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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal
Rebecca Brown is one of the most original writers I have read in a long time. Her writing is intense and succint and the environments and situations she crafts surreal. I think that for the mere fact that her work is good she would appeal to a wide audience.
More specifically and at the risk of pigeon-holing her and her work, which again is unlike much else that I...
Published on December 12, 2003

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you have time and nerve...
... you will want to set aside a good deal of time to try and absorb the many layers of this book. It is an attempt to cry out against female opression but is a failed attempt due to the complexity of layers that can only be absorbed by multiple reads. But the book is not good enough to reread and the comparisons are too far-fetched in an unpleasant way. Maybe I will...
Published on October 12, 2003


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal, December 12, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Terrible Girls (Paperback)
Rebecca Brown is one of the most original writers I have read in a long time. Her writing is intense and succint and the environments and situations she crafts surreal. I think that for the mere fact that her work is good she would appeal to a wide audience.
More specifically and at the risk of pigeon-holing her and her work, which again is unlike much else that I have encountered, she is one of the best lesbian writers out there right now. There's so much generic fiction being put out by indie alt publishers (they are SO important, I'm a huge supporter, achieving and maintaining visibility in the arts is so crucial to the effort of attaining similiarly in the wider world, but they can and should have standards - if it's one good novel, it will stand out and be infinitely more important then 30,000 poorly written and edited texts that tell us nothing new in the same old cliched language)- Brown's work is intelligently conceived and beautifully written. It is also challenging, but all great literature tends to be - give her a try - I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Forgiveness became my fave short story in college..., February 7, 2014
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My introduction to writer Rebecca Brown was in a women's literature course in college. We read the short story "Forgiveness", and it should give some indication of the impact this author has had that we read the story from an edition of the renowned Norton's Anthology of Women's Literature. I was hooked. Later I tried to find the short story to purchase separately from the very very large and heavy Norton's Anthology, and was initially disappointed to find that it only comes as a part of this collection of other short stories by Brown. I was wary that the other stories might not be as good. However, I have since read half of the stories in this collection (and, really, there's no reason why I haven't finished the entire collection by now except that I keep jumping to other new things I want to read) and Rebecca Brown is just a phenomenal story teller. I love the allegories in her stories, and relate to them deeply - because although I am heterosexual, the stories are about relationships, and gay or straight the feelings are the same. I highly recommend her stories to pretty much every person I discuss books with, and hope Brown keeps writing.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark, intense, incredible!, March 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Terrible Girls (Paperback)
i am an avid reader who is ussually bored by "best sellers" and instead is captivated by beautiful writing. this is one of my favorites and i've probably read it 5 times in the past 7 years. the stories are about love and betrayal and have a delicious nightmarish quality...
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrible girls are terribly great!, July 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Terrible Girls (Paperback)
this book rocked my world. the pomo style follows in the lesbianlit footsteps of monique wittig. thank god there's more than the well of loneliness out there.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you have time and nerve..., October 12, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Terrible Girls (Paperback)
... you will want to set aside a good deal of time to try and absorb the many layers of this book. It is an attempt to cry out against female opression but is a failed attempt due to the complexity of layers that can only be absorbed by multiple reads. But the book is not good enough to reread and the comparisons are too far-fetched in an unpleasant way. Maybe I will change my mind tomorrow but I doubt it. Brown overvoices and fails her cause, making this novel an excellent example of 'camp' art.
If you do read it, it must be read in order and the entire set of stories has to be read because they all relate to each other. The final story ties the previous stories toegther but really cannot stand alone. No single story here has the merit to stand alone but they work as a collection.
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4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars what gives?, October 20, 2005
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M. Lohrke (Saratoga Springs, UT) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Terrible Girls (Paperback)
i had to read this book for a class and i didn't enjoy a single word, sentence, paragraph or page. sure, brown is great at setting up mood and tone, but the writing itself is so awful that 90% of the time i was wondering if it was intentionally bad--like so bad it's good. there's nothing likeable about the characters. the main character, whomever she is, is one of the most pathetic characters i've ever read. each of the short stories is an exercise in co-dependant lust. brown's narrator continually talks about a lost love, yet everything the narrator reveals proves it was nothing more than physical lust. it's hard to get behind a character who can't think, act, or depend for/on herself. the narrator is practically rendered immobile by this former lover. and it's simply impossible to read. but perhaps i'm a bit unfair in that i didn't finish the book.

i suppose those individuals who gravitate towards this type of writing (and i realize i'm making gross generalizations here) are postmodern types who believe style is preferable to substance. and i suppose that's all well and good. if you want literature that exposes the frailties of humankind, exposes our contradictions, and actually has something to say about humanity, avoid rebecca brown at all costs. if you want literature full of flowery writing, postmodern psychobabble, trite adolescent sentimentality, and co-dependent characters, by all means, buy this book. for example: in the story 'junk mail,' the narrator believes she finds codes and clues from an ex-lover in the mail. by the end of the story the narrator's on an island as a helicopter lowers her returned body parts. you gotta be kidding me.

after reading a handful of stories i wanted to hurt myself. badly.

i have nothing against rebecca brown as a person. i'm sure she's lovely. but how this book got published is beyond me.
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The Terrible Girls
The Terrible Girls by Rebecca Brown (Paperback - January 1, 2001)
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