Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.29 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Spectacle: Stories Paperback – January 8, 2013
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
In a voice that is both edgy and sardonic, and with a style that is spare and often unconventional, Steinberg links the experiences of young women contending with age-old problems of love, abandonment, grief, and destruction. “Superstar” rocks the collection’s opening in a tale of unrequited love gone wrong, while in the closing “Universal,” she demonstrates the consequences of confusing lust for love. In between, Steinberg tackles the death of an unloved parent in “Cowboys” and “Cowgirl” and presents the degradation of domestic abuse in “Underthings.” None of these subjects make for easy reading, but in Steinberg’s agile hands, the potent telling is more than worth the potential discomfort. Steinberg’s heroines are a fiercely introspective and reflexively bold lot, and their personal dilemmas are vibrantly communicated through narratives delivered with both staccato briskness and stream-of-consciousness languor. As they stagger helplessly through gritty urban landscapes or dance exuberantly past stealthy emotional minefields, Steinberg’s women offer an idiosyncratic yet thoroughly recognizable take on contemporary relationships. --Carol Haggas
“In pithy, rhythmic sentences that sound like biting poetry, Steinberg's all-female narrators tell stories of loss, abandonment, failure to love, and failure to 'perform' in the ways the people in their lives expect them to.” ―Page-Turner, the blog of The New Yorker, "Books to Watch Out For"
“[Steinberg] takes bold risks, exploring the boundaries of narrative and the possibilities of language and syntax. . . Steinberg's prose is rhythmic, hypnotic--teasing out confessions and revelations in stream-of-consciousness language. . . . Spectacle is a marvel.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“Readers of Lydia Davis and Anne Carson will welcome Steinberg's spare, innovative prose imbued with the cadence of verse. Rendered with formal originality, these hard-to-put-down stories explore the wounds that turn desire for love into performance art. This is a vulnerable book, gorgeously attending to grief, to lust, courageously bearing witness to all of life's deprave and human spectacles.” ―Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
“Written with a sparse and grim tone, Steinberg's stories all have individual rhythms, and call to mind Lydia Davis trimming down Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son.” ―Flavorwire, "The 10 Best Short Story Collections of 2013"
“What makes Susan Steinberg's story collection so refreshing is how concentrated the prose feels. Every sentence feels loaded, almost like a line of poetry.” ―Complex, "The Best Books of 2013"
“[A] linked-story extravaganza. . . . [A] devastating cluster of uncompromising, funny, and eye-opening stories about women trapped in a male-centered world.” ―Village Voice
“Both [Steinberg's] characters and [her] narratives store meaning in the spaces between the conventions, where the silence of a line break or an unspoken thought speaks volumes. At once vibrant and violent, Spectacle takes on unexpected territory and reveals it is all too familiar. . . . Deeply illuminating.” ―Shelf Awareness for Readers
“Narrated entirely by women whose voices merge, divide, recur, and dissipate into one another, [Spectacle feels] novelistic in scope and ambition. Steinberg is a maestro of stylistic innovation, conducting orbits of narrative and motif, coaxing meaning and music from each line. . . . With its literary inventions and sharp storytelling, this is a masterpiece of contemporary short fiction.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Each narrator is unique and tells a unique story and I find each story holds something everyone can relate to.
I would recommend this book to anyone!
The first thing I noticed was the way the first chapter consisted of one-sentence paragraphs with interesting repetitions and word play, while the second chapter begins with a semicolon and is just one eight-page paragraph with phrases separated by semicolons. That took some getting used to, but as I read through I got caught up in the rhythm and music of the story and began to enjoy it.
The book is labeled as fiction but it is a very personal story and I wonder if it is memoir in disguise. The protagonist finds herself in many odd situations -- stealing her boyfriend's car radio, experiencing sexual betrayal, having a friend die in a plane crash, and finding herself "in this bed that was no way my bed" -- and we both laugh and feel sad as we get her odd perspective. One part I enjoyed was her description of Club Midnight in Baltimore where there were no windows, where "We knew it was morning because of sudden blue shadows under our eyes."
I recommend this book for readers who are attracted to prose poetry and enjoy irony and humor. I don't know what to make of this work. I just think it's funny and "cool." Maybe if I read up more on literary criticism and deconstruction I'll understand the chapter headings (E.g. "Signifier," "Universal") better, and also the message in the last two sentences: "What if I say there is only this. And what if I'm right."
I just read one of her earlier books and re-read parts of this one, and changed my rating to a 5.