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Angel Lust (Kindle Single) (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading Book 14) [Kindle Edition]

Maggie Shipstead , Halimah Marcus
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

In LA Times First Fiction Award winner Maggie Shipstead's "Angel Lust," Simon Orff, a thrice-married movie producer, departs for his deceased father’s house, daughters selfishly in tow.

“If he had to referee their squabbles and navigate their quicksilver emotions while sifting through his father’s possessions, he hoped the house would not seem so empty, or he hoped at least the emptiness would be neutral.”

'If only," writes Halimah Marcus, Co-Editor of Electric Literature, in her introduction. "Instead, the emptiness proves quite virile. His father’s possessions are souvenirs of his romance with Simon’s mother (who died suddenly of a brain aneurism at forty-eight), further evidence of desire having its own half-life, independent of bodies and their relationships."

But for Simon, a man who "had always perceived a chaos in women about to break loose," "lust for his first wife has out-lived their marriage, while lust for his current wife is lifeless—bored, as he characterizes it, with her eagerness, her nubility," writes Marcus.

About the author:
Maggie Shipstead grew up in Orange County, CA. Maggie is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. She won the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize and the 2012 LA Times First Fiction Award for Seating Arrangements. Her short fiction has appeared in The Mississippi Review, The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best American Short Stories.

About Recommended Reading:
Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, the latest project from Electric Literature, publishes one story every week, each chosen by a great author or editor. In this age of distraction, we uncover writing that's worth slowing down and spending some time with. And in doing so, we help give great writers, literary magazines, and independent presses the recognition (and readership) they deserve.


Product Details

  • File Size: 330 KB
  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Electric Literature; 1 edition (May 20, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CX9FR3Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,989 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enough ennui to fill you up with emptiness June 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you've read Joan Didion's "Play It As It Lays" or can conjure up an image of Tuesday Weld from the film, you'll get an idea of the ennui that infuses Maggie Shipstead's "Angel Lust."

After reading this e-short, I felt like lying down, curling up and sucking my thumb for a little comfort. I ate some Caramel Cashew ice cream instead, cold, salty and creamy smooth.

It's a pitch-perfect story of a Hollywood family - movie producer Simon Orff, three times married, his two nubile teenage daughters, wife number one, the mother of his rootless, vague-minded offspring and wife number three.

Monty, 13, (Monterey) the youngest daughter is purging herself on a diet of water, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon juice, the ingredients that for her constitute elements from the primary food groups. Vanessa, 19, depending on how you want to look at is either ethereal or just plain self-involved spacey. You get the feeling that despite their many trappings of money and prestige, the members of this family grouping are going to continue leading a life empty of much satisfaction or fulfillment.

Simon herds the girls into the Range Rover and heads out of Los Angeles up into the mountains to visit for a final time the farmhouse of his recently deceased father. Sorting through his father's few possessions, one of the girls comes across a stash of mementos, family relics from the past that inform the present in a way that is unsettling and uncanny.

If you understand the meaning of the title, you'll have a pretty good idea of the exotic heat that inhabits the story. If you don't know the meaning of "Angel Lust," that's another good reason to read the story. Shipstead writes with economy and a great sense of timing. She manages to breathe life into her characters in a way that leaves a deep impression about desire and disillusionment.

In a word: Penetrating
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Creepy June 9, 2013
By D. Vest
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story is an undeveloped (thank GOD) idea based on the erections of male corpses. And a divorce. And visitation with daughters. And erotic photos of one's mother.Successfully creepy story, where nothing important or blatantly disturbing happens. Just sort of sickening.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it before it's made into a movie May 27, 2013
By Reader
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Slick, cinematic, of the moment, this flawlessly crafted story centers on a disillusioned, womanizing film producer caught between his family's inglorious past, in the form of his estranged, farm-dwelling father, and its terrifying future, embodied by his fame-hungry, seemingly soulless daughters. Masterful in its execution, written in the economic, precise language of a writer at the top of her game, the piece delves into the complexity, the disappointments and contradictions of sexual desire, while managing to capture with uncanny accuracy the sometimes unbridgeable-seeming gulf that opens up between parents and children as well as the delinquent, entitled, vacuous culture of celebrity. At one point in the narrative, the protagonist muses that a story from his childhood holds the seed of a film, or at least a strong scene. "Angel Lust" too should readily lend itself to a film adaptation, dealing as it does with nubile beauties and creaky old houses. But it would be neither a slasher film nor a rom-com. The material found here should provide for filmmaking of a higher order. If and when the adaptation hits the screens, I'll be the first in line for tickets.
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