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Intimations: Stories

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  523 ratings  ·  74 reviews
From the celebrated author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine,a thought-provoking, often unsettling story collection that consists, broadly, of narrative diagrams of the three main stages in a human life: birth, life, and death.

Alexandra Kleeman’s debut novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine earned her comparisons to Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Ben Marcus, and Tom Perr
ebook, 240 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Harper
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  523 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Kleeman’s debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, was a surprise favorite of mine from last year. Alas, her short stories don’t pack the same punch. True, some of them employ a similar combination of surreal plot and in-your-face ideology, but only four out of the 12 stories seemed to me strong enough to stand alone. These were “Lobster Dinner,” surely inspired by David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster, in which crustaceans take revenge against their consumers; “The Dancing-Master,” ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Well, folks, it turns out that avant garde absurdism is just not my cup of tea.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
My rating is based on my own experience reading this collection, not a judgment of Kleeman's abilities. I think Intimations is an inventive, unusual, eerie collection of "stories," and probably deserves of a lot of praise for the technical aspects of the writing. But I can't say I enjoyed reading it or felt moved by it. I found myself searching the text for hidden meaning, lamenting not being a cooler, hipper, better reader. There were times I felt like I might as well have been reading an instr ...more
Paris (parisperusing)
Could not have rated Kleeman's work any less. She's the marvel I knew she would be.
Kleeman has a wonderful ability to turn a phrase, to craft an image, to describe a scene vividly but without excessive detail, but too many of the stories in this collection seem half-baked or baggy and shapeless. They're beautifully written but they lack punch. The best generally focus on the same themes of embodiment, hunger, and female identity that were so important in her excellent debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine but she does occasionally branch out a bit here as in 'The Danc ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. If anything, Alexandra Kleeman has made her voice known. Whether by way of her absurdist debut novel or this collection of short stories, her POV is clear (if not a bit avant garde), even if her focus remains a bit slipshod.

At its worst Intimations is muddled; there were several stories that barely stuck even moments after completing them. Yet at its best it's a revelation; "You, Disappearing" - the collection's final entry - best exemplifies this. It was an especially inspired take
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, short-stories
These stories are so strange, so beautiful. Nothing makes sense and yet it's completely obvious how much it all does. You, Disappearing made me feel that weird tense feeling in your face, when you want to or need to cry but nothing's coming out and so the tears just sort of sit there, inside your head. It's been a while since a story has made me feel that feeling.
Nate D
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: someone who brings me a cup of water while I'm working in a cafe
Recommended to Nate D by: an ax in the back
Shelves: read-in-2019, stories
Between this and her novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine, Kleeman is leaving her mark on the dystopian present. But whereas the "realistic" (albeit absurd) pieces that form the centerpiece here are keenly observed but verge on the obvious to many living these times, the strongest may be the eerie anxiety dreams which distill a similar sense of confusion and loss into purer, more familiar-yet-disorienting forms. Others shed all but their inklings of unease and veer towards something more like ...more
There are twelve short stories contained within Alexandra Kleeman's Intimations. There are three sections, which have four stories each. Of the twelve stories, I thought four within the whole work were great. A fifth I liked, and the rest I wasn't crazy about.

Right off the bat, there are two stories I love: "Fairy Tale" and "Lobster Dinner." These two are rich in symbolism and feature gorgeous, unsettling writing. They are surreal like nightmarish dreams. I wish the collection lived up to the pr
Iris Bratton
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
A unique reading experience that leaves you wanting more!

I'm slowly starting to find Alexandra Kleeman as a new favorite author of mine the more she releases wonderful works. Her writing style is eerie yet beautiful and haunted me in a way that I never want to forget. Her stories are fantastical yet the themes seem so real. Kleeman provides intimations into life, death, and living.

Although this is a short story collection, her stories read like poetry. They are so cryptic, I found myself wantin
A very uneven collection of short stories of which some were just as great as You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine. I really loved the opening and final story and there were some cool ones in between as well. But other stories didn't stick with me, even while reading, and I kind of glossed over them.
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Surreal, strange and unsettling.
Olin Postlethwait
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid start, solid end, bland middle. Like ham and cheese on a pretzel bun.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Absolutely adored "Fairy Tale" - story 1. I wanted more... But couldn't get into the others quite the same. Some were better than others... But I am looking forward to more work by Kleeman. She is still my favorite.
Brian Grover
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
This was a mostly terrible book. It's a collection of short stories, and the blurbs compare her to Pynchon and Delillo - which, maybe Pynchon, since he's so difficult to read. The stories are mostly nonsensical, like bad ideas in a early phase of being workshopped, and I chewed through them pretty quickly, more out of consternation than enjoyment. Bumped from one star to two for the last entry here, You, Disappearing - it's a story about a mysterious plague where all the things (including people ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
alexandra kleeman here trades styles between stories, from abstract and disjointed pieces that are somewhat uncomfortable and share DNA with the similarly minded absurdist Amelia Gray to more concrete depictions of the human condition that still sort of feel like someone is playing the record backwards. i enjoyed many of these stories, though some of them i'd be hard pressed to tell you what they were about; each of them made me feel uneasy in my skin. kleeman is someone worth watching as she gr ...more
Salty Swift
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Am I allowed to call this novel garbage with an absolutely straight face? What an utter waste of ink, time and "effort". If I had it my way, I'd give this no stars.
Vel Veeter
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ugh. So one of the reasons I persist with books I don’t like is because, especially with newly published books, I want to stay current with what’s out, develop opinions, think about the industry and the state of the art itself, and to keep informed and current. And sometimes I just want to know who I think is a trickster figure/con artist.

This book is not like the awfullest book I have ever read, or even close. One or so of the stories is perfectly good, and throughout the writing is fine. But i
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Why I'm interested in this book at the first place
One of the books listed under Your Ultimate Feminist Back-To-School Reading List , an article via Huffington Post (link).

What do I think of this book... now that I've done reading it
This book a compilation of short stories, divided into 3 main parts (simply numbered in roman numericals)

I found the majority of the stories are very quirky. Think: a crossover of The Twilight Zone meets Inside No. 9, minus the paranormal/spooky part.

Did I enjoyed r
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
i hated this book so much i found myself hitting it against a wall in a fit of rage. i gave it many tries, but with every page i turned my anger grew. i considered ripping its pages from its binding, setting it on fire, cutting it up into confetti, but i didn't think it would soothe my deep hatred for this bundle of "short stories". this whole book has no real point, no real deeper meaning, provokes no type of reflection or inner revelation and is just plain boring and absurd to a point of absol ...more
Pearse Anderson
Kleeman is an amazing writer, my rating is only simply because of the content in this collection not engaging me in really any sort of way. It worked as a five hour audiobook on 1.25/1.5 speed because I could take it, not because I wanted it. This stories, generally about formless surrealism (think of the Fireman's Home in Twin Peaks: The Return but without any of the Earthly scenes), or speculative fiction (feral child and disappearing ones were the best here, I think) were generally paired wit ...more
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Intimations: Stories is dreamy women's lit. It is a surreal piece that is somehow completely relatable. I really enjoyed this strange set of stories. These stories are about being human and attempting to meet expectations set forth by family, friends, spouses, and society as a whole.

My favorite story of the collection was "Disappearing, You," about the 'disoappocalypse." The end-times consist of a gradual disappearance of things from existence, and the narrator must cope with her loneliness in
Kathrina Turner
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This book resonated with me far less than Kleeman's other novel, but I still really enjoyed this read. I enjoyed how the stories were grouped together, and the way Kleeman wrote the stories, because I still think she is one of the most intelligent writers I have ever read something from. Some of the stories weren't as good as other ones, some weren't quite as fleshed out as they should've been, but some were amazing and really hard hitting. My favorite was the last story of the book, "you, disap ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
a great double feature (read?) with her body and other parties.

act I - astoundingly absurd and was such a joy to read.

act II - less favorite part compared to the other two but the titular story is beautiful.

act III - LOVE. rabbit starvation is something wondrous. you, disappearing is heartbreaks personified with imminent apocalypse. all the time i was reading this perfect final story, i was reminded of the leftovers and one or two? of the black mirror episode about memories and grief (aka my two
Anna Hundert
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun short story collection with a lot of range, and a tendency toward dreamlike/surreal sequences and experimental forms. It reminded me a bit of Karen Russell’s VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE, so if you liked that, check this out. I think my favorites from the collection are “Choking Victim,” “You, Disappearing,” and “A Brief History of Weather.” I haven't yet read Alexandra Kleeman's novel so I can't comment on the comparisons that a lot of these other reviews are drawing, but overall i ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
Certain modern present-day short story writers like Viktoria Jäderling or Ninni Holmqvist have presented stories cryptic to the border of nonsense, but with an underlying feeling of something going on, something being told through metaphors. In this book, it seems like the author is just trying too hard to be strange and does so without anything of substance.

Some of the stories (The dancing master) are very good, some are interesting (Fairy tale), some are a bit dull (A brief history of weather
Matt Shaqfan
Dreamlike seems like the right phrase. Like there was a haze over everything... I can remember parts of things, and they don't totally make sense, but it's not bad. And I was never really annoyed or anything... Just strange little stories, with tonal sensibilities that complement the vibe of YOU TOO CAN HAVE A BODY LIKE MINE... Downside is I don’t know what’s actually gonna stick in my head, long-term. That being said, I'm glad I read her stuff and I'm curious to see what she's got next.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Some of these stories were dizzingly strange and inventive and an absolute joy to read -- the eerie humor and hints of the grotesque in her stronger stories were some of my favorite short stories I've read in awhile. However there were other stories that left me feeling lukewarm at best (In particular I struggled to get through Rabbit Starvation & Hylomorphis). ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
It's a weird mix of short stories - some of them which link. I believe this book is a hit or miss.

It has such a unique style, it takes a couple of stories to wrap your head around Alexandra's writing style. So don't give up straight away!

I enjoyed Part II stories the best as I found a connection between them, although the stories were written separately.
The Dude
Jul 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is a continuation of my review of her first book: Please make it stop! It hurts too much! Innocent trees are being slaughtered so this literary yuppie can continue being pretentious. Now I must listen to Van Halen's first six albums to remind that true virtuosity exist only in music and I should never expect it in any other art form.
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