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Yellowcake

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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  393 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Yellowcake brings together ten short stories from the extraordinarily talented Margo Lanagan--each of them fiercely original and quietly heartbreaking.

The stories range from fantasy and fairy tale to horror and stark reality, and yet what pervades is the sense of humanity.  The people of Lanagan's worlds face trials, temptations, and degradations. They swoon and suffer and
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  393 ratings  ·  105 reviews


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Heidi
As a short story reader, it was a bit of a surprise that I didn’t pick up a Margo Lanagan short until after I’d polished off her two novels, though now that I have I fear the flood gates have opened. As with her larger works, I must emphatically state that Lanagan’s work is not for every reader, but there is just something about her twisted world view that keeps drawing me in. Her mind works in short stories. With Tender Morsels I became overwhelmed with the story and emotions, unable to disconn ...more
Miss Susan
man i was really hoping to be more into this collection than i was

like i loved her previous sets of short stories? especially white time, that was my jam. so when i saw yellowcake was coming out i pretty much threw a party and ordered it as fast as my fingers could type

idk, most of these stories felt pretty weaksauce. like the summary sells it as 'strange disturbing weirdness! good times!!!!' and i read it and it just wasn't weird enough? if you're going to sell me a collection on the basis of '
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KWinks
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Hmm. Normally, opening up a book by Margo Lanagan is like dipping your toes into a cool spring laced with diamonds, rubies, and broken doll parts. Beautiful and strange. Yet refreshing. This collection did not impact me the way her other works have, and I am sad. Maybe it's me...it's probably me. I didn't "get" most of the stories in the collection. In fact, I had already begun my research online in order to understand two of them, when I discovered the author's "where these stories started" bit ...more
Kate O'Donnell
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the stories cased within this beautiful cover are not simple tales to read and flippantly comment on. they are convoluted and mysterious, beautiful and twistedly grotesque.

heads remains looming in my mind, the story in which a golden haired boy portrays innocence and busyness and a sense of purpose in a horrible world where something awful has happened and he's not sure why.

also ferryman, which broke my heart with its light and loving banter between father and daughter ("scowling sarah") combi
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Steph Su
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-nz-lit
Quick—someone teach me how to review a short story collection. I’m afraid I didn’t take notes on individual stories as I read this, so just a few words on the collection as a whole.

The book’s afterword explains not only Lanagan’s inspiration for each of these stories, which I found interesting to read, but also that the majority of these stories have been previously published elsewhere. If you’ve been a dedicated YA short story anthology reader, particularly of the SFF kind, then you may have re
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Amanda
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful cover, dull collection. I didn't mind that it proclaimed itself as "beyond the perimeters of normal" as the inside jacket states (after all, strange can turn out to be divine), but I honestly got the impression that the stories themselves were just odd for the sake of being odd and served no real purpose. There was more than one that I simply did not understand, and honestly the stories themselves often weren't even interesting enough for me to care to figure them out. I've read that M ...more
Anthony Eaton
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Sigh*

I wish I could write short stories like Margo Lanagan. Or at all, really.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of 'Yellowcake' - and I've spent the last week or so, on and off, just dipping into and out of this, her most recent collection of short stories.

Lanagan has, for a long time now, been one of my favourite practitioners of this particular writing craft; a combination of her imaginative use of language, her vivid and left-of-centre ideas, and her capacity to say so m
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Cynthia
Lanagan's stories have a startling originality, in fact they are so fresh that a few of the them were confusing (The Point of Roses) but the best of them (Night of the Firstlings and Ferryman). These last two started obscurely and the truth was slowly doled out. Many of the stories were based in part on legends or received tales that Lanagan reworks to make them new.

Since this collection is designated as Young Adult I kept trying to imagine how they would read to the designated over twelve audie
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Tij
Apr 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yellowcake was a very odd book. I found the stories really strange and had to force myself to finish it and was relieved because I didn't have to read it anymore. The endings of the short stories and the overall plots of them were hard to follow (for me anyway). The strangest one was 'heads' which from what I gathered was about a boy who measured the circumference of dead people's heads!
There was only one story out of the ten that I kind of liked but was still a bit odd 'the golden shroud' which
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Rhea
May 11, 2013 marked it as to-read-slowly  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: can-t-wait
Another collection by Margo Lanagan? Awesome, I can't wait! Sign me up!
Tristan
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spec-fic, ya
This is one of the most clever collections of short stories I've read in a long time. I like it even more that Red Spikes, where Lanagan brings pain (of many kinds) to life in such vibrant ways. The stories in Yellowcake have a wide emotional range and a tenderness that suffuses them, while still embracing the darkness that underpins a lot of the tales. The book works together really well, each story sort of prepares the way for the emotional world of the next one.

Every story was fantastic, alth
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Stefanie
I don't even know what I just read. This was so unintelligible that it might as well have been in a foreign language.
Amy
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really looking forward to this. Modern fairy-tale-like stories; magic realism; poetic language.

This made me want to claw my eyes out, and I actually didn't finish the very last story. I came close and realized life was too short for bad writing.

OK, that's harsh. I don't know that it was "bad," per se. It might be SOME people's cup of tea. It just wasn't MINE.

Two of the stories actually have stuck with me, a couple weeks later, enough that I can bring them to mind...so I guess those two we
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Meg
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Margo Lanagan's ingenuity as a writer never ceases to startle and delight me. She is my favourite writer of the short story, and this is another brilliant collection of her work.
This book will sit on my shelf alongside Black Juice, White Time, Red Spikes (short story collections), as well as two of her fantasy novels, Tender Morsels and Sea Hearts/The Brides of Rollrock Island.
Tina
May 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish, ya
I wanted to like this book so badly. I love short stories and the second one in the book is based on fairy tales -- my favourite! And yet After I read the first two stories I put the book aside with a sigh, knowing that I had no interest in reading beyond that point. If I couldn't enjoy a story of Rapunzel reworked, I wasn't going to like any of it. It's sad, I wanted to love this.
Wes Young
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Complete and total whack-a-doo! The writing was good, but not overwhelming. What was overwhelming was the total bananapantz-ness of the stories. I like Donald Barthleme more than the next man, but when the story is so confusing that I can't figure out what is going on 8 pages into a 20 page story, that's not economical, that is, as I said before, bananapantz (and yes, it does get the "z").
Carolyn
I absolutely loveloveloveloveloved all of these stories. The very last one took me a couple tries to really get my head around. I've been a Lanagan fan for a long time now so I wasn't surprised to find myself sucked into each of these little fantasy worlds. Wowza.
Sarah Mayor Cox
Dying to read it because Black Juice is my fav. short story collection of ALL time!!!
Bonnie
Quite a strange collection of stories...
Josh Petersen
I found this to be pretentious, unappealing, and baffling (in a bad way). I don't think this a major enough contender to struggle through it any longer.
erin
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was the book I thought "the bloody chamber" would be. loved it, highly recommended if you like folklore/fairy tales
Caroline Eising
Margo Lanagan's stories are hard to categorise, because like dreams, they never settle into anything predictable or sit in any one genre. The stories here drift from fairytale to parable to supernatural, full of evocative, emotional scenery. The full category of senses is covered, and the stories often seem to be more about sensation and capturing a scene than creating a rounded plot with beginning, middle and end. This led me to some vague sense of incompleteness with some stories, but if you t ...more
Libbet Bradstreet
Hmm. This collection is a bit of a conundrum for me. At best, one story (The Point of Roses) had a few of the most beautifully-written passages I've ever read; however, I can't really say I enjoyed the process of reading the it. The prose in this collecting is amazingly elusive--perhaps to a fault. I was terribly, maddeningly confused by the authors trickstery use of language, yet I kept going back for more. This is definitely a collection that you have to work for. I can't say that it is a book ...more
Tabitha Brady
Sep 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first encounter with Margo Lanagan's work, and it did not leave a good first impression. This collection of short stories was poorly written -- where was her editor for this?? The stories were a bit too short with a plethora of plot holes and jargon (and very few context clues to explain the jargon). I read this for a Young Adult Literature class in my teacher education program -- I would absolutely NOT use this or recommend it for any of my students, unless we were looking at example ...more
Michelle
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
This is a collection of short stories. As with most collections, there are stories that resonate with you more than others. My two favorite stories were one based on Rapunzel (Shroud of Gold) where Rapunzel’s hair has a life of its own, even after being cut from her head, and “Ferryman” where the man who ferries the dead has an accident, leading for his daughter to take over his position, which allows the perspective of the recently deceased and their families to show through. The stories are a ...more
Danielle Routh
The problem with reviewing a short story collection, as with an essay collection, is that not all of the entries are equal in quality and enjoyment. I definitely enjoyed the stories based on fairytales more than the dystopian tales, although "A Catastrophic Disruption of the Head" was certainly dystopian and probably the best of the bunch. I think Lanagan's style, while intriguing, is just a bit too florid for me.
Sheila
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed these short stories more than in the book people with problems.
I gave this book a three star as well though because again some stories
Engaged me or grabbed my interest while others fell flat for me or I just felt lost me or needed more depth.
However I would like to read other books by this author in the future as I do feel it’s awesome and creative thinking and writing. Love the darker side writing in these short stories by this author.
Michael
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it.
You think you know short stories?
It's hard to write a review for a Margo Lanagan book because I'm always tempted to oversell it.
That's because it deserves it, and I only write honest reviews.
Just read the book alright?
Then the next time your in Hobart on a Saturday buy one of those shirts that the young goth boys sell down at the market that say "Margo Lanagan is God."
Janelle
Jun 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, library
A collection of magical, ghostly, dreamy, frightening stories. Her writing is beautiful and expressive. She captures different perspectives, her retelling of Rapunzel makes her hair an active element in the story. Other stories are dark and violent. My favourite was “A Fine Magic” where an ice carousel is used for revenge.
Sheriden
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of poignant and moving short stories. They each whisk you away into strange worlds, and you meet characters that are at once familiar and foreign. These are stories that will reward re-reading, and careful attention.
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Margo Lanagan, born in Waratah, New South Wales, is an Australian writer of short stories and young adult fiction.

Many of her books, including YA fiction, were only published in Australia. Recently, several of her books have attracted worldwide attention. Her short story collection Black Juice won two World Fantasy Awards. It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and the United Kingdom by Go
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