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Member: unabridgedchick

CollectionsYour library (1,467), Read but unowned (108), Favorites (2), To read (1), Wishlist (1), All collections (1,476)

Reviews563 reviews

Tags (72), unusually attractive heroine (46), pagan (37), romance (34), divination (30), tarot (28), short stories (25), classic (24), affair (23), conspiracy (23) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations5 recommendations

About meI'm a 30-something married lesbian with a thing for literary fiction and historical novels. But I'm also having a pretty torrid affair with gritty noir and some paranormal/supernatural fiction. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.

GroupsBlogger's Book Giveaways, Early Reviewers, Europa Challenge, Historical Fiction, Hobnob with Authors

Favorite authorsDiana Abu-Jaber, Diane Ackerman, Anna Akhmatova, Louisa May Alcott, Karen Armstrong, Jane Austen, Djuna Barnes, Ibn Battuta, Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Fanny Burney, A. S. Byatt, Anne Carson, Angela Carter, Colette, Louise Desalvo, Emily Dickinson, Isak Dinesen, H. D., Marguerite Duras, Lawrence Durrell, Maria Edgeworth, Rumer Godden, Nicola Griffith, John Brinckerhoff Jackson, Doris Lessing, Penelope Lively, Mina Loy, Katherine Mansfield, Daphne du Maurier, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Hope Mirrlees, Anaïs Nin, Julian of Norwich, Sigrid Nunez, Elaine Pagels, Dorothy Parker, Christina Rossetti, Muriel Rukeyser, Sappho, Anne Sexton, Dale Spender, Dylan Thomas, Yi-Fu Tuan, Sigrid Undset, Marina Warner, Jeanette Winterson, Virginia Woolf (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresHarvard Book Store, Porter Square Books, UUA Bookstore

Favorite librariesCambridge Public Library - Main Branch


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Real nameAudra

LocationBoston, MA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/unabridgedchick (profile)
/catalog/unabridgedchick (library)

Member sinceMar 1, 2006

Leave a comment


I just finished reading Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling and found your review of it, which perfectly encapsulated my view of it (i.e. darkly creative but totally fell down in its Victorian setting). Thank you!
Hello again, Audra!

Thanks for your reply to my note. :)

I did not, in fact, buy The Magician King; I can only take so much "Alack -- life is meaningless!" or, as you put it, "wallow, wank, angst, stew, and whine."

I'm sure many of the "best and brightest" -- whether magical or mundane, fictional or actual -- piss away their talents and opportunities, living only for bacchanalian orgies and whatnot, but I'd rather read about the ones that don't. And, really, I'd rather follow the (mis)adventures of just about any other characters -- Penny or Josh or Gretchen or whoever -- besides disagreeable Quentin, dissolute Eliot and despicable Janet.

It's a shame, really, as I quite enjoyed the style of Grossman's writing. For me, though, the problem is that, despite his obvious insight and eloquence, I came away from The Magicians feeling as though the author had no wisdom to impart. A contemptible trend in contemporary fiction is the focus on existential angst, with too much wallow-and-stew (which we can do quite well on our own, thank you) and not enough epiphany (which we could all probably use).

Okay. I'd better stop before I myself get caught up in the cycle of wallow-wank-rinse-repeat. ;)

All the best to you and yours,

Hello, Audra!

Having finished reading Lev Grossman's The Magicians last night, I have to say that your review sums it up quite well. I, too, liked the writing; I think there many really insightful observations and eloquent passages. I also liked the overall concept as well as a lot of the magical marginalia.

But, yeah, most of the characters...well...kinda suck. I rather like this reviewer's take:
"Sadly, by the middle of the book, it's hard to find a character you don't hate."

And, as you say, Quentin just doesn't grow. I saw a copy of the sequel at the store today, and the front flap blurb begins along the lines of "Quentin Coldwater should have been happy..." Yeah...doesn't bode well.

Your use of the word "disaffected" struck me especially funny, as that's exactly the word that came to my mind. I kept thinking of the Better Book Titles site ( -- have you seen it?). I'd kind of like to see this book renamed Disaffected Magical Youth.

Anyway, thanks for posting your review! Best wishes from across the Bay State!


P.S. I also love your "unusually attractive heroine" tag.
I liked your review of "Room". I similarly wonder where Jack and Ma will be in a few years. I want them to be okay.
Just surfed in to say that I couldn't have agreed more with your review of The Mistress of Abha. It's a rare book that takes me over a week to read, and I needed several months to slog through this one. Thanks for doing such a clear job explaining all the ways in which it just doesn't come together.
Great review of Eucalyptus, by Bail. Thanks.
I must agree with the general consensus--your tags are awesome. They make for better reading than some of the books in my library.
d'accord -- awesome tags!
some of your tags are really useful; great ideas to gather up....Thanks.
I'm glad I gave you browsing pleasure!....dude, those ARE awesome tags. Wow! (moi)
Your library is tagtastic. Very eclectic, I got a lot of great book suggestions. Cheers!
I loved Capri File; a wonderfully inventive development of the 18Th century novel of letters.
Hello sweetness.

I have to concur, your tags are things of beauty.

i love love love your tags! (i found them by seeing who had barbara g. walker's novel, which i'm afraid to read.)
hello yourself, beautiful. x
CVM is fabulous, yes. We've been friendly online for a while, and I adore her writing.
Thanks for the comment! I greatly agree with you regarding the general acceptance and understanding of Mahfouz's works. So often it seems that people only read what is publically lauded, which is very sad in the case of Akhenaten as it is outstanding fiction!
thanx! the picture is by Jill Thompson, from The Little Endless Storybook (if you liked Wolves in the Walls, you will *love* the Little Endless ;) I've done a bunch of chapbooks, but the zines... they're so scattered...
we share good stuff -- 12 books, varied and essential. good tags, i concur.
You tag well
Hi there :-)
Look, here we share 4 books!
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