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Spontaneous

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3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  28 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
When Auntie Ned spontaneously combusts, she leaves behind a pair of smoking orthopedic shoes and house that she will to her best friend's daughters. Amy and Gwendolyn are sisters-- closer than close--who move into the bungalow and inherit Ned's legacies: a closet full of housedresses, a freezer full of meat, and the passionate flames of unrequited desire.

Amy's appetites--f
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 3rd 2001 by L.A. Weekly Books
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Alli Treman
May 30, 2012 Alli Treman rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up from a pile of books my friend was getting rid of when she moved. She said it was good. I trusted her.

She was right. This book is incredible. Two sisters have an Auntie who dies from spontaneous combustion, and they inherit her house. The sisters are quite extraordinary, and the other characters add to the story: a repair man with a crush on one of the sisters, one of the sister's abusive ex-boyfriend and business partner, and a scholar of spontaneous combustion who comes t
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Alexis
Aug 08, 2012 Alexis rated it liked it
This felt like a burger that had too much stuff in it - when you start cooking it (rare, of course), it begins to fall apart slightly, kind of crumbly. It was so outrageous and unbelievable it took away from some of the enjoyment (not even including the spontaneous combustion part).
Diana Wagman herself is a fantastic author. Her writing style, descriptions, phrasings - I can't wait to read other books by her based on her writing alone.
Randy
Dec 01, 2012 Randy added it
Bizarre, macabre, disturbing, fascinating, erotic ... human spontaneous combustion, combustion of the heart, the psyche... Diana Wagman does quite a lot with this, and it is definitely not a book for the faint of heart. The narrative propulsion is powerful and I simply had to now how it would end, but not for everyone, for sure.
Kate
Apr 24, 2013 Kate rated it it was ok
2.5 stars, really. I picked up this novel at a thrift store in Ireland. Not sure I would recommend it to anyone as it is bizarre, the characters are all strange and it all seems to be rather overwritten.
PEN Center USA
Aug 01, 2011 PEN Center USA rated it it was amazing
2001 PEN Center USA Award Winner for Fiction
Martin
Oct 14, 2012 Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific, strange, and literary. Wagman tells a story about spontaneous human combustion, incest, love, and death. And she does so in an admirably entertaining manner.
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Diana Wagman is the author of five novels. Her second, Spontaneous, won the 2001 PEN West Award for Fiction. Her latest is Life #6 from Ig Publishing. She is an occasional contributor to the Los Angeles Times and has been published in many literary journals, most recently Black Clock and the n+1 anthology, MFA vs NYC.
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