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Wicked Women

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Here we meet nuclear scientist Defoe Desmond, a post Cold War irrelevancy, who is ineptly drawn to a youthful, wily, husband-stealing New Age journalist; three sisters named Edwina, Thomasina, and Davida, who are appalled when their increasingly wild mother finally gives their father a male heir - two years after his death; and Paula, who keeps so still waiting to hear ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 8th 1999 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published January 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well, now it all makes sense. I first read Fay Weldon when I was a teenager and had but a fleeting sense of what she was trying to convey with her wicked, funny and feminist short stories. Now, reading her at a time when the characters are about my age, everything is funnier, and yes, wickeder. I certainly don't share her overall assessment of the irreparable relationship between men and women - but her understanding of power dynamics and the nature of sexual needs is extraordinary. She also has ...more
I read a story in this, to knock it off my "to read" list, and am porting over another review from an anthology as the story also appears here. Weldon strikes me as an interesting writer of dark lit, or at least the stories I was directed to (as a reader of horror and the macabre) fall into that area (it may not be true of her fuller output) - writing in the 70s (at least the stories I read), fiercely feminist in a second-wave mode (although someone on Goodreads refers to her as an ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
15 short stories and a novella in this collection from England's premier part-time anti-feminist feminist, full-time off-the-wall witch. Two are essential, End of the Line and In the Great War, most are good, a few average and one simply unreadable. A cast of deliciously self-centered (consequently, ignorant), naive, life-hardened, manipulative, cynical characters negotiate lives that are one step from disaster or salvation. Still, she seems quieter here, sober, not exactly tired but with a ...more
Samantha Anderson
Mar 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I read the first story in the collection, "End of the Line". The author really wanted to make the point that there were lots of different meanings of the phrase, and used it way too many times throughout the story.

The story itself was a out a selection of selfish and self-centred people, rather than "wicked women".

Very disappointing. I didn't bother with any of the other stories in the collection.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Range of short stories focusing on life in 1970s-1990s. Well written. Found the first half more enjoyable than the second. Maybe because that contained the stories focusing specifically on wicked women. Some of the therapist references are a little dated now
Filip Ilievski
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
A mediocre book.
I was intrigued by the initial stories, but it becomes very repetitive and somewhat boring after the first two chapters or so. If the book would only contain the chapters 'wicked women' and 'wicked men', I'd be much happier with it.
Marie (UK)
I read the Cloning of Joanna May which was a bright and insightful piece of story telling. This felt more like work, although i did enjoy some of the short stories in the collection others just left me cold.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stories about miserable people being miserable. Extremely well-written, though.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
End of the Line and Leda and the Swan are wonderful stories. All is written beautifully, but some aren't so relevant.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
As usual with Weldon, there is something rather uncomfortable about each of these tales that makes their truth stick. What is surprising is that in certain respects some of them seem dated - probably because of attention to detail that turns out to be of its time: mention of shoulder pads and a recession that now seems as nothing, for example.

Would like to go back to these one day if I happened across another copy.
Rena Sherwood
If you didn't suffer from depression before you read this book, you certainly will by the book's end. Very dark short stories about vicious, vicious people. Many of the stories do not have endings -- they just end. Best story -- an idiot of a man drops his wife for his therapist and the family (sans wife) tries to have a "civilized" Christmas dinner.
Ricardo Lopes Moura
Sep 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
It's a short stories compilation and the first is clearly the most enjoyable and is true to the title. The rest is just a bitchy and desilusioned woman writing about married men who take on lovers while their wives suffer endlessly and eventually leave. Boring and stupid. But do read the first story.
Siel Ju
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
My favorite story was "Wasted Lives."
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This wasn't really my kind of book. A collection of short stories, most of which were just "ok". I'm not one to give up on a book, so I finished it grudgingly.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Odd. Short stories about women's behaviour.
Daniel Mcbrearty
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
damn. I lost my copy, I want to read it again. I remember it as being sharp, funny, and refreshing.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very pleasantly surprised by the stories in this book. Well-written and enjoyable to read.
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Fay Weldon CBE is an English author, essayist and playwright, whose work has been associated with feminism. In her fiction, Weldon typically portrays contemporary women who find themselves trapped in oppressive situations caused by the patriarchal structure of British society.
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“The language of distinction ceases to be available; is no longer available. We must search CD Rom for meanings which once were clear, but now are obscure. The words are too big for the narrow column of the contemporary newspaper. We are all one-syllable people now, two at most. So we mumble and stumble into our futures. But it is still our task and our reward to scavenge through the universe , picking up the detritus of lost concepts, dusting them down, making them shine. Latin was the best polishing cloth of all, but we threw it away.” 3 likes
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