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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Includes everything it's supposed to include. Light to moderate shelf wear. No apparent underlining/highlighting.
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Paper Tigers Paperback – February 29, 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...deeply emotional and beautifully poetic."
-Cemetery Dance Online

"This isn't just a great novel - it's one of the best horror novels in recent memory."
-Hellnotes

"...a smartly dark, deftly crafted journey into the depths of damaged humanity."
-Dread Central

"Paper Tigers is a gorgeous tapestry of pain from an author who specializes in just such intricate needlework. It's about suffering, and wholeness, fear, longing, insecurity, self-loathing, and the prices we'd pay to get back what we lost."
-The Horror Fiction Review

EARLY PRAISE:

"Paper Tigers is full of hauntings of every sort, a modern ghost story of the very best kind, combining the delicate mania of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the subtlety of Shirley Jackson and the raw dynamism of Joyce Carol Oates. But what Walters delivers here is thoroughly her own creation: a starkly beautiful tale of what it means to survive."
—HELEN MARSHALL, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Gifts for the One Who Comes After

Paper Tigers gathers the best from every childhood scary story—creepy antiques, haunted houses, seemingly friendly ghosts—and repackages them with the worst and most isolating of adult fears. Walters’ prose is vivid and gripping, luring you in, feeding you images that will leave you comforted by the light of your bedside nightstand; horror nostalgia at its finest.”
—REBECCA JONES-HOWE, author of Vile Men

“With Paper Tigers, Damien Angelica Walters has created a hauntingly elegant portrait of loneliness and longing for healing. But where she confronts real terror is in answering the question of what it costs the wounded to be whole again. This book is at once as beautiful and frightening as a scar on smooth skin or a scream with perfect pitch.”
—BRACKEN MACLEOD, author of Mountain Home and Stranded

“Damien Angelica Walters pulls you into the heart of her characters and traps you there until you’re not sure if the story is haunting you, or you’re haunting it. Wonderfully creepy and heartwarming, fear and sadness alternate and blend throughout in a story that’s packed with atmosphere. Keep the lights on and the tissues close.”
—SARAH READ, editor of Pantheon Magazine

About the Author

Damien Angelica Walters is the author of Paper Tigers (Dark House Press, 2016) and Sing Me Your Scars (Apex Publications, 2015). Her short fiction has been nominated twice for a Bram Stoker Award, reprinted in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year's Best Weird Fiction, and published in various anthologies and magazines, including Cassilda's Song, Nightscript I, Cemetery Dance OnlineNightmare Magazine, Black Static, and Apex Magazine. She's also a freelance editor and, until the magazine's closing in 2013, she was an Associate Editor of the Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Dark House Press (February 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940430577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940430577
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paper Tigers is a hauntingly somber coming of age story of sorts. Not coming of age in the sense of a young boy or girl discovering themselves with time and experience, but coming of age in the way a traumatic event destroys someone and they are forced to rediscover themselves. It is also a gothic ghost story set in Baltimore. Finally, I also felt Paper Tigers had some body horror elements to it as well. Walters does a great job of conveying the Allison's emotional pain but she does and even better job of describing the constriction of her physical scars.

After being severely burnt and losing everything in a fire, Allison is slowly mustering the courage to get out of her house again. On a late night walk she is invited into an antique shop and finds an old photo album. The album begins to lure Allison into the time period and world of those who are photographed with in the photos. She discovers that some horrible things happened inside the house pictured in the album. She also discovers that her scars disappear when she is inside the album. Eventually Allison is forced to choose if it's worth staying in this scary world with no scars or face reality as a burn victim. Also, while traveling back and forth between reality and the ghost world she realizes she could be risking releasing a brutal murdered from the photo album to the real world.

I put the spoiler button on this review but I am not really going to give anything away. I just want to say that the book doesn't have a happy ending but I really really liked the ending. I am not one of those people that thinks all endings should be happy. I enjoyed the book overall but found the ending exceptional.
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Format: Paperback
I still have not seen Crimson Peak, and after the reviews of it, might be a while … because, THIS book is much more the sort of thing I would have expected/wanted from a lavish, moody, atmospheric, gothic mystery-drama. Anything less, really, is going to be a major let-down.

Okay and so maybe I could totes see Hiddleston as George, so what?

The point is, Paper Tigers is a gorgeous tapestry of pain from an author who specializes in just such intricate needlework. It’s about suffering, and wholeness, fear, longing, insecurity, self-loathing, and the prices we’d pay to get back what we lost.

Main character Alison is a burn victim. Not a survivor, but a victim, because her condition consumes her every waking moment and rules her world. Half her body is a disfigured mess of scar tissue. She thinks of herself as Monstergirl, having lost her hopes, her future, and everything but a hollow and reclusive existence.

Despite the efforts of her mother, her doctor, and her physical therapist, Alison hardly even ventures outside. On one of her rare excursions, she finds an old photo album at an antique shop and adds it to her collection – she enjoys looking at these images from the lives of others, making up stories to fill in what’s captured in the pictures.

There’s something strange about this particular album, though. It has an entire haunted house of dark history within its pages, and its inhabitants want Alison to join them. The offer is tempting – in their world, she can lose her scars, she can lose her pain … but at what price?

So, yeah, movie-making people, this is the one you need to do. It’s awesomely written, the sets and effects and costumes would be beautiful, it’s got tragedy and romance, it’s got it all. Somebody get Hiddleston’s people on the phone. And if he’s not available, how about Radcliffe?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paper Tigers is the story of a woman, Alison, who was scarred beyond recognition in a horrific fire. She leaves her home only at night, when no one can see her. One evening, she stumbles upon an antique shop open in the middle of the night, and she buys an antique photo album to add to her collection. Looking at the photographs of long-dead strangers provides a strange comfort to her.

Of course, the photo album isn't just a photo album; it promises to make her broken self whole.

The premise of this book is an interesting one, and Waters attempts to explore obsession, isolation, and brokenness through this plot. However, throughout the second half especially, it feels more like I'm reading a cliche horror movie transcribed into novel form, complete with fading, discordant piano notes. Descriptions of Alison's obsession are surface at best, and times that I felt engaged with her pain or fear were few and far between.

Overall, I can't say that I particularly recommend this book. It's not terrible; it's not great. A solid "meh" from me.

Started: May 4, 2016
Finished: May 12, 2016

Rating: 6/10
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Format: Paperback
With only one novel and one collection to her name before this, Damien Angelica Walters has nonetheless garnered quite the following in genre circles, and with good reason.

In Paper Tigers we meet Alison, a young woman bearing the scars – physically and emotionally – of a fire that stopped her former life in its tracks. Once well on her way to becoming a teacher, she now lives a life of isolation, afraid to set foot outside of the house. Her body is unrecognizable, her fiance is gone, her hopes and dreams seem a distant memory. Her mother and physical therapist are trying in earnest to help, but things are moving much too fast for her to handle. She hasn’t lost hope, but she’s stuck in a sort of limbo.

One day, having summoned the courage to get out for a walk, she comes across an antique shop wherein she finds a curious photo album which might be just the thing she needed. The photographs are like doorways to the past, to a house inhabited by a man who has the power to take away her scars. It’s an incredible offer, but of course there’s a price to be paid.

From here on out, as Alison moves between past and present, her internal plight and the things happening to and around her are masterfully intertwined. In some passages Paper Tigers reads like a psychedelic, classically gothic fever dream, while in others it becomes a quiet rumination on the way past scars can transmute and take on an internal life of their own. The whole of it is wrapped in purposeful, delicate prose. Upon rereading, it reveals multiple layers, both of Alison’s psyche and the nearsighted way our society often views the contrast between beauty and ugliness.
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