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Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories Paperback – August 1, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Simply stated, Angela Carter has taken icons and myths we were all raised with and given them back to us in a form we know and trust. In stories. Her stories are adult fairy tales; lush, penetrating, uninhibited and dark.
An introduction by Salman Rushdie sets the perfect tone for the reading ahead. It is the closest to gushing the man has ever come. He says, these stories are also a treasure , to savour and to hoard. They begin with her early works, from 1962-6. The Man Who Loved the Double Bass tells the story of a musician in madly love with his instrument. Could he live without her? In the section called Fireworks; Nine Profane Pieces from 1974, Carters work begins an ethereal exploration on of the psyche in achingly beautiful prose. Her ability to write fantastical tableaus is showcased. In The Executioners Daughter, an executioner is told to execute his only son. The setting, itself, becomes a character. In Penetrating to the Heart of the Forest, a brother and sister are nudged into exploring the a dark forest and its hidden fruit tree. The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is next, featuring writings from 1979. These are fairy tales retold for adults and contains some of the most stunning and psychological erotic written. Black Venus contains writing from 1985 and American Ghosts and Old World Wonders, work from 1993.Read more ›
Regardless of whether I enjoy the story (and I must admit, I haven't enjoyed all of them), I cannot help but be blown away by her writing. It literally takes my breath away. She is one of the only authors that has this effect on me. Her retellings of fairy tales leave me in awe.
The more of her I read, the more obsessed I become. She is truly an amazing writer. I constantly ask myself how anyone can be so talented. I just don't understand it. Her writing is nothing short of stunning.
Carter is often presented as a writer who retells fairy tales, adding a feminist twist or telling them from an unexpected vantage point. Carter chafed at the description, saying she extracted “latent content” and started new stories (rephrased from the quote in Helen Simpson’s introduction to The Bloody Chamber). Women are no passive objects of desire. Desire and eroticism are her prevalent themes. Dark. Darker. Darkest.
About this collection…
Language. Readers will either love or hate it. Almost all the stories are narrative, with very little dialog, so the stories are dense and the reader falls into the forest or stays distant from it. There is nothing wrong with chunks of prose, but the eyes start skimming it because the writing is overwritten. Carter’s style would make the Minimalist School of Writing, its students and teachers scream for an editor. Carter writes long sentences, lards them with expensive adjectives and will, more often than not, leave the impression that she writes to impress. Do you like Beethoven hammering the keys or Chopin? It really is a matter of taste. When a writer overwrites, I interpret it as insecurity, but your opinion may differ.
In a word, the writing can get overripe as eggplant and precious, but read her for where her imagination takes her. That is why you should Carter -- for the experience. She shows readers black velvet and the drops of blood that make it darker.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This woman uses her imagination like Jordan plays ball. She's always surprising, shocking, even. The interesting thing is that her stuff often gets described as "dark,"... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Unwit
Sex and violence abound in this collection of short stories. Some revamps of classic tales, most of which have a feminist twist. Enjoyable over all. with clever retellings.Published on July 10, 2013 by Adam
The world of an Angela Carter short story is a world at once fantastic and familiar. Tigers, werewolves and other beasts stalk through; Bluebeard, Red Riding Hood and Puss-in-Boots... Read morePublished on October 30, 2012 by Orna Ross
I absolutely love this book. Carter's stories are so visual, so haunting, they stay with you forever. Read morePublished on April 9, 2012 by Shakey Jones
This is a great book. I was taken back by her imagery. Her tells are striking and slightly unnerving. I recommend this book to any one who is tired of the usual narrative template. Read morePublished on January 31, 2011 by Customer
The book of forty-two tales is divided into six sections. The first, Early Work, 1962-6, shows little promise, but highlights the modifier-mania that would seize her career. Read morePublished on September 29, 2008 by Cosmoetica
angela carter is one of my newly aquired favorite reads.her poetic insight and humor are matched by none. Read morePublished on February 1, 2006 by Violet