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Rag and Bone

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Rag and Bone, by Priya Sharma, is about Tom, who buys unwanted household items and scavenges other materials (including bones) and resells them in an alternative 19th century Liverpool in which the wealthy use the poor for parts from the inside out, should they need them. Colorful, disturbing, and moving as Tom maneuvers warily between the masters he serves and the poor ...more
ebook, 32 pages
Published April 10th 2013 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I leave Gabriel in the yard and go into town, taking my bag with the vials of skin and bone, flesh and blood, my regular delivery to Makin. The Peels are looking for body parts.

a second excellent free tor short by this author. i didn't like it quite as much as Fabulous Beasts: A Tor.Com Short Story, but it was still pretty damn good.

it's an alt-historical set in a 19th century liverpool in which the wealthy elite treat the underclass as a spare parts marketplace, and rag and bone men like our
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, free, short-story
An incredibly sad ending. Made me sigh and my eyes well up. Poor Tom.

The writing was a little disjointed but an overall enjoyable story.
Ellen Gail
Easily four stars. Priya Sharma NEEDS to write more.

I want to say, Look at me. Look me in the eye. I'm a person not a piece of meat, but then I realize I just might as well be. A piece of meat. Rag and bone.

Y'all know I love a well written short story. When I don't feel up to reading much, or I need to shake off a book hangover, a Tor short is often the way to go. They're the perfect little snack sized read.

And damn, this is a satisfying snack.

Read Sharma's Fabulous Beasts as well if you haven't
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, to wield so much power that you don’t have to exert it.

Some stories read like protest songs, and this is one. Set in an uncertain time period, though it reads either Victorian or retro dystopian future, Tom the rag and bone man makes his rounds and gathers volunteers for a kind of spare parts program - spare parts in the Repo: The Genetic Opera sense.

Absolutely great short story, and available free from Tor here:
Apr 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I was very much looking forward to reading this Tor short. Why?

1. The Cover
Please, someone somewhere, just publish all the Tor covers in one volume. These are terrific.

2. The Reviews
Everyone seems to like it.

My experience ended up like a three-act play.

Yay! I have waited as it wended its way up my book pipeline and now I am reading it. Woohoo! Ooooh, spooky weird! Great start, very involved.

Slowing down a bit. But boy, that cover sure is something. Yes, still reading, still
Althea Ann
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this one is creepy. Think: Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go' meets Thompson's 'Divided Kingdom' in a Dickensian alternate England. A bit of a steampunk feel to it (think George Mann's 'Affinity Bridge') - minus the steam.
But it's also a wonderful story in which humanity and compassion come to the fore, even in the face of complete and utter callousness. It illustrates both the best and the worst that people are capable of. I hope to read more from Sharma in the future.
Nadine Jones
Day 20 in my 24 Days of Shorts

“All they ask is a chance to speak to you. No one’s forcing anyone.” It’s what I’ve been told to say, but the rich always have their way.

This was okay. Well, it was good until it wasn’t. I didn’t understand the ending, so it made me feel stupid.

read it for yourself here:

My 24 Days of Shorts
1. File N002 by Sylvain Neuvel
2. File N247 by Sylvain Neuvel
3. Skinner Box by Carole Johnstone
4. The Weight of Memories by Liu Cixin
Anna Hepworth
Pleasant little dystopic story of the haves and have nots. Nothing particularly unique, but a decent writing style.
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story took a couple of turns I did not expect, and that really made me love it. Desperate and malevolent, a fantastic industrial-age dark fantasy.
Body parts for sale in a labor exploitative, alternate history Liverpool, England. Wonderfully done.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! just.. wow.
You don't see the twist coming
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
oooh i liked this one a lot
Maggie Gordon
(Shudders) Rag and Bone is a very terrifying dystopic world where the poor sell pieces of themselves to the rich. There's also some interesting gender commentary that I don't want to spoil. All in all, it's a chilling little tale that would be a good foundation for a larger piece, but stands well on its own.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whoa! This was really good! Really liked the creepy and hope-less atmosphere.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
At first I wasn't liking it but soon it engagend me. The reveal at the end was, even if a common theme, still a surprise. The open ending also fit with the themes, I think.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, ebook, in-anthology
Not what I was expecting and I quite liked that.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
That was excellent. There was so much atmosphere and feeling packed into this short story that I wish it were longer.
A good story with a surprising twist at the end.

[A freebie]
Brad Cundiff
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tor-originals
Excellent. Dystopian themes and building suspense to the end. I'll think about this quick read for some time to come.
Kristýna Obrdlíková
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifka
Od první věty jsem si myslela, že hlavní hrdinkou je žena. V půli stránky jsem zjistila, že je to Tom. A pak...
Pointa i styl vyprávění i prostředí jsou vyvážené a dobré. Líbilo.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating little story set in an alternate Liverpool. Creepy and twisty.
Jane Reye
rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2018
rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2013
rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2019
rated it it was ok
May 21, 2017
Chris Hyde
rated it really liked it
Apr 12, 2013
rated it it was ok
Dec 30, 2017
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Priya Sharma’s fiction has appeared venues such as Interzone, Black Static, Nightmare, The Dark and Tor. She’s been anthologised in several of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, among other. She’s also been on many Locus’ Recommended Reading Lists.

“Fabulous Beasts” was a Shirley Jackson Award finalist and won a British
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