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This House of Wounds

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The devastating debut short story collection from British Fantasy Award-winning author Georgina Bruce. Haunting and visceral tales for the lost and the lonely. An emotional and riveting debut.

Advance praise for Georgina Bruce's 'This House of Wounds.'

"An astonishing, totally absorbing debut collection. Edgy, disturbing and delicious in equal parts. Georgina Bruce plays wi
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Undertow Publications
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4.23  · 
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 ·  31 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Apr 10, 2019 marked it as to-read
Cover art by Catrin Welz-Stein.
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
A fantastic collection of stories, full of magical realism with a touch of horror. If you are a fan of David Lynch's movies or Rebecca Grandsen's books then you'll really enjoy this. I loved everything about this book from the stunning cover (which my daughter says is the creepiest ever) to the stories themselves, including their mad titles.

The stories themselves touch on similar topics, absent mothers (absent in various ways), mirrors and the fractures they create when broken, pain and release
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
One of my favorite things about some authors is when they have a very distinct affinity for certain "theme words". As I read Georgina Bruce's luxurious prose, I was taking copious notes for this review.
Some theme words that stand out to me: Blood, Mirrors, Shadows.
Lots of imagery about the female body, slits, slips, openings, velvet...
Themes of Alice in Wonderland, self-discovery, womanhood, reflection...
Losing one's identity.
Finding yourself.
Objectification and oppression.
Georgina Bruce has covered ALL THE BASES in her debut story collection This House of Wounds and seems to be hell bent on stretching us beyond our comfort zones right from the get-to. There's no easing us in, no honeymoon phase, no whetting of the appetite here. She goes from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye, so make sure you're buckled up good and tight. Kicking things off with The Lady of Situations, we're lead to believe we're reading about a woman who's in the middle of a pretty fucked up ...more
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
This House of Wounds is a dark, experimental short story collection that is interested in identity, specifically that of the feminine, and the fracturing and remaking of selves along with the dissonance between the real and the imagined.

Bruce’s writing is quite unique, creating half-formed grotesqueries and fantasies in my mind, things I could almost picture but were still insubstantial, dissipating like wisps of fog when I tried to really grab ahold and unpack them. It was beautiful to read, bu
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This fucking world. Dying at the edges. Sick all the way through. Everyone wired into that game, that madness."

This House of Wounds was my introduction to Georgina Bruce's writing. I buddy read this one with my friends Tracy and Audra, and we definitely had some interesting discussions while reading.

Georgina Bruce's writing is so beautiful. Her descriptions are creative and haunting, and I would kill to read a book of poetry written by her. I think this book does a great job at showing off he
Jack Stark
Wow oh wow. My oh my. I am blown away. Speechless (almost). An example of outstanding short stories, consistent in high quality and substance. Many of them broke me.

Strange. Dreamlike. Surreal. Lynch-esque. Barely tethered to the here. Unsettling little mind snacks that creep in from the other side, keeping one eye on the possible. Creep in to tear at the heart. Melancholic in flavour, and plentiful in size. Full of WTF moments. Disturbing, yet familiar and comforting. Heavy with metaphor, sayi
Priya Sharma
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This House of Wound is a challenging collection which proves the point that nothing worth having comes easily. I’m still thinking about what the book as a whole means. Don’t be put off by this. It’s an investment that will pay dividends.

Georgina Bruce’s prose is dense, lush, sometimes overripe, sometimes surrealist, depending on the needs of the story.
I dreamed that her eyes were eggs that hatched two bald featherless birds with wide-open beaks, carmine throats, screaming like empty leather pu
Tracy Robinson
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Georgina Bruce's debut collection dives into the realms of dark fantasy/horror. Side note to state that the cover art by Catrin Welz-Stein is absolutely spectacular and it represents the collection quite well. While all of these stories are standalone, there are common themes of loss, grief, toxic relationships, and alternate realities. There are even a few that put me in mind of some of the more fantastical Black Mirror episodes. It certainly is, I think, a commentary on how we experience l
Andrew Schultheis
Found the stories in this collection to be very hit or miss with me. Genre-wise the work tends to be a mix of fantasy, horror and sci-fi. Two stories in particular "Wake up, Phil" and "The Art Lovers" were excellent. The slow building dread and paranoia of "Wake up, Phil" is truly nightmarish. I also really liked "Little Heart" and "The Book of Dreems."

I thought the stories that were less straight forward narrative-wise were far less interesting. They were very surreal and heavily symbolic and
Daniel Carpenter
A deeply strange collection of stories that I completely fell in love with, rangeing from the Aickman esque The Art Lovers, to the sci-fi backdrop of Cat World but feel of a whole.Bruce is operating on a higher tier than most authors, and these stories adopt dream logic in wonderful ways. Some might think of them as fairytales, but I felt they were less morally focussed. Georgina Bruce is not here to teach us lessons, to warn children about strangers, or to find happy endings. These are tough st ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm an Undertow subscriber and received my copy a few weeks ago. This House of Wounds is the best short story collection I’ve read this year. After I finished, I had to put it down, take a breath, and find my place in the world again. Georgina Bruce is an amazing writer, and I am most definitely a fan after reading her collection. Her work is unique but has the lush surrealness of Leonora Carrington’s short fiction and the exquisite imagery of Tanith Lee. This is the best type of weird fiction. ...more
Stewart Horn
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing you’ll notice about this book is the cover: it’s one of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen, and printed on good quality, lightly textured card that almost feels alive. It’s a sensual delight and a joy to touch, to hold, to open. It’s a promising start and warms me to the book before I’ve read a word.

Upon starting the first story, I realise how perfect the cover is. THE LADY OF SITUATIONS begins with an act of shocking violence, as if the image has leaked into the prose with
Aliki Ekaterini  Chapple
These disturbing, distressing stories are hard to categorise. Are they horror, fantasy, science fiction? Yes. Visceral in the sense that they are plump and warm with living blood, tender and smooth as living organs - but slippery, organic, individual. There are dream states here, virtual worlds, half-buried memories, and it’s hard to tell which is which; the vivid, beautiful prose just carries you along with it. Whatever else this collection is, it is deeply feminist, not the rah-rah feminism of ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a rhythm in the prose of these tragedy tales, grace and beauty with the darkly poetic, horrifically human tales treading darkly into other realms, nightmarish and dreamlike at times, gothic artistry in twisted minutes, snippets from a myriad of characters, a strange and haunting world of wounds and feelings before the reader with memorable characters from blood spilling queens to princesses, crows and shadows.
Nicely crafted originality within these stories, the reader left with great an
Jack Westlake
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sixteen short stories by the always excellent, British Fantasy Award-winning Georgina Bruce.

A blend of fantasy, horror, slipstream - it's all there. The collection includes 'White Rabbit' which won the 2017 British Fantasy Award for best short fiction. However, my favourite has to be 'Dogs' - it blurs realism and fantasy perfectly, and is inflected with this feeling of loss and of being lost, making for what I think is a brilliant short story by the end of it.

A highly recommended collection.
Kevin L
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a stellar collection of stories. I’ve rarely read short fiction that pushed me as hard as these stories. Many are as powerful and challenging as the best poetry, forcing you to take in rhythm, repetition, allegory and hard truths.

I can not recommend this collection highly enough. Absolutely brilliant work by Bruce. I’ll eagerly seek out any new work by her.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Literary weirdness, bizarre dreams, dark places. The prose caresses the cuts and stabs the eye. One of the recurring themes was blood. I read horror and thrillers but this was just a bit too far "out there" for me. There were only a handful of tales that seemed to have a recognizable story. I guess this says something about me but most were indecipherable. The stories aren't bad, they just aren't my cup of tea. The writing style is actually beautiful. This is my first encounter with the writing ...more
Laura Mauro
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This House of Wounds reads like dark magic; a collection of dreamlike tales which might also be spells, reading like incantations. Sublime descriptive language buoys you through dreamscapes, and often nightmarescapes; into the dark woods, along the ruined shores of a dead game-world, into the faded living room of a fading man. These are stories, but more importantly, they are experiences. "Cat World" shattered my heart. I read "Kuebiko" over and over and found something new every time. "White Ra ...more
Kit Power
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