The Refrigerator Monologues
The Refrigerator Monologues is a collection of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, dis ...more
As for ZeitGeist, the definition is "the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time." So in TRM world: the persuasion power of the villain is like that of a popular idea that takes you over, rather than describes the belief of a certain period of time in history. He controls your spirit for a time.(less)
Emphasizing the total lack of respect for the female character roles in comics in general, Valente compares this book to her personal version of “The Vagina Monologues” for the comic industry.
All of the various female narrators in “The Refrigerator Monologues” are dead. T ...more
And just like the trope itself, this book is weird as hell. It’s following a bunch of women in a literal deadtown, all becoming friends with each other and telling their own stories. It’s a story of solidarity between women, but in the end, a bit of an inconsistent one - this story’s main stren ...more
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a girlfriend or wife of a superhero? The answer is not so glamorous in The Refrigerator Monologues, a new book containing a series of linked short stories by Catherynne M. Valente. Inspired by “Women in Refrigerators”, a term used to describe a trope used in many comic book plots involving the deaths, disablement, and disenfranchising of female characters to forward a male superhero prota ...more
Six women in six linked short stories. They're all superhero fodder. Oh, Raynor, she's been refrigerated! :)
All the names have been changed but we can see who they are rather easy, and delightfully so. They're genuine female viewpoints and the ranting from a bar in Deadtown while listening to gargoyles play punk music is also delightful as hell, but what we've really got is Jean Grey, Harlequin, Gwen Stacey, and even p ...more
She is a quirky person who loves art and poetry as much as computer games and comics. Her love for the latter especially shows here. Because loving something doesn't necessarily mean not being critical of it. And let's face it: no matter how much you love comics, many of them h ...more
This is a mix of several interconnected stories, each told from the perspective of a woman who has been "fridged" – killed, in one way or another, to further the story of their superhero significant others.
Like all Valente books, the writing is gloriously decadent. I will say, this time around things are much more colloquial (read: a lot more slang) than her other books. But I think that fits the context of the book.
This is a fabulous reclamation ...more
Holy fucking fuck! This book. THIS GLORIOUS BOOK!!
This one is close to my heart. Badass chicks are my JAM. It's my deal! I mean.. clearly. Give me all the powerful women who break through glass ceilings!
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente (with illustrations by Annie Wu) shin ...more
I like stories that offer transformation of oppresive structures or suggest ways of escaping them.
This book isn’t like that.
It is a raging, despairing howl against the world.
There is no subversion of the comic-book narratives (and the book is based on very well-known comic book storylines – I was able to identify all but two and I’m a fake geek guy). The women get to tell their stories, ...more
Flickering through recycled realities, losing myself in myself, over and over.
The Refrigerator Monologues is a mashup of The Vagina Monologues and comic book history. Valente uses some pretty well known female comic book characters and riffs off them. Each character's place in Deadtown is introduced and then she shares her origin story and how she got "refrigerated", written out.
Trouble is, my story is his story. The story of Kid Mercury crowds out everything else, like Christmas landing on...more
You don't have to be a major fan of comics to enjoy this one. I know only what I've seen in a handful of movies, and still really appreciated reading Valente's take. I'm sure hardcore comics fans would get an extra layer of depth, catching references/in-jokes that I missed, but that's definitely not required to ...more
My first book by Catherynne M. Valente had me crying my eyes out on a train at midnight.
It had me writing down gutpunching quote after quote, write my girlfriends that they had to read this awesome and horrible book, and add the rest of Valentes books to my TBR. The writing and characters just refused to let me go. The Refrigerator Monologues ...more
For instance, Bayou's story was absolutely heartbreaking, and read like the outline of a larger story, one I wish I could read. A couple of the stories had to be so speeded up, to fit the monologue style, that I found them more confusing than tragic. The one story that really worked for me was Polly's. I am absolutely horrified b ...more
Well, fuck. What a great place to explore my rage at the way women are treated in fiction. ...more
I love the concept of this book which gives voice to those sidelined females in comic books. It creates fleshed out characters that have motivations and thoughts and intriguing stories all their own. It shows they are something more than just a footnote in the story of a super hero.
And this book is all that, which is wonderful. However, this is going to be a hard one for me to review. When it comes down to it, while I love the ...more
I never wanted children. Let’s get that straight up top. All I ever wanted to do was to drink beer, play my horn, and ride mutant armadillos till the end of the world. But you don’t get to hit those high notes when you’re Queen of something. Hard to scream-sing fuck the man authority is deathpuke anarchy in Atlantis when your mom is, like, the entir
In this short story collection, six women share the stories of how involvement with superheroes and supervillains led to their deaths or downfalls. Ignore that part of the blurb that tells you to expect an entirely new universe, because although some details are different, the protagonists are blatantly based on DC/Marvel women. You've got:
--A Gwen Stacy, whose science experiment gave her boyfriend his powers
--A Jean Grey, who pops in and out of the ...more
It's wonderful that the women had a voice but the end-game stayed the same, regardless. ...more
”I belong in the refrigerator. Because the truth is, I’m just food for a superhero. He’ll eat up my death and get the energy he needs to become a legend.”
These are the stories of the dead: women’s voices of the Marvel/DC universe forever silenced, because after all, it was never their story. Until now.
The Jean Grey story hit me the hardest.
”I was used and tricked and thrown away, but I cannot be forgiven. It’s a funny thing. You go your whole life thinking you’re the protagonist, but reall ...more