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Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Be aware that Carter's excellent story of Lizzie Bordenis edited in this editon. The fabulou8s dinner scene, described in great detail in other editons of this story has been deleted from this version. E. Hobbs
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
In 'Notes From the Front Line', Carter said that she was not in the remythologizing business but in the demythologizing business. Anna Katsavos asked Angela Carter what she meant by that. Angela said, 'Well, I'm basically trying to find out what certain configurations of imagery in our society, in our culture, really stand for, what they mean, underneath the kind of semireligious coating that makes people not particularly want to interfere with them.'
Simply stated, Angela Carter has taken icons and myths we were all raised with and given them back to us in a form we know and trust. In stories. Her stories are adult fairy tales; lush, penetrating, uninhibited and dark.
An introduction by Salman Rushdie sets the perfect tone for the reading ahead. It is the closest to gushing the man has ever come. He says, these stories are also a treasure , to savour and to hoard. They begin with her early works, from 1962-6. The Man Who Loved the Double Bass tells the story of a musician in madly love with his instrument. Could he live without her? In the section called Fireworks; Nine Profane Pieces from 1974, Carters work begins an ethereal exploration on of the psyche in achingly beautiful prose. Her ability to write fantastical tableaus is showcased. In The Executioners Daughter, an executioner is told to execute his only son. The setting, itself, becomes a character. In Penetrating to the Heart of the Forest, a brother and sister are nudged into exploring the a dark forest and its hidden fruit tree. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is next, featuring writings from 1979. These are fairy tales retold for adults and contains some of the most stunning and psychological erotic written. Black Venus contains writing from 1985 and American Ghosts and Old World Wonders, work from 1993. Uncollected Stories contains work from 1970-81, featuring The Scarlet House, about a woman trapped in a house by a master of Chaos.
These short stories are profane, wise, surreal, unrepentant and brilliant. The Tiger's Bride alone is worth the price of admission in to this magical world.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately the story of Lizzie Borden in this editon has been edited mercilessly, a fact my English proffessor only became aware of when she was teaching from a different editon--reccommend that one try to find collection in original form--Carter is too good to be edited so thoughtlessly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Carter in my women's lit class, with "The Company of Wolves," (which still stands as my favorite Carter story). I was shocked that I had never read any of her writing before. A few days later, I went and ordered "Burning your Boats." I haven't been disappointed.
Regardless of whether I enjoy the story (and I must admit, I haven't enjoyed all of them), I cannot help but be blown away by her writing. It literally takes my breath away. She is one of the only authors that has this effect on me. Her retellings of fairy tales leave me in awe.
The more of her I read, the more obsessed I become. She is truly an amazing writer. I constantly ask myself how anyone can be so talented. I just don't understand it. Her writing is nothing short of stunning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Carter's stories are so beautifully-written I find myself wanting to read them aloud. If only five or so collections of short stories existed in my library, I would make sure "Burning Your Boats" is among them. Carter was fantastic at bringing sexual tension and the macabre to the surface of fairy tales and folklore. Overall, this book is a fine investment of both time and money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
These stories are extremely engrossing. Carter puts her unique spin on familiar fairy tales, while creating a few new ones of her own. These aren't your grandmother's fairy tales. Carter's work is filled with contradictions and mutations of beauty, profanity, humor, and the macabre, whether told richly as in "The Loves of Lady Purple", or more subtly as in "The Fall River Axe Murders". These dark, beautiful, magical stories are more akin to what fairy tales were originally like before they got all cleaned up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2003
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Having enjoyed the novels of Angela Carter, I decided to give her short stories a try.
Written in the same poetic style, these stories require reading very slowly in order to enoy the language. The dense sybolism requires that you think about each story for a while before proceeding to the next. In fact I would recommend reading only a few at sitting.
Like any author of short stories, Carter wrote a few that failed to draw me in. But these failures only point to the stengths of those that did.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This collection of Carter's work showcases her unique genius handsomely. Her interesting reworkings of popular myths and tales (see also her shorter collection, "The Bloody Chamber") are classics not to be missed, and this text provides one-stop shopping to get her body of short stories in a portable size. The tight, half-creepy, half-sexy, vaguely nihilistic narratives are rich and textured, and are the perfect length for very grown-up bedtime stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
angela carter is one of my newly aquired favorite reads.her poetic insight and humor are matched by none. she is also a feminist, and has a macabre sense of direction in her stories. if you appreciate the fantastical and visually stimulating world of imagination, mixed with sexually-driven directness, try this book. very entertaining. smart but not smug. unique and creative in a world of repetitiveness...i also loved "the infernal desire machines of dr. hoffman" - a novel by carter which delighted me and made me sad to finish reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Women who turn INTO wolves among other nightmarish images.Adult tales to be savored slowly, preferably aloud, in front of a fireon a dark and stromy night. These stories are word-dense; keep a dictionary close by. Things are not what they may seem on first reading, or even the second. Not to be missed!
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