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Publisher's Summary

In her provocative debut, Carmen Maria Machado demolishes the borders between magical realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. 

Startling narratives map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited on their bodies, both in myth and in practice. A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the mysterious green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague spreads across the earth. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery about a store's dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted house guest. Bodies become inconsequential, humans become monstrous, anger becomes erotic. 

A dark, shimmering slice into womanhood, Her Body and Other Parties is wicked and exquisite.

©2017 Carmen Maria Machado (P)2017 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books

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Beautiful, haunting stories

Machado is a gifted writer and a fantastic storyteller. These stories are beautiful and haunting, and they always have a critical eye to the era that birthed them. They are fiercely feminist and equally funny and heartbreaking. My only quibble is that this collection does not strike me as all that well suited for audio book'ing; many of them are meta tales about the acts of writing and reading, which makes listening to them rather than reading them less satisfying. An example is the story 'Especially Heinous', which consists of small vignettes/episode synopses, which means that the narrator has to constantly reign in the pace and speak yet another title, and to me this ruined the flow of the story somewhat. Another example is 'The Husband Stitch', which begins with a guide on HOW to read the story aloud, which makes listening to the story being read aloud a fun experience, but also takes something away from the imagination that would otherwise have been needed in order to fashion the voices oneself and following the increasingly ridiculous and dangerous instructions (which one cannot possibly follow, of course, but as a reader, one would be presented to them as something one would have to consider and then reject - or not, of course, that is up to you).
All in all, I wish I'd read the stories instead of having them read to me, but under any circumstances: better listened to than not experienced at all.

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Oneiric. Stylistically well written but...

The author has a good command of style but narrative-wise the story is too fragmentary to drive any coherent experience. Well, it reads like one long dream, and in that sense it is an experience. But it is not an enjoyable read. Hard to follow beyond the second, long, chapter. Another weak point is that characters, apart from narrator, and especially men, come across as too shallow.

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  • Hayley
  • 10-24-19

great writing

The recording sounds clipped and is hard to follow at times but excellent short story writing

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-17-19

Modern women's gothic

Carmen Maria Machado has taken contemporary daily life for western women and woven deliciously gothic elements into it to create a dark and menacing yet eerily familiar collection of tales. There are absolute flashes of brilliance but too many of the stories outstay their welcome. I understand the plaudits this book has received but it didn't quite live up to the hype for me. I have high hopes for future work from Machado though.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-14-22

So much to think about

So many women's stories, vignettes of lives lived and disrupted. Tales ancient, urban mythed and new found.Visceral descriptions, intellectual imagery and page turning reads. I'll be back.....

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  • D. C. Downer
  • 04-27-22

confusing relies on sensationalism, returning 😕

I can't understand how this was a recommendation from my previous listening. The story was totally disjointed, no seaway which made sense & quite honestly just pretentious. I gave it 3 hours & returned, which I hardly ever do!

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  • Nick Rodrigues
  • 03-24-22

Good, but not all around

Carmen delivers brilliance and continues to be an authentic author in several stories. However, the book is far too long. It could have been trimmed and to make the most of its gems and make sure they are not buried under several in between pages.

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  • Maria I.
  • 11-09-19

Don't waste a credit or your time on this book.

I got this book to enjoy over the Halloween period, it was recommended on a book review tv programme, I was looking forward to a scare at bedtime. I found it to be confusing and bitterly disappointing....avoid it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • AliceVD
  • 05-03-21

5 stars

Dark. Vivid. Unsettling. A truly rapturous collection of stories that express a distinct yet fluid style, dripping with horror and raw gothic potential.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-21

Amazing book ❤️ what a writer! Read it now!

This is the best collection of short stories I've read in a long time. The writing is superb. Machado's imagery, characters, plot lines and use of similes are stunning. This is also the most original fiction I've read in a while. It really stands out as a masterpiece. Absolutely loved the narration too -- the voice of the reader really suits the stories. 100% recommend.

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  • deb
  • 02-13-20

Couldn’t finish

This book started off with promise but went downhill fast. I had heard good reviews of it but it didn’t hold me.