The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
Sure, the writing is fine and it even sparkles on occasion. There are enough strange things happening to catch anyone's interest, at least momentarily. The problem is a lack of depth. Every single story felt superficial to me, as if it was ...more
You're reading a novel about a single mother struggling to raise two kids in a backwoods town in Kentucky and you flip to the author info on the dust jacket...only to discover that the writer is a single mother raising two kids in a small town in Kentucky, and you say to yourself (or the person trying to sleep next to you), "HOW IS THIS EVEN FICTION?"
Well, that won't happen when you're reading THIS book. Unless Ms. Bender is the weirdest person who ever li ...more
The first story in The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, The Rememberer, is the most successful: it's about a woman whose partner is experiencing reverse evolution. From a man he slowly morphs first into an ape, and then into another lower form of life, a sea tu ...more
anyway, bender writes short, perfectly structured surreal first-person stories. well, mostly first person. sometimes third. there's a story about a man who wakes up with a hole going directly through his stomach, and then his wife becomes pregnant and gives birth to her own mother. but it's firs ...more
The nameless "finding guy" made me cry:
"He lay in bed that night with the trees from other places rustling, and he could feel their confusion. No snow here. Not a lot of rain. Where am I? What is wrong with this dirt? Crossing his hands ...more
The reason why it didn't work so well for me is the fact that the symbolism is much more heavy-handed and clumsy, and the slight absurdity of magical realism feels less natural and smoothly blended in than it does in Aimee Bender's later work.
In short, it's an extremely engaging and quite unsettling little treat, written with Bender's usual sup ...more
"Books are the mirrors of the soul."
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts
take Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa, especially the writing style and slight drips of metaphysicalness, spirituality, and imagery, slather it with Haruki Murakami; but don't over do it. Add a dash of Karen Russell (when she is on her game).... and you have this book.
these stories, while completely, definitely grounded in their ownness, are somehow linked. The linking is personal
This short story collection was sold to me as a gallery of interesting women and some ...more
I must confess that at first the what the hell am I reading line crossed my mind. The characters were so beyond everything that I simply couldn't bond, couldn't understand. I was growing slightly frustrated. What was the point of reading these? Sim ...more
Short story collections a ...more
At least it was a fast read. Nothing to see - move along, folks!
Take that off, I told him, that's far too heavy for you.
So he gave it to me.
--from "The Girl in the Flammable Skirt"
It's a collection of short stories but most of them make no sense at all. There's no plot or emotional depth. When I actually started to get into a story, it ended.. just like that. With no closure or an end. It just stopped.
I'm going to tell you about one of the stories in spoilers. Don't read it if you're planning on reading the book. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend you to waste your precious time on this book anyway.
(view spoiler)[There's this one sto ...more