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St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – August 14, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I was reading along in Karen Russell's debut volume of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, and I was pretty sure it was going to get an excellent review. I figured it would flirt with inclusion in my Best Reads of 2007 list. Then I read "Out to Sea." Not only is this book a shoo-in for the Best List-- a pretty amazing feat for a book I read in the first two weeks of the year-- but I'm reasonably confident in saying it's got a shot at the overall title, and I can say with great confidence that Karen Russell made a devoted lifelong fan with that story, a masterpiece of emotional wordplay and controlled eroticism. (The story that follows it, "Accident Brief, #00/422," takes the exact opposite tack to the same basic destination, giving us a laugh-out-loud funny narrator who injects moments of such hopeless despair that the reader will find himself stopping laughing, instantly and uncomfortably, on an alarmingly regular basis.) Ben Marcus, in one of the blurbs on the back cover, says "This book is a miracle.", and I am inclined to agree with him.
It would be easy, if a touch simplistic, to pigeonhole Russell's stories in the magical realism genre. All the hallmarks are there-- normal (well, kind of) people, real (or at least plausible) places, supernatural (or are they, really?) events. So, yeah. Lots of qualifiers there. Borges/Marquez/Murakami/Hoffman/et al. would recognize Russell on sight, but less as a daughter than as a second cousin once removed. The same could be said of any genre where one might fit Russell's work; it seems to be a new beast all its own.
Genre, however, is not as important as skill, and Russell is an immensely skilled writer.Read more ›
The one exception is the title story, which is quite stunning and worth reading by itself. It isn't worth the price of the book, though, so get the collection from your local library and skip to the end.
The setting of many of her tales - the woods of south Florida and the south in general - were vivid, and were an element that I particularly liked. I enjoyed her characters and the unpredictable and slighly supernatural events they found themselves in. But I could never get used to the abrupt ending of her stories. I really wanted to like this book, but I can only give it 3 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If i could give this zero stars I would. I love reading, but this was so all over the place I couldn't even get through the second short story. It made no sense whatsoever. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Me
Not what I expected. Rather depressing. Sorry, but to be honest, I couldn't finish it. It was a book club choice and we all agreed it wasn't a good choice. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maggie's Mom
Very inventive plots with unusual points of view. Enjoyed most of the stories, but wished she would turn some of them into novels; it felt unsatisfying to read the short story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mo Mig
Imaginative tales from a talented writer. The title story is one of the strongest in this collection of 'modern-day fables'. Read morePublished 3 months ago by J Ludic
She's an acquired taste maybe? Obviously a creative and good writer - I just thought her worlds were slightly creepy and certainly overly predictable.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's probably my fault. I was expecting something different. I just didn't even know what the heck was going on half the time I don't want to work that hard when I read for... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Biddy Mulligan
First fiction book I've bought in forever (grad school will do that to you...), and the only short stories book I've ever bought in my life, and I really liked it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by California Marmot
I absolutely love Karen Russell's work. I don't think any other author has grabbed my attention like she has, especially for short stories. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer