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The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  13 reviews
'The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis' is narrated by a young adolescent named Larry Rubio who, with his three Anthem City, New Jersey, buddies Mondo, Gus, and Juan Carlos, discovers a scarecrow lashed to an oak tree in the city park.
Kindle Edition, 38 pages
Published February 18th 2013 by Electric Literature
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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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By the end of "The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis," there's no doubt that if you had to pick who the "bad guy" is, it'd be the protagonist and his friends. Yet the protagonist is so sad, even as he's awful -- his lack of identity, his manic need to justify his cruelty, his cowardice is all so heartbreakingly awful. This story just kicks you in the guts. Nobody is happy, nobody won, all the characters are just eating away at each other and themselves until there's nothing left of anybody.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books-read
I heard Karen Russell read and excerpt of her new book "Sleep Donation" on NPR and that lead me to purchase not only that but also this novella. All I can say is "wow". I really love her style of writing. She paints pictures with her words and builds an incredible sense of mood. Her characters are complex and developed in relation to each other. This story was creepy and surreal, but also deeply connected to real life and real world experiences. I highly recommend it.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Karen Russell’s wicked prose and deliciously crafted metaphors (“A black eel thrashed in Larry’s stomach”) make this novella a captivating read, one that I would highly recommend for either the young adult audience or any adult that enjoys the slightly twisted.

The antagonist becomes the protagonist in this tale, and through the first person POV we enter the mind of Larry Rubio. He is a quiet bully whose encounter with an effigy brings his conscience over the threshold that lies between the min
Andy Weston
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recently I have complained that some novels I have read would be better as novellas. Some wasted space. Now I find myself in the opposite situation.

So much goes on here, in 38 pages. The genre is horror, and I'm uncertain as to whether its aimed at teenagers or adults, but either way it works well.

Very different, and top stuff.
A. Dawes
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Wickedly clever, Russell, has the antagonist evolve into the protagonist. With a dash of fantasy and magical realism, this story is a compassionate look into the darker side of bullying and the reasons for it. Highly recommended. And who isn't scared of scarecrows?
Zoe's Human
Dec 13, 2014 marked it as to-read
Touch base with Justine after reading.
Pauline West
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most frightening and most hauntingly powerful stories I have read about adolescence. About midway through I almost put it down-it was breaking my heart- but glad I broke through. It tells the becoming of a kind of man few of us understand.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Under 40 pages but a well-developed story about bullies and their victim. It has a creepy edge to it and wonderful descriptions by the author really help develop the sense of foreboding. I like that it doesn't end with all of the questions answered - it adds to the creep-factor.
Mariana Montiel
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well written but this freaked me out and disturbed me so badly Also the way in which it kept switching fomr present to flashbacks really confused me. I'm not sure I followed the sequence of events well. Maybe I didn't understand everything...? However, the author did submerge me in the story.
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars. This is almost by definition what you would call "literary fiction," which I have a love/loathe relationship with. Okay, not loathing, but mild annoyance. The things I love about literary fiction are the (usually) wonderful prose, deep characterization, and meaningful themes. However, I find this is usually at the detriment to an exciting and/or satisfying plot. I realize that plotting is not the point of most literary fiction. However, when a story like The Graveless Doll o ...more
Brianna Hamilton
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was hard to read because I could keep up with what was going on, it kept going back and forth between current time and flashbacks without warning.
Feb 01, 2016 added it
Pretty freaky and disturbing.
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Karen Russell graduated from Columbia University's MFA program in 2006. Her stories have been featured in The Best American Short Stories, Conjunctions, Granta, The New Yorker, Oxford American, and Zoetrope. Her first book of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was published in September 2006. In November 2009, she was named a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree. I ...more