Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender





Title: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt
Author: Aimee Bender
Publisher: Anchor Books
Rating: worthy

Note that this one is definitely not young-adult, unless it's a very mature young-adult!

I don't know if Aimee was on a Bender when she wrote this but this is one of the most off-the-wall books I've ever read, so naturally it appealed to me immensely. It's a collection of 16 rather zen-like short stories in a number of parts, but since I can't be discussing a woman's parts in a blog like this, those shall remain anonymous!

The Rememberer is a story of a woman relating the death of a relationship which she sees as her lover devolving through various animal stages, from human to ape to turtle, to salamander, to single-celled organism.

Call My Name is about a rather desperate and privileged woman trying to connect and discovering that she;s not so privileged after all.

What You left in the Ditch shows how a woman whose husband returns home with a bizarre war injury cannot connect either.

The Bowl is about loss. Or about a fruit bowl....

Marzipan, despite being my most sinful treat, is so completely out there that it defies description. Just suffice to say it tells the truth, the hole truth and nothing but motherhood.

Quiet Please tells of a frustrated librarian and her rather literal relationship with men who frequent her, how shall I put it, domain and are reduced to dewy-eyed decimals?

Skinless is missing something. It felt like just the muscle and bone.... Or it might be about young love.

Fugue is about relationships. Or not.

Drunken Mimi is about impish love - literally.

Fell This Girl is about horniness.

The Healer Tells the amazing tale of two mutant girls, one who had a hand made of fire, the other who had a hand made of ice, and their difficult relationship in a small, isolated town.

Loser is about an orphan who can find things by sensing their 'tug'. Unfortunately, he can't find people, unless they're wearing something of which he can sense the tug. And he can't find his parents, nor they him.

Legacy and the rest below I haven't yet read, but if you want to get out of your mind, then this is definitely the ticket for you. Most of the stories are very short (unlike some of mine in Poem y Granite!), and the entire book is a quick read.

Dreaming in Polish is a weird story about two old folks who dream in Polish and are mistaken for prophets!

The Ring is about a woman who falls in love with a "robber" and when she joins him in his light-fingered excursions she finds rings hidden in pots in the kitchens of the homes they burgle, one of which is a ruby ring, which stains bright red everything it touches.

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt is the most bizarre of all: it's a short story comprised of even shorter stories.

So yes, if you want to blow your mind, then this is the book for you. I loved it.


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