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Legs Get Led Astray

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1892061423
ISBN-10: 1892061422
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Chloe Caldwell's Legs Get Led Astray is a scorching hot glitter box of youthful despair and dark delight. Tender and sharp, wide-eyed and searching, these essays have a reckless beauty that feels to me like magic. --Cheryl Strayed

These true stories are raw and heartfelt... gems galore. --Poe Ballantine

Prepare to shed skin. Chloe Caldwell's essays will dare you to dissect your own life. Shot-through with sexuality and sass, her language will get up in you and turn you inside out in the best possible way. --Lidia Yuknavitch

About the Author

Chloe Caldwell lives in New York. Learn more about her at chloecaldwell.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Future Tense Books (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892061422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892061423
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hey! My name's Chloe. I love writing and reading non-fiction. My essay collection, "Legs Get Led Astray" was released April 2012. I'm twenty-six years old and my birthday's in April. At the moment I live in Portland, Oregon, but my heart is in New York state, where I grew up.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. S. Atkinson on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up after hearing the author read and it was one of the smartest impulse buys I've made this year. I don't usually go for essays very much, but I just ate these up. I'm not sure what I liked best; these essays have a great deal of impressive aspects. The author manages to simultaneously convey both an intense hunger for life and the marvels it contains as well as a later introspection of those experiences that is as tender for the darker things as the shining lights. The writing is bold, energetic, and enthralling. It hits hard, but has a tenderness to it as well. In short, I really got into these essays.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gabriella on May 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
i fell in love with the book in the beginning.
i connected with pieces and experiences. but towards the end of the book i felt like the author was justifying, whether to us or herself, that people found her important. that she was something special and loved by all. i finally disconnected around her trip to europe. i wanted more. a revelation, an epiphany, a lesson learned or values learned. if she had, i didn't see it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Calamus Works on March 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. —J.D. Salinger

This is how I felt as I read Legs Get Led Astray by Chloe Caldwell. A collection of 24 essays ranging from her early eyes-wide-open days in New York City to babysitting in Portland to doing little less than existing in Berlin, Caldwell’s writing style and voice brings the reader right into her world. Many of the stories involve drugs, sex, drinking, and general debauchery but they are not sensationalized — Caldwell deftly includes these as parts of her life as easily as someone would mention what class she was taking or what she had for breakfast. Because they are, or at least were, normalcies in her life during the times of these essays. Other essays reflect on her mother, a summer spent as a camp counselor, and dealing with dilapidated housing in Brooklyn. This collection is about relationships when it boils down, relationships with men, women, mothers, brothers, and more.

Caldwell feels completely honest in her descriptions and motives: “…Luke had this secret knowledge of how to be fascinating, and I had this idea that if I jut slept next to him, fondled his art and read his books, then maybe the secret would rub off on me, too.” Her openings tactfully set the scene without laboring the details: “I am secretly pretending he is my little brother. He is openly pretending I am Ariel from The Little Mermaid … In real life, we’re cousins, it’s winter, and we are sick of spending our nine-to-five together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kara on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Caldwell certainly has a distinct writing style. These are more prose poems than true prose, and she heavily favors writing these to a person (using a lot of "yous" in her writing).

I discovered Caldwell when Powell's sent me a piece of her writing as part of an Indiespensables package (if you're reading this, chances are you like to read, and I would highly encourage you to look into Indiespensables). I'm glad I bought her book--the style is right up my alley. I did find, though, that because she had SUCH a distinct style, it got a little tedious. The good news is that these are short stories/essays, and you can stop and start as you please without losing much.

Caldwell writes about things I can relate to (love, mothers, moving across the country, crazy camps that make girls cry in a relieving, freeing sort of way) and lots of things I can't (drugs, orgies, an intense need to snoop through the belongings of those she loves). But she tells it all in such an honest way.

This isn't for everyone. The subjects can get very crass, and the language isn't clean. If this doesn't bother you, I would highly recommend you give Caldwell's little book a shot.
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By Bob Ward on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love Chloe Caldwell's writing. I'd read a number of these essays in their previously published homes, and was incredibly moved each and every time. Her writing is some of the most honest I've ever seen and the emotional impact she can impart is astounding.

Unfortunately this collection works against that. As you read the essays in series, you feel a little numb and burnt-out. The essays, and their shared experiences, start to bleed into one another. Ideally, this collection should be read slowly, over a longer time, so the reader has time to recover from each individual essay.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book one afternoon and at some point I found myself totally enraptured in the world of Ms. Caldwell. Her stories are of everything I am not, and in many ways wish I was. She's cool, she's gorgeous, she's spent time working and living in NYC, doing artistic things, and living a very free lifestyle.

As some reviewers said, some of the language is a bit crass for some tastes, but if you like honest, beautiful essays on things we all think about, then get this book.
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