

Review Excerpt:

"Kinney’s writing is lovely, striking a delicate balance among ennui, existential terror, and the pioneer spirit that comes out when one has nothing at all left to lose. The whole time I was reading the book, though, I was struck with how much it reminded me of the novella Shopgirl by Steve Martin. Both protagonists were young-lady loners who were reaching out for somethi...more
Gregg Sapp
I've known women like Iris, the introverted heroine of Anne-Marie Kinney's "Radio Iris." They often come to work in the morning with wet hair. They don't always answer the question that you asked them. They have innate intelligence that gets thwarted by a brief attention span.

Yes, I've known women like Iris... but I've never had much of a clue about what makes them tick. This book helps by getting into Iris's head, but even so, she remains a bit of a mystery. Iris can be a sharp observer, even...more
Iris is a strange young woman. Not everyone will be able to relate to her extreme social anxiety and introversion. However, more than anything this a novel about overcoming apathy and seeking a purpose in the mundane, workaday world, knowledge of death always on the periphery, and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't relate to that.

I found myself falling easily into Iris's routine. Then, she becomes an impromptu detective of sorts, and I happily followed her in the breakdown of this routine. The...more
Natalie Hamilton
Quirky, solitary Iris is the protagonist of this quiet, but compelling novel. The plot is by turns funny, charming, odd, vaguely sinister, and outright surreal. There is an overwhelming sense of the disconnectedness of our world, the anxiety of regular folks affected at a distance by the financial crisis, and the residue of childhood trauma. Kudos to Kinney for not taking any of the easy ways out in terms of plot resolution. A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read.
I loved the atmosphere in this book. The hum-drum day of a seemingly ordinary 20-something year old woman. Although, you could tell that something was going on underneath the surface (i.e. her dreams, visions, etc.) It had some laugh-out-loud moments, along with some confusing and dark moments. So, I really dug this book... all the way up until the end. Not quite sure what to make of it... how I feel about it... if I even got it...?

At any rate, very nice read!
Laurel Beth
moody does not a novel make.
I liked the chapters focusing on Iris's very quirky day-to-day life in the present, though wasn't so interested in the flashbacks to her youth, nor the chapters from the point-of-view of her brother. As for the as the conclusion goes, I think there was an allegory there, but can't be completely sure. Recommended for reading on the plane, etc. rather than a tackling a "novel" (as such).
Thomas Thonson
It wasn't great. Had some moments, but for the most part I felt outside of the story. I think that feeling of alienation was intentional, but it works against a reader's involvement. Also, it just wan't original enough to pull off some of the noirish attempts at style. It felt like someone's idea of a book rather than the thing itself.
I severely disliked the book. I had to force myself to finish in hopes that it would get better; it did not. Awful.
2.5 stars. Pretty words but no point to the story. I really liked the writing and the characters, but I wish there was more meat to the story, or at least a resolution to the plot.
I liked Iris. This book felt incomplete, more like a novella than a novel. I think. But I really liked Iris. She was so fun, unpredictable, introverted. Whimsical.
Unusual and compelling, with beautiful descriptions that make the ordinary seem extraordinary. The pacing snowballed towards the end, leaving me feeling exhilarated.
I can't wait for more people to read this so we can talk about it. I loved it but am not quite sure what I think about it. Fascinating and very strongly crafted.
A breath of fresh air, reading RADIO IRIS was a sensory, at times surreal, experience. I look forward to entering more of Kinney's worlds in the coming years.
Liked: the cover design, the existential/disillusioned feel
Diskliked: crappy back story of the main character, the surreal ending
Paige Newman
Ugh. My nightmare is that if I wrote a book this is what would come out. Self-indulgent, navel gazey nonsense. Ugh, Oy, Ugh. Horrible.
I will never get the time back that I wasted reading this book!!! Still have no clue what it was about, totally weird and pointless!!!
I did not finish this book. I read about 1/3 of it and got tired of the chapters ending in half finished thought.
I don't get it.
I reviewed this at Necessary Fiction , August 2012.
Chris Narozny
Beautiful and very engaging meditation on how everyday strangeness and alienation can morph into the full-blown surreal.

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Anne-Marie Kinney's work has appeared in Black Clock, Indiana Review, and Keyhole, and has been performed at Los Angeles's Word Theatre. Her debut novel, Radio Iris, was published by Two Dollar Radio in May, 2012.

Read a free excerpt of Radio Iris here:
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