Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories” as Want to Read:
Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,232 ratings  ·  153 reviews
One of our most imaginative and accomplished writers, Angela Carter left behind a dazzling array of work: essays, citicism, and fiction. But it is in her short stories that her extraordinary talents—as a fabulist, feminist, social critic, and weaver of tales—are most penetratingly evident. This volume presents Carter's considerable legacy of short fiction gathered from pub ...more
Paperback, 462 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Penguin books (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Fuchsia  Groan
Salman Rushdie dice en el prólogo que Angela Carter era una escritora demasiado particular, demasiado extrema, sin embargo, como para disolverse con facilidad: ahora formal y extravagante, ahora exótica y coloquial, exquisita y burda, preciosista y vulgar, fabuladora y socialista, púrpura y negra.

Y transgresora, irónica, macabra, irreverente, surrealista. Barroca y excesiva en ocasiones, perturbadora casi siempre. Asombrosa en todos y cada uno de los relatos.

En este volumen se reúnen las cuatro
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
an ex-lover gave me the gift of angela carter, and when she did, she confessed that every time she opened her copy of "burning your boats" that she found some new story she had not read before. shortly after that, i got my own copy of the collection. i've had it for several years, travelled with it, kept it close to my beds and my toilets, and the same seems true for me. i am forever falling in love with this book, forever reading tales of werewolves and purple-madam-puppets and tigers outloud i ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
"She is Atlantis to Me"

This omnibus edition collects the stories from four original collections (published from 1974 to 1993), while adding six stories, three early works from 1962 to 1966, and three others written between 1971 and 1981 (and previously uncollected).

I'll review the individual collections under their original titles, which means that this review will focus on just the additional six stories.

Menarche a Trois

"The Man Who Loved a Double Bass" and "A Very, Very Great Lady and Her Son
Dec 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dreamers, jungians, fairy tales lovers
Reading a short story by Angela Carter is the equivalent of visiting a friend who has travelled the world and now lives by herself in an apartment filled with cats, trinkets and incense. Some days, as you sit in this friend's living room, waiting for her to brew some exotic tea, the scent of burning incense lulls you into a reverie, the way in which the sunlight hits the smoke gives her living room a mysterious feel. At other times, your friend makes the mistake of lighting too many incense stic ...more
Christopher Stevenson
Oct 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
If she were alive today, they would say, "Bad woman! Bad!" because of her lack of compromise on textual aesthetics. When she was alive, they said, "Bad woman! Bad!" because aesthetics of her characters. You can't just like Angela Carter. You can't say, "Oh! this was a good book..." You have say, "Even though I oppose the idea of marriage, I would wed this collection."
Jul 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a complete collection of Carter’s excellent short from her sadly short career. Her work takes stock imagery of our imagination (legends and historical figures) and plunges it into her surreal and gothic imagination and re-imagines, demythologizes, or makes it utterly unrecognizable. Resembling the work of Borges, Dineson, Brothers Grimm, Burroughs, Hoffman, and Poe but still really being unique and in her own voice. Highlights include “Loves of Lady Purple”, “The Tiger Bride”, “Fall Rive ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Memory, origin of narrative; memory, barrier against oblivion; memory, repository of my being, those delicate filaments of myself I weave, in time into a spider’s web to catch as much world in it as I can.

At once exquisite and appalling, Carter is one of my favourite writers, truly. She’s dark, she’s disturbing, twisted, shocking and sensual. But for me, this bindup doesn’t showcase her searing talent in its entirety. Whilst The Bloody Chamber and Black Venus are Carter at her brutal best, the
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Angela Carter is a phenomenal stylist, of this there can be no doubt. I truly enjoy her juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque, often depicted in single sentences, so that one doesn't quite know whether to be smitten or disgusted. Many of her tales possess a sort of profound, gothic heaviness that occasionally appeals very much to my sensibilities.

It has to be said though that quite a few of the stories in this collection, especially some of the early ones, feel like writing exercises
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like Angela Carter's stories are a bit like really rich chocolate truffles. One or two at a time are wonderful but eating thirty in a row will just make you sick. I made the mistake of reading straight through these stories and I just got sick of them by the end. Some of them were good, others not really at all. And some I'm not sure should really be qualified as stories since they seemed to be more thoughts or essays. There was also a lot of sex which got to be ridiculous (with people, w ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Why am I only discovering Angela Carter now? Life so sucks.
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Angela Carter was indeed the master of the short story during her short life, and I wished that I had read her stories earlier in my writing career for there is much to learn in her approach to the craft. In this collected work that compiles all of her short writing over a 30-year period, we are introduced to a variety of styles, subjects, arrangements, voices and situations that led me to crown her the "magician of the short story."

Gothic is the overaching mood of her stories, but that is the o
DeAnna Knippling
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A collection of all of Angela Carter's tales.

Each one of these stories is so dense as to be a novel packed up in a portmanteau. To unpack them is a great deal of work. For example, in order to understand the John Ford story, you have to know that there was both a director of Westerns named John Ford, and a playwright around Shakespeare's time named John Ford. Or at least be willing to stop and research same.

I can't give these five stars--the three unpublished stories at the end made me realize
Orna Ross
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
The world of an Angela Carter short story is a world at once fantastic and familiar. Tigers, werewolves and other beasts stalk through; Bluebeard, Red Riding Hood and Puss-in-Boots perform new, startling acts. Hollywood, pantomime, the fairground, Shakespearean comedy all lend their forms to have them smashed up and put back together as something quite different.

But through it all the feeling of familiarity is there, not because we have heard the tale or seen the show before, but because it is
Laura Gaelx
Adoro a Angela Carter. Me ha gustado especialmente la colección "Fantasmas americanos y maravillas del viejo mundo" (1993), donde disecciona mitos populares (cuadros, cuentos infantiles, películas, leyendas urbanas...) desde su mirada perturbadora y feminista. Algunos relatos, como 'El barco fantasam. Un cuento de Navidad recuerdan a American Gods y en otros se acerca más a Mitologías, pero ya le gustaría a Barthes. ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really should have put a review on each of the collections in this omnibus separately. But, in my eagerness, I neglected to do so and now am writing one for the omnibus as a whole, since I can't help but see them in relation to each other.

I love how the stories are arranged in more or less chronological order. It really allows one to see how Carter's style improved and evolved over time. The first collection, Fireworks, is by far the weakest of the four and that is in part due to Carter strugg
Jennifer Ochoa
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, read-gave-away
I was destined to not like it. Beyond the fact that I rarely enjoy short stories, I also find Carter's style excessive, baroque, more imagery than story. I love minimalist writing and Carter is the at the absolute other end of the spectrum. I'm also burned out on fairy tale themes and most of these stories are evocative of them (if not outright reimaginings of classic tales).

Some of the stories I ended up skimming more than reading, I was that impatient with her writing. Normally, I'd give a boo
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
More people need to know about Angela Carter. There are several reasons for this- she did dark and sexual fairy tales before they were cool and better than anyone else has, she wrote a nonfiction coherant analysis of the Marquis de Sade’s writing in relation to feminism that wasn’t just throwing up her hands and giving up, she blurred the lines of magical realism in a manner comparable to Borges- but an incentive I’d like to add is that she’s one of the best writers of gothic short stories I’ve ...more
Mark Desrosiers
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Although these tales are filled with wolves, menstrual blood, sharpened teeth, burned flesh, you name it, there is no clear key to their horrors. Carter clearly eschewed Freudian nonsense just as surely as she rejects the quintessentially male notion that we make our destinies by "chucking paint at a wall". Many of these tale are relentlessly schematic, adorned by her snaky prose and sliced in bits by her strategic lacunae. Some even seem like a new genre: "Black Venus," "The Cabinet of Edgar Al ...more
Helen McClory
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of stories that read at times like discourse on the idea of stories, deconstructed as they go - so at times difficult and laboured. Also: smoky, purple, repetitive, othering, verbose.
but there is so much in them and they keep giving.
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a different kind of read for me. Kind of" fairytale-ish." I really enjoyed those stories that I read and found myself pondering each tale. I believe that, for me, pondering books is a good thing. Probably would have given it a five had I read all the tales.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
பதாகை இதழில வெளிவநதது - (

இளவரசியால முததமிடபபடட தவளையும (‘Frog Prince‘ கதையின மூலப பிரதியில இளவரசி தவளையை தூககி எறிவதாக வருகிறது), அழகியின கணணீரில நனையுமBeastம ராஜகுமாரனாக தஙகள நிஜ உருவைப பெறுகிறாரகள. இபபடிபபடட நிகழவுகளை தேவதைக கதைகளில நாம அடிககடி காண முடிகிறது. பிறகு ராஜகுமாரன இளவரசியை/ ஏழைபபெணணை மணநது கொளள, அனைவரும சநதோஷமாக வாழவதாக முடியும கதைகளில, இளவரசியோ ஏழையோ பொதுவாக பெணதான தன கனவுகளை அடைவதாக, அவளே அதிரஷடசாலி எனற கறபிதம, வெகுஜனப பிரகஞையில உளளது. இதில
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pues ha sido un recorrido muy interesante. Antes de este libro había leído La cámara sangrienta y me había encantado.

Admito que este me ha parecido un libro muy dispar. Es decir, algunos relatos me dejaron muy fría, mientras que otros me dejaron flipando. Pero lo que está claro es que Angela Carter es un autora muy interesante y me alegro de que esté siendo recuperada en España con estas ediciones tan bonitas.

Mi top 10 de relatos sería este:

1. La cámara sangrienta > ¿qué decir de este? un r
Silvia Romano
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como toda obra que reúne todos los cuentos de un autor, es desigual. Sin embargo, vale la pena hacerse con un ejemplar ya que hay autenticas joyas. Destaca La cámara sangrienta, para mí, obra maestra. Ella es magistral mezclando la fantasía con el relato folclórico. Nos encontramos con versiones adultas y en clave feminista de Blancanieves, La cenicienta y otros. La mujer es protagonista y hay una magia que se respira que es fabulosa. Otros relatos son un poco oscuros y cuesta descifrarlos. En c ...more
Lisa M.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I first encountered Carter in an English class, where I was required to use a school of literary analysis to analyze one of three given texts (I choose Carter's "The Tiger's Bride.") I selected feminism (although I almost chose deconstruction!) and found that this story changed my personal life and how I view sex and my sexual relationships. So, I had to buy the book. This review will pertain primarily to "The Bloody Chamber" section of this book, which contains her collected fairy-tales, one of ...more
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: werepeople, folklore enthusiasts, people with good attention spans
Shelves: read-in-2008
i was first introduced to angela carter in college, when we did a writing exercise contrasting her verbose prose against the clipped, controlled style of lorrie moore (another author i like a lot). after reading carter's novella the bloody chamber (included in this collection) for the exercise, i decided to seek out more of her writing. this is a collection of her short stories & novellas, which are mostly perverse & feminist-minded updates of classic fairy tales. "the bloody chamber" wa ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is a treasure. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a great deal about writing from it. Not just for Horror/Fantasy writers--Carter is one of the top short story writers of the century.
If Cory Bernardi (an unfortunate Australian politician who made an even more unfortunate comment about Gay Marriage and bestiality) ever read this book his head would explode. I am sure (well more hopeful, but doubtful) that he is intelligent enough to see the metaphors, but it would it would make Q&A more interesting. The amount of tigers and wolves sinking their teeth into the virgins delicate flesh would make you very drunk in a drinking game.

But that doesn't stop me from wanting look up
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I used one of Carter's stories in my thesis back in undergrad and I always meant to come back around and read the rest of her works. Taken as a whole, they can be a bit overwhelming but there is no denying, the woman could write a creepy, gothic fairy tale re-visited like no other. I think the stories from The Bloody Chamber were my favorite though; there she was in full-on fairy tale mode and I don't think anyone could retell a fairy tale like Carter.
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went ahead and bought the book. I pick it up in-between great books and shitty ones to help me shift my attitude.

I don't recommend reading it as a whole. It is very dense and the little genre's need ample time to simmer.

Angela Carter packs so much life into shorts that I am lifted out of my mind long enough to gain perspective on whatever it is that I am into at the moment.
I need that shift often so I keep this book at my bedside.
Ah! Japan...time to visit.
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is probably, hands down, one of the best collections I have every read. Carter's prose is phenomenal. Her stories are an electric mix of fairy tale and feminist punk rock. No offense to Neil Gaiman, but a mediocre story from this collection could bite the head off the best in any of his collections. I'm just sad that this is it as far as her short fiction goes. On to the novels.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
  • Saffron and Brimstone: Strange Stories
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales
  • In the Forest of Forgetting
  • Black Heart, Ivory Bones
  • There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales
  • Don't Bet on the Prince: Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England
  • Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov
  • From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers
  • Novelties and Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction
  • The Classic Fairy Tales
  • The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits: Stories
  • Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing
  • The Collector of Hearts: New Tales of the Grotesque
  • Seven Gothic Tales
  • Red as Blood, or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer
  • Stranger Things Happen
  • Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale
Born Angela Olive Stalker in Eastbourne, in 1940, Carter was evacuated as a child to live in Yorkshire with her maternal grandmother. As a teenager she battled anorexia. She began work as a journalist on the Croydon Advertiser, following in the footsteps of her father. Carter attended the University of Bristol where she studied English literature.

She married twice, first in 1960 to Paul Carter. Th
“Those are the voices of my brothers, darling; I love the company of wolves.” 132 likes
“Before he can become a wolf, the lycanthrope strips naked. If you spy a naked man among the pines, you must run as if the Devil were after you.” 40 likes
More quotes…