Nicole's Reviews > Willful Creatures

Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender
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Jul 04, 12

bookshelves: adult-technically, essays-short-stories, fantasy-no-dragon-such
Recommended for: people who like car accidents
Read in July, 2012

Short stories of this ilk are, for me, like slowing down to pass a car accident. I'm freaked out and fascinated and generally put on edge by both car accidents and "fantastic" short stories. Sometimes I feel emboldened on that edge and sometimes I'm just scared of falling off. Most of Bender's stories put me on that second, more precarious edge.

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 that they did. A human sized man keeping a finger sized man hostage, torturing him and breaking his spirit? That made me feel dirty and guilty and embarrassed to be human sized myself. I appreciated the symbiosity (not a word, but it should be) of the salt and pepper couple but wanted to throw up over the potato children.

While I can't say that I liked these stories very much, I can say that parts of them will stick with me (like an ingrown toenail) and I suppose that's indicative of a certain kind of literary genius.
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