Tatiana's Reviews > Red Spikes

Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan
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really liked it
bookshelves: short-stories, only-i-will-like, ya, 2010, aus-nz
Recommended to Tatiana by: ala
Recommended for: existing fans of Margo Lanagan, people not averse to weird

Writing short stories is not easy. As much as I like, let's say, Kelley Armstrong, her anthologies Men of the Otherworld and Tales of the Otherworld are not really collections of short stories. They are collections of scenes in the lives of her characters and nothing more.

Lanagan, on the other hand, is a great short story writer. Her stories remind me a lot of the works of one of my favorite writers (and IMO the greatest writer of short stories) - Guy de Maupassant, not thematically, but in the quality. Both excel at creating very short (not more than 10-15 pages) and pointed stories, all with rich backgrounds, deep characterization and climaxes that leave you pondering on the complexities of human nature.

Red Spikes consists of 10 stories of life, death, love, violence, and courage, each is laced with supernatural but ultimately illuminating humanity. My favorite stories in the collection are "Monkey's Paternoster," in which female monkeys in a harem-like group endure the rivalries of alpha males, and "Under Hell, Over Heaven" where characters in purgatory witness a soul's descent into hell.

Just like Lanagan's Printz Honor winning novel Tender Morsels, Red Spikes will not appeal to all readers. The stories have an air of weirdness about them, the language is complex and a lot of patience is required to acclimate to each story's fresh setup. However existing fans of the writer and those who, like me, have a taste for strange and bizarre are sure to enjoy this book. I will definitely check out Margo Lanagan's other short story collections - Black Juice and White Time.
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Reading Progress

April 30, 2010 – Shelved
May 28, 2010 – Started Reading
May 28, 2010 – Shelved as: short-stories
May 28, 2010 –
page 20
May 29, 2010 –
page 50
29.94% "An example of what a good short story us."
May 29, 2010 –
page 50
29.94% "Outstanding short stories"
May 29, 2010 –
page 78
May 29, 2010 – Shelved as: only-i-will-like
May 29, 2010 – Shelved as: ya
June 1, 2010 – Shelved as: 2010
June 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
July 28, 2011 – Shelved as: aus-nz

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Good review T! I always like reading your reviews - they almost make me want to read the book in question, but alas, no cozy cottages in your reading worlds...lol!

That is seriously one of the creepiest covers I've ever seen.

Tatiana LOL. I understand. I wouldn't recommend it to you for sure. In fact, I don't know who I would recommend it to.

message 3: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Well, it's a testament to your review skills that it does tempt!

Tatiana Thank you for the compliment:)

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