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Slab

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  21 reviews
On a slab that's all Katrina left of her Mississippi home, Tiger tells her story, and it is as American as Horatio Alger, Schwab's Pharmacy, and a tent revival. She was a stripper, but is she now a performance artist and best-selling author, and it is really Barbara Walters she's narrating this tale to? We're too dazzled to know more than that this is about how a girl ends ...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Coffee House Press (first published July 20th 2015)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  21 reviews


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Hayley
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a wild ride, but worth it! ...more
Nancy Stohlman
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Selah Saterstrom is a visionary and her latest book, Slab, takes us to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where our narrator, Tiger, waits to be rescued from the concrete slab where a house might have once stood. But none of that is stated overtly—in fact, if you were not familiar with Saterstrom or Hurricane Katrina you might have missed this—which is sort of the point. Instead it’s pure Saterstrom, where the ruined landscape becomes a mutable, pliable, Everyman landscape. “Big City” could ulti ...more
Nick Carassanesi
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Shrewsbury
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Slab is a book that doesn't like to be pigeonholed as a single genre. It is part fiction, part poetry, part play, and part historical non-fiction, among others. It challenges the reader to extract meaning from a seemingly disoriented plot, one that I'm sure is intentional of capturing the devastation after a life-changing storm.

In Act One, Slab follows Tiger, a stripper (and part-time writer?) who only has a concrete slab left of her home after Hurricane Katrina, and who is being interviewed by
...more
Mia Aguilera
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Annotations

I think it is interesting that you described this book as (what is the specific term?) having a post Hurricane Katrina setting as I think this is only a very small part of the book. In fact, if you had not said this and I hadn't read the inside flap, I don't think I would have realized what destroyed Tiger's home, only that it was flooding. I think what Katrina does for the story is that it adds to Tiger's homelessness and lack of belonging. She transitions between jobs, between relat
...more
Blake Carrera
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Slab is not a book that you casually read. While it is a relatively fast read because of the choices regarding form made by Saterstrom, the material is dense and meandering. At the center of the book is a character named Tiger - a stripper, writer of an intensely odd cookbook, and a con artist. Though the narrative is conveyed in multiple ways, the general framework is an interview with Barbara Walters. We learn about the south, about family, about religion, about crime, and about alternative wa ...more
Mark Alvarez
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Slab is one of those books that starts stronger than it finishes. Which makes sense with a pastiche-style narrative: front-load it with the interesting stuff.

Divided into seventeen chapters, each of which works as a self-contained short story, Slab tells the story of the protagonist, Tiger, and her life as an exotic dancer and cookbook writer. None of the chapters are related, though there is a structuring element going on throughout: an interview between Barbara Walters and the narrator. As I
...more
Zamarit
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book! I went into it thinking, "Please be good," because i didn't know what to expect from it and I don't think the cover helps at all. (Don't judge a book by its cover ha!).

Anyways, the craft in this book is very different from anything I've read so far and I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed the kind of play like format and how sections began with parts and there was a scene 1 and 2 to the book as well. It was also relatively easy to keep everything in
...more
Weldon Ryckman
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could write at length about this book and I'm not sure I'd even cover the half of it, but here are some quick thoughts.

In Slab, we have a woman, Tiger, who, desperate to reconstruct her life following a defining moment of trauma, tells stories. These stories create her own, new world, for herself, and attempt to reconcile her loss of memory and life. Through the stories, which undoubtedly hold some truth, we are offered plural renditions of trauma, coping, and recovery. I'm going to use the wo
...more
Addyson Santese
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
From play to interview to prose to poetry to recipes, this novel seems as though it was chucked in with the genre title because no one could figure out what the hell it was. Perhaps if it had been labeled differently Slab would have been less disappointing for those readers who expect an actual plot from a novel.

The skips in time and space and narrator are disorienting and disruptive, particularly when it comes to the interview portions with Barbara Walters. Elements such as this that might be
...more
Tara
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Selah Saterstrom’s Slab details through moments of memory from the point of view of Tiger. Despite the scene-like introductions, the story progresses through moments that Tiger remembers assumably because they are poignant to her. Tiger humorously dictates her moments to Barbara Walters, but the only other person of present time contact with Tiger is Preacher. These characters interactions serve to disclose histories and life, but as a reader you have to be willing to find those meanings as you ...more
Hannah Warren
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fabulism
Retelling the Christian origin story, Saterstrom writes, “Night took the faces of this man and woman and peeled them off like a question formed inside a fetal darknesss mouth. There, they saw a blood scene. And when finally underwater, the woman mouthed back, I do. The snake said, Do you want some of this fruit from this terrific tree? She did” (165).
Abbigayle Mathis
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've ever read ...more
Danae
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit even though it was mildly bizarre and required for class. I liked the way it was told and how the pages were split up. I loved Tiger and all of her stories and am glad I read it.

QUOTE:
“It was not worse than where she was before, but it was more than where she was before.” (157)
Katie
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Read entirely on the plane back from Austin. What a strange, flowering, poetic book about the Mississippi delta and the havoc of Katrina. I'll have to revisit it to let it sink in. I'm glad I read it, and will give it to friends to read, and will 100% definitely forget everything about it because it was so disconnected and whimsical. ...more
Sarah Schantz
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Short Review: Oh my f'ing god! (and this exclamation and declarative cannot be abbreviated nor should it even be censored, but I didn't want the thought police to censor it instead). "True story," as Tiger herself would say: "This book really is that spectacular."

Longer Review: I have long been a devout fan of Selah Saterstrom's writing, just as I've long grappled over the tough decision: Which of her books is my favorite? I love both The Meat & Spirit Plan and The Pink Institution for different
...more
Emily
Jan 23, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
I get what is good about this book. I just can't read it right now. My brain needs something a little more straightforward than this.
Part play, part poetry, part stream of conscious monologue, part fictional memoir told in the first person. It's all over the place and I can't switch gears fast enough to folloow.
...more
Rachel Robinson
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting mixture of various formats, cultures and story telling genres infused in one great book!
Rebekah
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
One of the most heartbreaking books about American culture and history that I have ever read.
Sean Helvey
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was interesting but very hard for me to understand. By the end I was just flipping pages.

I liked that it was so different from things I normally read. Parts were very nice and poetic too.
Zach C
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Feb 11, 2019
Trent Smith
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Nov 09, 2015
Dennis Sweeney
rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2015
Hannah
rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2019
Garrett
rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2015
Julia T
rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2020
Alex Perrone
rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2019
Ashley Simms
rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2020
Matt
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2015
Patrick
rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2015
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Selah Saterstrom is the author of the novels Slab, The Meat and Spirit Plan, and The Pink Institution, all published by Coffee House Press. In 2016 Essay Press will publish a collection of her essays on Divinatory Poetics. She is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

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“Night took the faces of this man and woman and peeled them off like a question formed inside a fetal darkness mouth.” 0 likes
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