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Watching Mysteries With My Mother (Kindle Single) (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ben Marcus , Halimah Marcus , Benjamin Samuel
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

“Is there, for each of us, a culprit who will have had it coming when we go?” “Does it increase our chance of survival if we consciously try to live?” In “Watching Mysteries With my Mother,” a new story from Ben Marcus chosen by the editors of Electric Literature, an unnamed narrator considers his culpability in his mother’s inevitable death.

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.

Ben Marcus is the author of several books, including The Age of Wire and String, a collection of stories, and, most recently, The Flame Alphabet, a novel. His stories have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Tin House, and Conjunctions. He lives in New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 263 KB
  • Print Length: 20 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Electric Literature; 1 edition (May 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085CDJW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,693 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. October 19, 2012
By Bobby
Format:Kindle Edition
This is one of the best short stories I have read in a long while. Marcus' tireless considerations of a mother's possibly impending death are obsessive, haunting and beautiful. They are also often funny. The size of this narrator's wonderfully nervous imagination is only outdone by the size of his heart. Watching Mysteries with my Mother is an outstanding achievement. There is so much to love in this story. Read it already.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Words October 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The narrator in this story stews in the abrupt mysteries of death.

And then, as he's thinking about death, he begins to turn over some of the cliches our language has collected about death.

Marcus is hilarious when taking expressions literally, pulling them apart, finding scraps of meaning and revelation.

All that makes for a story that's funny and interesting and reaches out to pluck our common cord of wonder about our own mortality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story October 15, 2012
By Matthew
Format:Kindle Edition
I thought this story was just incredible. The psychological portrait is so beautifully rendered, and the world of the story is so complete, I was really blown away.

Fantastic piece. I've been sending it to friends for weeks now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't think my mother will die today." December 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The narrator has spent the evening watching a British mystery with his mother. She has slept through the second half, but still solves the mystery before he does. The secret is that the "working class characters are functional geniuses compared to the slow-thinking, wealthy, overfed people." Given the immutable rules of a mystery, could there be rules of death as well? Can he find the way to regard death to forestall his mother's death. She is 86 and her, "odd of dying increase every moment of her life." Could he change the odds and would that be a good thing? If he tells her to fight for her life, will she have the tools and knowledge to do so?

I really liked this book. A lot. The thoughts were fresh and wry enough to entrance me into following his ways of thinking. Yet they resonate in a way that tells me I have followed that line of thought myself. Recommend highly.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to know why I finished it. February 10, 2013
By Neil
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Slow and methodical. Starts of slow. Gets a little better. Never makes it to being very good. But it does give you a feeling why he watched mysteries with his mother.
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2.0 out of 5 stars ho hum February 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sometimes, before I drift off to sleep, I allow my mind to wander in this fashion but, never, never would I inflict my rambling thoughts on others. I'm sorry, but this just did not say anything important to to me, except, of course, that we all die. Duh!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars enjoying it. December 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Was not sure about this, but I find that I am enjoying it. Thank you. Believe I will be satisfied with it.
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