Friday, 31 January 2014

[C144.Ebook] Fee Download Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

Fee Download Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

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Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

Fee Download Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

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Willful Creatures, by Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender’s Willful Creatures conjures a fantastical world in which authentic love blooms. This is a place where a boy with keys for fingers is a hero, a woman’s children are potatoes, and a little boy with an iron for a head is born to a family of pumpkin heads. With her singular mix of surrealism, musical prose, and keenly felt emotion, Bender once again proves herself to be a masterful chronicler of the human condition.

  • Sales Rank: #331218 in Books
  • Brand: Bender, Aimee
  • Published on: 2006-08-08
  • Released on: 2006-08-08
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.00" h x .60" w x 5.20" l, .45 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 224 pages

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Fifteen stories bursting with heart and marvel make up this daringly original collection by Bender (The Girl in the Flammable Skirt). Nameless characters lend the tales an allegorical feel and heighten the emotional impact, as in one story's breathlessly cinematic love scene between a seducer (identified only by an expletive, "the mother—") and his prey ("the starlet"). With stories that turn on stark cruelty, Bender deftly forces uncomfortable identification with unsympathetic protagonists who torment the weak: like "Debbieland" 's collective "we" of predatory girls, and the man in "End of the Line" who purchases a miniature man as a pet and tortures him. Elsewhere, she evokes tender relationships with a balance of earthy heartbreak and otherworldly strangeness. In "Dearth," the sudden appearance of seven potato-children forces the solitary protagonist into messy motherhood; in "Ironhead," a pumpkin-headed couple grieves for their dead child, whose heavy head, literally a clothes iron, kills him with its debilitating weight; in "The Leading Man," a boy with key-shaped fingers wishes only to unlock the secret of his father's wartime trauma. Bender's surrealism is never gratuitous in the fantastical yet truthful stories of this singular collection.
Copyright � Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine
"Surreal," "bizarre," and "outlandish" appear frequently in descriptions of Bender’s stories, most culled from prestigious literary magazines. Despite their unreal premises, these stories rarely fail to connect with readers emotionally. Her characters are often both disturbed and disturbing. Opinions differ on whether to call Bender a dark writer or a magical realist, but nobody has unkind words for her prose. Some of these tales—fairy tales, even—succeed masterfully; others are weak by comparison, and most reviewers prefer to treat the stories individually, rather than sum up the collection. Readers who suspend their disbelief unwillingly should pass on this one. Those who appreciate fine writing as much as ethereal storytelling will enjoy it greatly.

Copyright � 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

From Booklist
*Starred Review* Bender, author of the story collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998) and the novel An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000), offers another story collection, blending real feelings with imaginative and original settings and situations. Bender's characters inhabit a whimsical, magical world, where children can be born with keys for fingers or irons for heads; where small people inhabit a world within our own; where seven potatoes can magically appear in a pot on a stove, be thrown out, and reappear again the next day. What is remarkable about Bender's stories is that no matter how outlandish or fanciful, they connect with the reader on an emotional level, with wisdom and intelligence shining through in every tale. She describes an outrageous dress as making a girl look like a "whole different genre of person"; the young man who has keys for fingers muses that "all the doors in the world were as closed to him as everyone else" upon discovering the door that fits his final key. With clear, crisp writing, Bender's stories resonate long after the final page is turned in this remarkable collection. Kristine Huntley
Copyright � American Library Association. All rights reserved

Most helpful customer reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful.
The Brothers Grimm Meet Contemporary Life: 4+ Stars
By Debbie Lee Wesselmann
Aimee Bender's stories are the contemporary descendents of those of the Brothers Grimm, with their surrealism laid on top of human desire and need. In both her previous collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, and this newest one, Willful Creatures, her fiction adopts the tone of fairytales through the straightforward storytelling of the bizarre. Instead of a sausage growing on the end of a nose, Bender gives us potato children and a captive miniature man. Instead of a wicked stepmother, she conjures a collective group of predatory teenage girls. The "willful creatures" of the title take over and change the lives of the people who discover them. While some of these creatures have irons for heads or are made of glass or have keys for fingers, many appear, at least superficially, as ordinary people living routine lives.

One of the most memorable stories is "End of the Line," where a big man buys a little man from a pet shop, keeps him in a cage with a television and sofa, and commits unspeakable cruelties. "The Meeting" starts out like a Talking Heads song of the late 1970s: "The woman he met. He met a woman. This woman was the woman he met." From this staccato, inane beginning, the story develops the theme of ruined expectations and how they can evolve, without warning, into powerful emotions. "Dearth" is the story of a childless woman who discovers a pot of persistent, magical potatoes that grow into children. In "The Case of the Salt and Pepper Shakers," the narrator, a crime investigator, is less concerned with how a husband and wife killed each other at the same moment than he is with the mysterious collection of fourteen salt and pepper shakers he finds in their house.

Readers won't confuse Bender's work with anyone else's. Her inventive plots, coupled with no-nonsense language, result in swiftly told tales. To Bender, contemporary life is as mysterious as words made of xenon, and yet she manages to give us glimpses of raw emotional truth. Staunch realists and literalists might find themselves left cold by Bender's unconventional fiction, but those willing to accept a stark, matter-of-fact surrealism will be enchanted.

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful.
the strange and amazing mind of...
By insomniac
This collection is darker than Aimee Bender's first. It contains a few stories in her "signature" fairy tale/magical realist style, including one featuring a family with pumpkin and clothes-iron heads and one about a boy with a hand made of keys (whose destiny unfolds as he discovers which lock fits each). But my favorite here are less twisted with symbolism. "Debbieland" is layered with anger and desire, and she deftly uses the first person plural to reveal just how disconnected the narrator is from herself. "Off" is angry too: it may or may not star the heiress character we met in The Girl In The Flammable Skirt, an idle and beautiful woman partial to inappropriately dressy couture who finds herself in infuriating and embarrassing situations when she tries to elicit attention from men. In "Off" she decides to collect kisses from three men chosen by hair color, and finds herself confronted with the unfinished buisness of her last relationship; by the end of the story this haughty and self-confident woman is reduced to hiding in the coat closet with a pile of coats, hoping that the man she "doesn't love" will come and find her there.

Aimee Bender is still growing and developing as a writer, and this book is a fascinating look into her maturing voice. She's always been adept, original, witty, and strange. Now she's finding her depth. I expect great things to come from her.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
Bender Bliss
By E.A.B.
I love the works of Aimee Bender. Willful Creatures proves that Bender does not stale with age, but get better and better and better. I recommend all her works, of course, but I believe Willfucl Creatures to be her best. A MUST READ for all fans of magical realism, stories about relationships and/or heartache, or just good stories in general. An evening spent with Aimee Bender is an evening spent in bliss.

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