Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#ArmchairBEA - Day 3 "Novellas/Short Stories"

For today's ArmchairBEA theme, I chose to give some love to a short story anthology book I care deeply about.

I am a fan of Holly Black's dark creepy writing, where characters find themselves in very dark odd places or circumstances. So, imagine my happiness when I saw her short story anthology book: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories. Better yet, I found it in audiobook form (and I love this format), yes, I *squealed* when I saw that Holly herself narrates this compilation! I had great small pleasures with this book, listening in short walks, errands, and devoting entire moments just sitting down to hear Holly... it took me almost a year to finish.

During this reading experience, I created a handful of memories of these stories: some where just forgotten, some lingered and others I am already re-visiting.

There are 12 stories in this book:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
A Reversal of Fortune
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The Night Market
The Dog King
In Vodka Veritas
The Coat of Stars
Paper Cuts Scissors
Going Ironside
The Land of Heart’s Desire
The Poison Eaters

From these, I loved the first one, which also became a full length standalone novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, The Night Market, The Coat of Stars and Paper Cuts Scissors. These are all dark, gritty, sad, happy and hopeful.

I personally believe that the beauty of this collection is how each character must challenge or face a obstacle that forces them to make choices and learn something about themselves. It also has superb descriptions, events and surroundings, so different from one another.

Matilda, from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, is scared about her infection and wants to keep away from everything and everyone she knows so she wont pass her vampiric disease. But then, she restores to highlight how horrible and un-human is this disease once it hits you, in an attempt to shatter any romanticized notion of vampirism. This tidbit is a wonderful place to start with Holly's stories.

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Tomasa from The Night Market, is a true heroine. Her sister is sick because and enkanto's spell. Her determination and resourcefulness are a true beauty to enjoy. I loved the ending of the story!

Rafael Santiago from The Coat of Stars, is also a tale of bargaining with supernatural characters, but a tale of love. I found it smart and crafty! I really really liked that we have queer characters in here.

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Justin from Paper Cuts Scissors, wants to understand why his girlfriend left, as she disappeared inside a book. He is a library student, who is scared of books and is hired to classify a massive underground library. I found this particular story fascinating. The notion to change books, endings and events sounds fun! It reminded me at some point of Woody Allen's movie Midnight in Paris. I was mesmerized by the classification of books in sections according to the ten broad categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, used in this story.

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My favourite quote from this story comes from Justin's musings when describing who he was going to library school with and how he avoided the hipster kind of girls: "Those girls seemed as dangerous as books that unexpectedly killed their protagonists". It made me chuckle. You may listen to this story for free ***HERE***

In my experience, this book shouldn't be read in one sitting. It is perfect for keeping you company in odd life moments when you really can't devote many hours. I will miss having this unfinished title in my audiobook library.


Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said... Reply To This Comment

Looks like a good pick. I had heard of the novel, but I didn't know that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown started as a short story. Thanks for the rec.!

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks so much for this recommend. Had to stop reading to jump over to audible to get the book. Love Holly Black's writing...and she's reading it too! Now, off to listen to the first story!! Thanks again :)

Liviania said... Reply To This Comment

I've read some of these stories in other collections, but I've always meant to read this one. I love Holly Black's novels.

Wesley Hoffmann said... Reply To This Comment

I feel like I could stare at those gifs all day!

Danielle said... Reply To This Comment

Holly Black is one of my favorite authors. I loved her White Cat series. I'll check out coldest girl.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

I have Holly Black's The Poison Eaters! Haven't read all of the stories in it but it was a MUST HAVE back when I bought it! I did really like the Coldest Girl in Cold Town short story and was excited to see it had been expanded to a full novel!

Hazel said... Reply To This Comment

I love that you tagged your post "amazingballs"! I'm going to have to read this book soon, it'd be interesting to see how The Coldest Girl in Cold Town got started. =) Thanks for sharing!

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment

@Nicole (Linus's Blanket)
Hi Nicole!! Thank you for stopping by! I hope you give it a try :D this book has something for everyone!

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment

Oh, Deb, i am so glad you decided to listen to Holly narrate her stories. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did :)

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment

@Liviania Oh, hi Liviania!! Try the whole book, its so full of little wonders... hehe.

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment

@Wesley Hoffmann Hi Wesley! I am shamefully addicted to GIF's :D hehe
Thank you for stopping by!!!

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment

Hi Danielle! I am a sucker for vampire stories, so naturally, Coldest Girl is high up in my list :D
Do check it out!!

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment
Hi Candice (I loved your Blog BTW), give these little stories a read. Seriously. They are very good :)

Lina G said... Reply To This Comment

*Waves* Oh Hi Hazel!!

I have a kick for tags, hehe... yay for noticing !!

Deb @ Read Write Tell said... Reply To This Comment

Hey hey...back to say I am LOVING the Holly Black reading of the Holly Black stories. My gosh she is good at what she does!