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There Is Something Inside, It Wants to Get Out

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Fiction. THERE IS SOMETHING INSIDE, IT WANTS TO GET OUT is the brief and stunning debut by fiction writer Madeline McDonnell. In these technically surprising and lyrically astounding stories, the reader meets three haunted, singular, and unsettled protagonists Wednesday, Mary, and Lucy who are up to and up against all sorts of horrendous and hilarious trouble. The reader ...more
Paperback, 79 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Rescue Press (first published November 1st 2010)
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Dec 15, 2010 Edan rated it it was amazing
Madeline McDonnell, the author of this gorgeous and beguiling little book, is one of my closest friends, and she's my writing buddy, so there's no way of being objective here. I've read earlier drafts of two of these stories, and the third I knew about, but had never read. I so delight in McDonnell's prose: in her sensual observations, her language play, her descriptions of sky, light, the body, the heart. These are three stories about three lost women. They are funny, surprising, weird, and sad ...more
Ethel Margaret
My full review is at Gently Read Literature

Is it possible to be derisive and compassionate? McDonnell’s acumen makes the unseemly unification natural. The characters are impregnated with many antithetical drives that find easy cohabitation. The result is that protagonists Wednesday, Mary, and Lucy, as well as the others we meet, are a lush and intriguing set. Their banter can be both humorous and barbed. Their love is laced with mild disgust. Yet McDonnell harbors her characters from vilificatio
Patrick Brown
May 11, 2011 Patrick Brown rated it really liked it
I love Madeline McDonnell's writing. The three stories in this collection are sharp and biting, yet somehow manage to be full of warmth at the same time. This is no easy feat to pull off. I like McDonnell's prose to Lorrie Moore's. It has that same great funny/sad element that makes for good reading.

My one complaint is that, in the middle story -- regarding a girl suffering simultaneously through cancer treatments and her father's involvement with her gym class (It's arguable which is more arduo
Dec 29, 2010 Lee rated it it was amazing
I once sat next to Madeline toward the back of a seminar (either Offutt or D'Ambrosio's?) during which she drew a house emitting thick projectile tears in which there were smiley faces (which also may have been crying). At that point I hadn't read much of her stuff but I suspected her drawing revealed a tendency to depict joyful sorrrows (and sorrrowful joys) in all their simple natural complexity . . .
Stephen Gallup
Aug 31, 2011 Stephen Gallup rated it it was amazing
It isn't often that I reach the end of a book and immediately turn back to the beginning and start over. Granted, in this case that involves no big commitment, since the book is quite slim. Still, the number of pages is deceptive. There's a lot in here, and the telling is so lovely that I just wanted to appreciate it thoroughly.

There are only three stories in this collection, all about characters who have something lurking inside them. In the first, the most obvious hidden something is the hard-
Aug 05, 2011 Ransom rated it really liked it
Madeline McDonnell's debut book includes three short stories: Wife, Physical Education, and Trouble. I went to her book reading at Prairie Lights in Iowa City and she read Physical Education to us.

Physical Education remains my favorite of the three stories, though each is deep in a different way to show the lives of the protagonists. She uses interesting language and makes each character real.
Mar 09, 2012 Charity rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
Beautiful prose from an obviously talented writer, but in each of these three stories the narrator controls the reader's view so entirely there's little opportunity for perspective; they often feel like dark, numb solipsism.
Mar 22, 2011 Tobias rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2011
Art Edwards
Aug 07, 2011 Art Edwards rated it liked it
Read my forthcoming review of There is Something Inside, It Wants to get out at The Collagist soon. I'll repost here.
May 07, 2011 Clifford rated it really liked it
These are terrific stories. We'll be hearing more from Madeline McDonnell.

Here's a link to my full review:
Jul 24, 2012 Jeff rated it really liked it

My review is at my Iowa Cityscapes blog.
Molly Baker
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Sackett Street rated it it was amazing
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Caryl rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2010
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Dec 26, 2010
May 31, 2011 Joy marked it as to-read
This author went to (and taught at) the Iowa Writer's Workshop which produces many good writers.
Julia Fierro
Julia Fierro rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2012
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Madeline McDonnell is a graduate of Brown University, where she was a Rose Writing Fellow, and The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. She has taught writing at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, Cornish College of the Arts, and The University of Iowa; she has also worked as an editor and lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. Her tiny story collection, ...more
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