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Heroes and Villains Paperback – January 25, 1991

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'An unashamed fantasist, a fabulist of daemonic energy' The Times 'Angela Carter is a genius' -- Victoria Glendinning --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Angela Carter (1940 -1992) wrote nine novels and numerous short stories, as well as nonfiction, radio plays, and the screenplay for Neil Jordan's 1984 movie The Company of Wolves, based on her story. She won numerous literary awards, traveled and taught widely in the United States, and lived in London.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (January 25, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140234640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140234640
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay Dickson VINE VOICE on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Angela Carter's 1969 novel, while difficult to find in the United States, is an important work in her oeuvre: it marked her willingness to be hampered less by the demands of realism (the bounds of which she had pushed in her previous novels given their obsessive interest in fantasy) and to give full rein to her interest in the fantastic. In many ways, this short novel is a reworking of the basic story of her previous and better-known work THE MAGIC TOYSHOP, where a young girl is violently transported from the home of her upbringing to a savage and dreamlike realm dominated by a vicious patriarchal enchanter figure, except here we are now more firmly in the genre of fantasy fiction: her Marianne lives in a concrete-constructed world of the Professors and Soldiers, the last bulwark of civilization after a great nuclear war, and she is carried away by a "barbarian" named Jewel to the jungles that now infest Great Britain. (At the point of Marianne's transition, Carter's prose becomes much less sterile and assumes the richer and more dense qualities readers more often associate with her work.) Although the rogue professor living among and dominating the barbarians is an opponent for Marianne, her more complex antagonism is with Jewel, who becomes first her friend, then her rapist, and finally her husband. It might well be that the discomfiting relations of power and sex between the two characters, which are quite difficult to fit into current contemporary paradigms of relations between the sexes, is why this novel is not better known among Carter's work. (The nothing title, which Carter took from the famous Beach Boys song, is also likely a reason.) But it's a rich and fascinating fiction, and deserves to be read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An emotional, intense story that takes place after a world wide holocaust. Do not expect to be uplifted. At the same time, expect deeply moving moments. There are tragedies and a love story, shows of courage, and complete foolishness. In other words this is a book about humanity and all its failings set in a time when the basic challenges of survival highlight both the basest and most courageous human qualities. I will read this book again because the writing is so expressive, so eloquent, and, I will definitely be reading other works by Angela Carter.
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Format: Paperback
I've read several Angela Carter novels--all of them great, but "Heroes and Villains" disappointed. After the glorious reading offered by "The Magic Toyshop" and "Several Perceptions," I had high expectations for "Heroes and Villains" which it sadly did not meet. A decent novel altogether but it lacks Carter's magical prose and she fails to create a convincing post-apocalyptic world. Furthermore, Marianne and Jewel are not very interesting characters. It is an ambitious story clearly influenced by the guru movement of the 1960's, and although its message is still pertinent, the novel itself feels more like an artifact of the flower power generation. Instead, I would recommend "The Magic Toyshop," "Several Perceptions," "Nights at the Circus" and "The Bloody Chamber" for anyone deeply interested in Angela Carter.
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By A Customer on September 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
An astonishing little book describing the throes of a woman caught up in a hopeless post-apocalyptic world. Beautifully written, in a dark, haunting, extistential style.
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