So with Bender. Of course the cover has a picture of a little man in a cage - that's what happens when the little men hunters capture a little man and sell him to a big man. Big whup. The story comes in when we see how the big man deals with his new power, and how the little people have prepared for such abuses.
Bender writes in...more
The stories are all slightly on the quirky side but most of them are so wispy and minor-key that they d...more
What is gripping about these stories is the simple, quiet horror that steals across the pages. What can I say that everyone hasn't said before? Each story left me with...more
"Surreal," "bizarre," and "outlandish" appear frequently in descriptions of Bender's stories, most culled from prestigious literary magazines. Despite their unreal premises, these stories rarely fail to connect with readers emotionally. Her characters are often both disturbed and disturbing. Opinions differ on whether to call Bender a dark writer or a magical realist, but nobody has unkind words for her prose. Some of these tales__fairy tales, even__succeed masterfully; others are weak by compar...more
New York: Doubleday & Company
$22.95 – 208 pages
The man went to the pet store to buy himself a little man to keep him company. The pet store was full of dogs with splotches and shy cats coy and the friendly people got dogs and the independent people got cats and this man looked around until in the back he found a cage inside of which was a miniature sofa and tiny TV and one small attractive brown-haired man wearing a tweed suit. He looked at the price...more
I'm not normall...more
I really enjoyed the prose in this book. Just the right amount of description and character development for short stories. The stories were all based around some kind of strange character, such as the man who buys a tiny man as a pet, or the woman who finds potatoes turning to children in her stock pot. Sometimes, the protagonists are cruel, which I found at times interesting and at times disappointin...more
so, i went to the library to take out other books by aimee bender. the only one on the shelf is willful creatures. i've read 5 of the stories & i'm not going to finish the book. they are all quirky, but dark, and sinister & cruel. the next story is called motherfucker. i think that is a good place to stop! when the other books get returned to the library, i'll check them out, but i want the feeling back that i had when i fin...more
That's a hell of a lot to live up to, and Willful Creatures didn't disappoint in the least.
Whimsical, but not simple; heartbreaking but not overtly sad - these stories capture the depth of the mundane and the intricacies of metaphor used to describe the world. The story of Salt and Pepper wa...more
I really, really disliked "Off." I felt the really real, plain, ordinary stories without magical elements were the weakest.
The problem for me was that Bender doesn't give most of the characters names. It's "the man" "the woman" "the girl" "the boy" stor...more
I fell in love with Amee Bender's style when I read The Girl in The Flammable Skirt several years ago. Willful Creatures follows the same whimsical and eccentric style. Although her char...more
"I am the drying meadow; you the unspoken apology; he is the fluctuating distance between mother and son; she is the first gesture that creates a quiet that is full enough...more
A boy with key fingers? Creepy but appealing. I kept imagining the texture of his fingers and I wanted to know more about WHY the fingers fit the doors t...more
It's true. I don't. But I do like to mention books I've enjoyed, and I've not enjoyed anything more than Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender in a long time.
So where to start? Well, the book's a collection of short stories, fifteen in all. And they're fantastic and I mean, REALLY fantastic. I ordered the book from my library after reading a review of it in The Short Review. The first story grabbed my attention, it was like being grabbed by the throat, to tell the truth. And afte...more
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My genes, my love, are rubber bands and rope; make yourself a structure you can live inside.