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Honestly I just can t read this any There were two stories left but I had to put it down Individually the stories in this volume are highly creative heartbreaking and imaginative but taken as a volume the sheer similarities between all f the tales made me want to pull my hair ut Russell is bviously very talented but I d love to read something that isn t told from an verly precocious child s point f view that doesn t end in medias res and that doesn t involve strangely allegorical elements These stories are wonderfully creative beautifully written and make me very jealous Harvest to Hydrosol: Distill Your Own Exquisite Hydrosols at Home of Karen Russell in general So why the low rating Because almost every singlene Hunchback of the stories ended too soon I don t mean ended sooner than I would have liked and I m sad that I can t stay with it longer well that s actually true as well But I mean ended right as things were getting interesting leaving everything not just unresolved but in fact disappointing and bewildering since there was no resolution at all which after the first few stories just gets increasingly frustrating At the endf the story the protagonists are still trapped Buddy or just starting to enter the caver are The Space Child's Mother Goose only halfwa 355 My favourite stories were ZZ s Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers Haunting Olivia St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves Posted at Shelf InflictedSt Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is an unusual collectionf imaginative uirky moving unsettling and stylishly written stories featuring troubled children as they learn grow and make their way in the world Their parents are flawed and dealing with their The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens own issues as well like the minotaur who moves his human familyut west for a fresh start While I enjoyed the majority The Greatest Survival Stories Ever Told: Seventeen Incredible Tales of stories in this collection I found they suffered from sameness and repetition which is why this book took mever a month to read One f my favorites in this collection was the title story about a group f girls raised by wolves sent to a school to be educated and civilized by nuns Lick your Cómo ligar con esa chica que tanto te gusta y a la que le gusta otro own wounds I said not unkindly It was what the nuns had instructed us to say wound licking was not something you did in polite company Etiuette was so confounding in this country Still looking at Mirabella her fists balled together like small white porcupines her brows knitted in animal confusion I felt a throbf compassion How can people live like they do I wondered I also enjoyed Out to Sea about a group Death Threat of retirees living in houseboats that are volunteered to pair up with at risk youths completing their courtrdered community service Like most f the residents f the f the Out to Sea Retirement Community Miss Markopoulos has spent decades hoarding a secret cache f love shelved and putrefying in a uiet cupboard within her and now at the end f a life she has no ne to share it with I would recommend this collection to readers who enjoy fantasy magical realism uirky characters and coming Porter Rockwell: A Biography of age stories I am very very jealousf Karen Russell She got to study creative writing at Columbia she made New York Magazine list Satire of twenty five people to watch under the agef twenty six and she was twenty five when this book was published and she also happens to be really really talented I bet she s really cool and her apartment is awesome and she has lots Deflower the Boss of great shoes St Lucy s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves can I get thatn a tshirt Hebrew magic amulets or something is a collectionf short stories that mostly take place in the same island community in Florida I hesitate to call the stories magical realism because it doesn t seem like the correct description but it s true that there s something magical at work in the world f these stories and their world isn t the same as urs In Ava Wrestles the Alligator a girl s sister is freuently possessed by her ghost boyfriend ZZ s Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers is about a camp for among Being There other things insomniacs somnambulists night terrors incubuses and Miscellaneousur narrator is in this last category and he has dreams that predict disasters that have already happened from Children s Reminiscences هذه بلادنا: الجواء of the Western Migration is a straightforward storyf a pioneer family traveling in a wagon train except the narrator s father is a Minotaur In the title story the human Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom offspringf werewolves are rehabilitated into normal society and forced to shed their wolf characteristics Every single story is fascinating and mysterious and full f writing so beautiful it makes me want to cry and the magical elements are presented in such a straightforward Charting loss love and the difficult art f growing up these stories unfurl with wicked humour and insight Two young boys make midnight trips to a boat graveyard in search f their dead sister who set sail in the exoskeleton f a giant crab; a boy whose dreams foretell implacable tr.

Imple way that you don t even uestion it and just let the prose wash Witness to the Martyrdom: John Taylor's Personal Account of the Last Days of the Prophet Joseph Smith over you like this gorgeous passage from Haunting OliviaOn the fifth nightf ur search I see a plesiosaur It is a megawatt behemoth bronze and blue white streaking across the sea floor like a torpid comet Watching it I get this primordial deja vu like I m watching a dream return to my body It wings towards me with a slow avian grace Its long neck is arched in an S shaped curve its lizard body is the size f Granana s carport Each f its ghost flippers pinwheels colored light I try to swim ut f its path but the thing s too big to avoid That Leviathan fin it shivers right through me It s a light in my belly cold and familiar And I flash back to a snippet from school a line from a poem r a science book I can t remember which There are certain prehistoric things that swim beyond extinctionBut general loveliness aside this is ultimately an unsatisfying collection Russel creates fantastic characters and scenarios but she can t seem to find a good way to bring them to a close The stories don t end they just stop usually without warning and with nothing explained The War at Home: One Family's Fight Against PTSD or learnedr resolved The nly exception to this is the title story which was also my favorite because it s the nly story in the entire collection that has a clear beginning middle and end All the thers despite the skill with which they re put together leave you with a distinctly deflated feeling Oddly this is actually making me interested in reading Russell s debut novel Swamplandia it s a continuation f the family f alligator wrestlers she created in Ava Wrestles the Alligator I ll be interested to see what Russell does when she has the length f a novel to explore her characters weird fascinating worlds and also what happens when an editor forces her to write a real ending The Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story and Verse only reason this isn t a 5 star is that I hate short stories Sorry but I do It just doesn t make sense to me either they re little bitsf fluff that are uickly forgotten Set Theory, Logic and Their Limitations or they re involved and interesting and there is no reason for them to endThe stories in this book are an examplef first f all greg i lied to you i told you that the conch shell story the city f shells was my favorite because i felt put n the spot and distracted and that was the first ne i thought The Stringbean Murders of but my real favorite story is thene أساطير شعبية من قلب جزيرة العرب: الجزء الرابع on the boated retirement communityut to sea god i felt tha This collection Stricken (Asphalt Cowboys, of short stories was uite good I m awful at writing reviews for short story collections mostly because I m too lazyr forgetful to jot down notes about the individual stories when I finish them so the entire collection sort The Sporty Game of becomes jumbled up in my head These kindf fall into the George Saunders like style American Yakuza II of writing weird slightlyff kilter distortions Inventions That Changed the World: Working Wonders of the real world but unlike somef the George Saunders esue writers Love Onboard: Cupid's Caribbean Cruise out there is never the feeling that Karen Russell is trying to be weird for weird s sake I think somef this has to do with her really great use Vertical Mind: Psychological Approaches for Optimal Rock Climbing of voice for the characters and the developmentf the characters It would seem to me to be really easy when writing stories like this to get all caught up in the strange setting and then just hoping that the setting and plot will make for an interesting story In uite a few Blood Love of the stories she writes really convincingly as a teenage boy actually so convincingly that about half way through the book I started to assume that mostf the first person narrators would be boys until proven therwise this is something that I don t think I normally do with stories written by women I know that Lit Crit 101 tells you not to but in this day and age especially with young writers damn her for being so much younger than me first person is usually a giant flag f hey this is sort f me the author airing myself ut for you all to see but with enough f an ironical wink and nudge to put a little bit f fictional narrative distance between myself and the story Another aspect f the stories I found myself enjoying was the would sometimes border n being perverse r shocking but never actually cross the line This created a nice creepy undercurrent to some f the stories which would have been destroyed if she had allowed herself to write explicitly This also kind DIY, Dammit!: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting of helped add to the unknown that floats around us as children since manyf the narrators are children where there are things that you have the feeling are not uite right r dirty but unable to really fill in the pieces does that make sense to anyone else but me. Agedies is sent to 'Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers' Cabin 1 Narcoleptics; Cabin 2 Insomniacs; Cabin 3 Somnambulists; a Minotaur leads his family n the trail ut West and finally in the collection's poignant and hilarious title story fifteen girls raised by wolves are painst.

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Again this is a very good thing and her being a young writer it s nice to see that she just take the relatively easy way f being shocking because she can I m looking forward to reading her novel which sounds like it s an expansion Civil rights, tool of communist deception on this collections first story A packf feral half wolf girls raised by nuns in a foster home a brother diving to find his little sister in a haunted cave a family f minotaurs moving westward two young girls living and growing up among alligators at an amusement park all this and awaits you in Karen Russell s debut collection f stories published when she was just 25I have a bit Cutthroat of a crushn Karen Russell Her stories are great she has the rare combination An Eastern Orthodox Response to Evangelical Claims of both imagination and talent allowing her to creatively turn even the wildest ideas into entertaining and endearing stories with peopler creatures that we can care about Her language flows briskly and easily with a careful balance between elegance and vernacular that I envy her a bit Most The Claiming of the Shrew of the stories in this collection are set in Russel s native southern Florida its many swamps and islands along the coastsf the Everglades This is a setting which is naturally magical and full Summoned of the unexplored possibilityf the tropical wilderness ideal for these uirky and ff beat talesBut the collection good as it is is not without its flaws it is after all a debut and some rougher edges escaped the final polish Although each story features a different protagonist and most are narrated in the first person there is a lack f a different voice for each f them the absence f narrative distinction makes all character morph into Baghdad, Mon Amour: A Journey of Exile and Return one and sound like the author s visionf them The second biggest complaint which for many readers can be a dealbreaker are the non endings most Dead Inside of the stories in the collection simply end without a resolution in medias res It s particularly visible in stories such as Out to Sea which isne f the few that don t feature any surreal elements at all Out to Sea is the story f Sawtooth a grumpy The Taste of Spruce Gum old man slowly turning to rust in a Florida home for the elderly and Augie a much younger girl who visits him as a partf her court sentence and with whom he slowly became bsessed Sawtooth ignores that the girl bviously doesn t care for him steals his pills and She Stoops to Conquer only hangs around because she has a 50 hour sentence to serve In just a few pages we see an unlikely but moving transformation as for probably the first time in his life Sawtooth begins to feel something for another human being and we want to see what will happen and then it just ends without a real resolutionr the characters learning anything I know that it s difficult to include any real polemic Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile on the whole rangef human emotions but come Orb on Such a wastedpportunityI m happy to say that Karen s second collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove is a definite improvement and a brilliant volume full The Dandy and Lady Penelope of self contained little gems And that s thene I d recommend I think that readers seeking imaginative and creative fiction should read Karen Russel She s great I m looking forward to reading her novel Swamplandia and eagerly await her future stories First f all Karen Russell wins the award for best story titles hands down Ava Wrestles the Alligator ZZ s Sleep Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers the title story etc The prose crackles Several f the stories take place Multi-Family Therapy on a very strange and well imagined island fullf Bizarroland tourist attractions perhaps National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition offf Florida She skims the waters f magic realism with the tips f her wings the titles and the stories are packed with dream imagery All f which is stuff I love Why then the three star rating rather than the four Russell s use f language is A History of Prophecy in Israel, Revised and Enlarged often gorgeous but at the same time it leaves me cold I resorted to readingne story a day so that the beautiful sameness didn t become grating It takes me too long to figure Think good thoughts about a pussycat out what makes these characters tick and to figureut the strange rules and etiuette One, Two, Three Me of the world in which they live They all carry a reserve that makes it hard for me to feel for them and the narrators voices too have a sameness to them Finally Iften have trouble figuring ut where my wn stories should end so I hate to throw stones but many Sex and Lust in Tijuana: True Sex Stories of the Tjamigos of these stories feel incomplete I know it s not necessarily wrong for a story to leave you saying then what happened but manyf these felt like interrupted dreams the kind you wake from with that nagging feeling that there was a little left to it that it would all make sense if nly you d had five minute. Akingly re civilised by nuns These ten extraordinary stories introduce an audacious new talent and a world in which weird and wonderful predicaments magically reveal the truth f Tea for Ruby ourwn lives This title presents a blazingly riginal voice a dazzling debut and a breathtaking discove.

Karen Russell graduated from Columbia University's MFA program in 2006 Her stories have been featured in The Best American Short Stories Conjunctions Granta The New Yorker Oxford American and Zoetrope Her first book of short stories St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves was published in September 2006 In November 2009 she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree I