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Julia and the Bazooka, and Other Stories

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  167 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews

Anna Kavan now stands alongside Virginia Woolf as one of Britain's great 20th-century modernists.Inthis posthumous collection of Kavan's short stories, some ofthe author'smost compelling writing is revealed,inspired in great part byher personal experiences especially her nearly lifelong addiction to heroin. An important literary work, thesenarratives highlight the shadowed

Hardcover, First American Edition, 155 pages
Published February 28th 1975 by Alfred A. Knopf (first published March 5th 1970)
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Apr 08, 2013 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Nate D
Whatever I am, I’m among the lost things—I do know that.

To enter the works of Anna Kavan is to enter a swirling, menacing reality where inexorable doom weighs heavy through each word. Each story in Julia and the Bazooka is comprised of a thinly-fictionalized version of Kavan’s own life and viewpoints, allowing it to convey to the reader her heavy burdens of existence in a world that she perceived as vile and threatening. Her prose elevates even the slightest of actions to tremendous pitches of
Jun 27, 2013 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody could call her vicious
Recommended to Mariel by: Nate D
All I wanted then was for everything to go on as before, so that I could stay deeply asleep, and be no more than a hole in space, not here or anywhere at all, for as long as possible, preferably for ever.

I had felt like reading Anna Kavan and staying there. If there was something alive. If the skin turned outside itself beating in your hand. Something happened, there was a shift, and I didn't finish this or I Am Lazarus until this week, months later. There are people in these stories who don't
Jun 10, 2013 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a mistake to regard these tales as drug literature. That would be asserting the methodology over the condition. There is a shadowed isolation here. The gasping protagonists can't communicate. The need to do so is often suspect. Let us be precise here, Life is terrifying but People are horrible. The pair of stories featuring Burma appear less personal and thus oddly moving.

There are motifs which repeat and reverberate. Oblomov is a recurring character here. Not Goncharov's creation but rat
Ben Winch
Aug 29, 2012 Ben Winch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna Kavan - my Anna Kavan - is the hallucinatory heir to Kafka, and like Kafka she conjures her most vivid effects in small spaces, sheltered from the demands of plot and characterisation. I say 'my' Anna Kavan because I'm well aware that I have focused on her short stories (these and Asylum Piece) excessively, and that beyond three fairly desultory stabs at Ice (her most famous novel) and a glance at Sleep Has His House, I know little of her work as a novelist. That said, everything that's goo ...more
Nate D
All I wanted then was for everything to go on as before, so that I could stay deeply asleep, and be no more than a hole in space, not here or anywhere at all, for as long as possible, preferably forever.

Anna Kavan's words: immaculate, isolated, haunt(ed/ing). Characters float through their lives, cut-off from themselves and the world, conveyed in a chilling calm which nonetheless admits the occasional description of some bizarre trauma in monolithic, ravingly vivid prose. Many highlights here,
Knowing vague details of Kavan's life, it was hard for me to not read this as autobiographical, but what worked best for me here is Kavan's power in locating herself outside of humanity as she writes about permutations of herself. Her prose reveals a sincerely excluded nature, arising from either a drug induced haze or finding herself wholly at odds with humanity, and this lack of being there is really something special. I look forward to reading much more from Kavan.
David Peak
May 14, 2015 David Peak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immaculate and haunting prose. Kavan's stories function as dark meditations on disappointment, anger, and numbness, seemingly in equal measure. A few toward the end even allow a hint of cosmicism, which had sublime results. My only problem is that some of the stories weren't as engaging as the others, but that's a given with collections. Highly recommended.
Ben Olsen
Jun 09, 2014 Ben Olsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was blown away by Anna Kavan's writing and when I got to the end of this collection of short stories I was left with a feeling very difficult to describe but one which made be go back to the beginning of the book and read it again silently mouthing 'wow' as I did so. Incredibly unique, sometimes moving, sometimes bizarre, sometimes funny, every story creates an unusual, surreal atmosphere, often bleak but not oppressively so. Some of the stories reminded me of Sylvia Plath and others of Willia ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Ronald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
My rating likely reflects my personal aesthetics. This book is a collection of well written stories, most of which are of the "slice of life" type, the kind which appears in literary journals published by university presses. For example, in the story "Now and Then", the narrator compares her husband before they got married, to after they got married. Before marriage, he was a stud. After marriage, he became a fat, lazy slob.

I'm not a big fan of that type of fiction. My aesthetics could be descr
Jonathan Norton
This was extremely variable. Some of the stories were written in a quite pedestrian style, dipping in to cliche, and hardly justifying the praise directed at the author. But the title story is a superb piece of narrative condensation that justifies the plaudits, and some of the other portraits of declining relationships are vivid and truthful; also "Among The Lost Things" is an intriguing move into science-fiction. So I think I will look at her other works.
vanya klecherova
Jul 09, 2013 vanya klecherova rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Някои от разказите са особено плътни, залепят се в съзнанието и след това бавно-бавно се разтварят и дълго време след затварянето на книгата, продължават да човъркат мисълта и да я държат будна.

Цялото ревю, тук:
Samantha Fox
Apr 10, 2015 Samantha Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book in a massive used bookstore in Chicago. I felt like I unearthed a hidden gem reading the introduction before I bought it. I had never heard of Anna Kavan and her drab life until then.

So, of course, I read her stories with this notion that I had something to learn from her. And that something is not that life can be very sad. It's that to have an awareness for life can drag you to know yourself through a most unusual process.

Life can throw you under the bus and then the bu
Lina Malink
Oct 07, 2012 Lina Malink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intrigued and exhausted - the way a good lover should leave you.
Mar 06, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must read every word this woman has written.
Sep 06, 2011 knig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stream of consciousness in staccato
Beautiful book.
Lane Pybas
Aug 01, 2014 Lane Pybas rated it it was amazing
A work of surreal, nightmarish visions, these heavily autobiographical stories mostly deal with Kavan’s own depression and drug use. What’s incredible is the sheer insight she has into her own condition. Each of her narrators struggles to cope with their inevitable solitude and isolation. They long to be accepted and to be loved; yet they can’t because they are unable to connect with other people and many times believe that society is a sham. To them, other people are often only masks or illusio ...more
Nov 07, 2008 Dirk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anna Kavan had a remarkable and painful life ( She has been compared to writers as dissimilar as Virginia Woolf, Kafka, Anaïs Nin, and J. G. Ballard. Julia and the Bazooka is a collection of short stories chosen, the editor says, because the personality of the author is particularly present in them. They tell stories about cold, depressed women who suffer from romances that end in isolation, from dependence on shadowy, analysts-like men, and on heroin in v ...more
Laurel Beth
Oct 24, 2014 Laurel Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-the-library, rpl
five stars for the title story alone.
Nov 15, 2015 David rated it liked it
Kavan writes about addiction and loneliness. About being different from the crowd and not fitting in. Her bazooka is her needle. With it she blows the world up. Makes something interesting. Something bearable. Sometimes she gets quite dark. Sometimes she writes like a teenager.

Sometimes she also writes brilliantly well. Bit of both in this collection. Teenage me would have dug it more.
Jul 03, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Spooky. This would have had heavy appeal to my sixteen year old self. There are passages that alternately make you want to curl up and hide or burst out laughing.

"In the outside world catastrophe always threatens. The news is always bad. Life tears into one like a mad rocket off course. The only hope of escaping is in a racing car. "
Jun 10, 2011 Isam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you like cars and anti-heroine heroin users this book is for you!!
"the mineral beauty of the non-human world" indeed
Dec 23, 2012 matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i'm in love
Aug 12, 2010 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Aug 23, 2016
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Aug 23, 2016
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Elizabeth Main rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2016
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Mysterious Book 1 8 Jan 11, 2008 12:43PM  
  • The Seventh Horse And Other Tales
  • Recollections of the Golden Triangle
  • The Man of Jasmine & Other Texts
  • Tigers are Better-Looking: With a selection from The Left Bank
  • The Stain
  • The Book of Monelle
  • Under a Glass Bell
  • In Youth is Pleasure & I Left My Grandfather's House
  • The Vice Consul (Pantheon Modern Writers Original)
  • Lands of Memory
  • The Dragon: Fifteen Stories
  • The Cage
  • Tripticks
  • The Lady and the Little Fox Fur
  • Night Soul and Other Stories
  • The Oblivion Seekers
  • The Ship
  • The Foreign Legion
Anna Kavan was born "Helen Woods" in France on April 10, 1901 to wealthy expatriate British parents.

Her initial six works were published under the name of Helen Ferguson, her first married name. These early novels gave little indication of the experimental and disturbing nature of her later work. I Am Lazarus (1945), a collection of short stories which explored the inner mindscape of the psycholo
More about Anna Kavan...

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“I know I've got a death wish. I've never enjoyed my life, I've never liked people. I love the mountains because they are the negation of life, indestructible, inhuman, untouchable, indifferent, as I want to be.” 3 likes
“The last time she had seen him in the flesh, all the vital force of his life stripped away, his sharpened face had confronted her with such a fearful fixed finality of sightless indifference that she had been frozen in mortal terror, engulfed by abysmal despair. After all the years of unfailing support, his huge, inhuman, deaf, blind inaccessibility was horrifying. He had not kept his promise. He had abandoned her, left her to suffer alone.” 3 likes
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