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The Refrigerator Monologues  By  cover art

The Refrigerator Monologues

By: Catherynne M. Valente
Narrated by: Karis A. Campbell
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Publisher's Summary

The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics.

From the New York Times best-selling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who's ever been "refrigerated": comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero's storyline will progress.

In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.

©2017 Catherynne M. Valente (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Refrigerator Monologues

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfectly Brilliant

I'm a comic collector and I was around for the story which featured the "refrigerator murder." It was in Green Lantern. DC decided to do a major change and give us a new Lantern, Kyle Rainer. It was interesting, especially the constructs he created as an artist. His girlfriend was a supporting character and as a character on her own she was fantastic. The kind of supporting character you rarely get in comics, smart with a feeling of having her own agency. At the same time, DC had this horrible villain they were trying to make a thing of. He was so bad I forgot his name. This was the villain of another character, Capt. Atom, but for some idiotic reason they brought him into the new Green Lantern. How? By having him murder Kyle Rainer's girlfriend and stuff her in a refrigeration. I was so pissed about this I stopped buying the book. And I don't blame women writers and artist in comics for being equally pissed. It was a gore for the sake of gore that served absolutely no purpose. It did not have anything to do with the overall story of the new Green Lantern - this was not even his villain. And there was absolutely no reason for it, just none. It didn't progress the hero's story or journey in any way shape or form. It was done and completely forgotten about two issues later. These days you can't even give away that issue, but we did because we hated that DC did this or allowed it to happen This book speaks to stories like that. These idiotic and horrible ways woman characters are treated, but from the point of view of the victimized females. (Okay, the Mera thing was off because she's never really been treated that way, but it's true that she's extremely powerful but somehow the Justice League never has time for her. That's pretty idiotic.) The story I loved the most was Harley Quinn's. (You'll know it when you see it.) I don't think BDSM is sexy and the relationship between her and Joker always drove me nuts because it's essentially male fantasy BDSM. Abuse a girl but she comes back and loves you more. That's right up there with rape a girl and she falls in love with you. (JEEZ, how did this society get this sick?). Sure, it was kitschy in the animated series but when brought to the comics it just felt like the worse BDSM porn ever made. I don't buy anything if it's a story with those two in it, and as much as Harley became popular and they put her in 1000 books she's still based on a ridiculously abused girlfriend who keeps coming back for more. This is not just DC, Marvel is pretty horrible with this stuff too. Even with their female heroes. (Go find and read Avengers #200 where Ms. Marvel gets raped and impregnated and falls in love with her rapist, then Avenger Annual #10 where she's abused to give another female character an introduction. It's bloody sick.) People got made at Avengers: Age of Ultron because of Black Window's backstory. Well go read Black Window's comic sometime, it worse. I'm tired of every female character being treated like the final girl in a slasher flick. And when it's pointed out that this happens because men write this stuff, guys get so up in arms about it and have every reaction except the one they should have; "I'm sorry, we will do better." This book is timely and needs to be read by every aspiring comic creator, not just because it's well written and makes it's point very well but because it should serve as a wake-up call telling these creators - PLEASE STOP DOING THIS CRAP. Great book. Wish it was written a long time again.

7 people found this helpful

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Glorious

Catherynne Valente can do no wrong. I have never been disappointed by one of her stories, but this book may be my favorite.

Karis Campbell's performance was breathtaking. Each character came alive and had her unique voice expressed thoroughly due to Campbell's careful reading.

I cannot rate this book highly enough. I have already listened to it twice, and I will listen to it many more times.

7 people found this helpful

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So hard to listen to.

I’ll keep it short, this is bad. The voices of nearly every character are so over the top and off putting that I had trouble following the story and eventually just gave up all together. Save yourself. Hard pass.

1 person found this helpful

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No replay Value at all

I have to say that I'm a little disappointed even though the stories of the individual women was told to make you feel bad for them. all I can say is, I don't, actions have consequences and all that told there story didnt seem like they that I was more interested in the world that the dead inhabit there. what are the roles of the gargoyles it's half baked for me wish more thought was put in beside the support group. performance was great. surprised keep up the good work.

1 person found this helpful

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Totally Bad*ss

I loved this anthology. So much anger, snark, and emotion. These superwomen (yes not all of them are capes but bear with me) are funny and thoughtful, with a lot to talk about through their hero/villain relationships with macho, thoughtless partners. I especially liked Pretty Polly's story.

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Powerful and moving

This book was everything I expected and so much more than I expected. Easy to recognize in many cases what Marvel and DC characters inspired the stories in here but each one was more complex and nuanced than it’s base. The stories so fascinating you can’t stop at just one and yet also so sad and horrifying that you want to stop and take the time to give them the grief they deserve. Every one feels like a real person trapped in a nightmare. The narrator captured each voice clearly and distinctly voicing they joys and pains equally. A brilliant book I will be recommending forever.

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LOVED IT UGH SO MUCH

great narration
amazing characters and a very fun adventure
highly recommend
it has curses but young adults would love it

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Impressive and entertaining stories

Each story is better than the previous and the narrator nails distinctive voices. Too marks for both.

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Not just hero motivation

This is a powerful story, even if you are unfamiliar with the characters' inspiration and only have a passing understanding of "fridging". Definitely worth a listen.

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Excellent! Wish there were more

Great storyline, love how it’s tied together(inventive!), and how it’s paced; some works don’t do as well being listened to, but this book was well suited to the approach. Top-notch narration, as well. I hate to gush like this but hey, there it is. My only complaint is that there were not 30 hours of it to listen to :).
On the + side of that, plenty of room for a sequel.