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Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan
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Red Spikes (2006)

by Margo Lanagan

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I really really wanted to like these short stories but I just couldn't get into it. I love Margo Lanagan's writing, I think it's absolutely beautiful, and the language in these stories is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorite things about Margo Lanagan's writing has always been her ability to really set a mood in a story, and these stories evoke many different moods from the down right disturbing to a sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately all of the stories felt unfinished to me. They felt more like excerpts from larger tales that I (mostly) wanted to hear the rest of. This left me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied as a reader.

I read an arc that I got from work and at the end of the arc there was a two page note from the author dealing with where the inspiration for each story. I hope that made it into the final copy because I thought that was really interesting. The stories I liked the best were Baby Jane; A Feather in the Breast of God; Under Hell, Over Heaven; Forever Upward, and Daughter of the Clay. Unfortunately, these all left me feeling the most frustrated as well. It just felt like I was missing out on getting to know characters, endings and even beginnings. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I really really wanted to like these short stories but I just couldn't get into it. I love Margo Lanagan's writing, I think it's absolutely beautiful, and the language in these stories is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorite things about Margo Lanagan's writing has always been her ability to really set a mood in a story, and these stories evoke many different moods from the down right disturbing to a sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately all of the stories felt unfinished to me. They felt more like excerpts from larger tales that I (mostly) wanted to hear the rest of. This left me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied as a reader.

I read an arc that I got from work and at the end of the arc there was a two page note from the author dealing with where the inspiration for each story. I hope that made it into the final copy because I thought that was really interesting. The stories I liked the best were Baby Jane; A Feather in the Breast of God; Under Hell, Over Heaven; Forever Upward, and Daughter of the Clay. Unfortunately, these all left me feeling the most frustrated as well. It just felt like I was missing out on getting to know characters, endings and even beginnings. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I really really wanted to like these short stories but I just couldn't get into it. I love Margo Lanagan's writing, I think it's absolutely beautiful, and the language in these stories is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorite things about Margo Lanagan's writing has always been her ability to really set a mood in a story, and these stories evoke many different moods from the down right disturbing to a sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately all of the stories felt unfinished to me. They felt more like excerpts from larger tales that I (mostly) wanted to hear the rest of. This left me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied as a reader.

I read an arc that I got from work and at the end of the arc there was a two page note from the author dealing with where the inspiration for each story. I hope that made it into the final copy because I thought that was really interesting. The stories I liked the best were Baby Jane; A Feather in the Breast of God; Under Hell, Over Heaven; Forever Upward, and Daughter of the Clay. Unfortunately, these all left me feeling the most frustrated as well. It just felt like I was missing out on getting to know characters, endings and even beginnings. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I really really wanted to like these short stories but I just couldn't get into it. I love Margo Lanagan's writing, I think it's absolutely beautiful, and the language in these stories is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorite things about Margo Lanagan's writing has always been her ability to really set a mood in a story, and these stories evoke many different moods from the down right disturbing to a sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately all of the stories felt unfinished to me. They felt more like excerpts from larger tales that I (mostly) wanted to hear the rest of. This left me feeling frustrated and unsatisfied as a reader.

I read an arc that I got from work and at the end of the arc there was a two page note from the author dealing with where the inspiration for each story. I hope that made it into the final copy because I thought that was really interesting. The stories I liked the best were Baby Jane; A Feather in the Breast of God; Under Hell, Over Heaven; Forever Upward, and Daughter of the Clay. Unfortunately, these all left me feeling the most frustrated as well. It just felt like I was missing out on getting to know characters, endings and even beginnings. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Previous to this book I’ve read The Brides of Rollrock Island (which I absolutely adored), Yellowcake (which was okay) and Tender Morsels (which was also okay). I got this book when I was in a big Lanagan reading phase a couple years ago. It was okay; the stories are all interesting but none of them really grabbed me and the majority of them are just plain odd.

I listed the stories below along with brief descriptions and thoughts on them. I think my favorites were Baby Jane, Hero Vale, Under Hell, Over Heaven, and Daughter of Clay. Lanagan likes to include sex and /or sexuality in her stories in way that is usual presented as uncomfortable and disturbing. Just a warning; I am always surprised these are considered YA.

Overall I would recommend the Yellowcake collection of stories over this one. I would strongly recommend Brides of Rollrock Island over all of Lanagan’s other books; I think that was by far her best book.

Baby Jane
About a strange woman from another reality that gives birth to a baby girl. I really enjoyed this story and how the boundaries of two worlds touch each other briefly.

Monkey’s Paternoster
A tribe of captive monkeys that gets a new lead male. This was my least favorite of the bunch. I get what Lanagan is trying to do here, but I don’t enjoy reading about violent sexual assault.

A Good Heart
This was about a man whose childhood sweetheart is marrying a Lord and he finds out one of her deep dark secrets. This was an okay story, I was kind of neutral about it.

Winkie
About a young girl who is kidnapped by a giant. This story had some excellent imagery in it and I enjoyed the eeriness of it.

A Feather in the Breast of God
About a sort of guardian budgie who comes back from the dead to help his family. This was an okay story, again I was pretty neutral about it.

Hero Vale
A young man goes to Hero Vale to see the sights and ends up scarred and changed. I really enjoyed this. I love the other world our world touches in this story and how it changes the people who see it.

Under Hell, Over Heaven
About a group of people stuck in between that escort people between heaven and hell. This had a very urban fantasy feel to it. I thought it was okay but nothing all that original.

Mouse Maker
About an old healer woman who is lynched by her neighbors and has a strange ability to commune with mice. This was another story I could leave or take. Just okay.

Forever Upward
A young girl’s mother takes her into a minor Goddess to beg safety for her sons. I loved the scenes with the Goddess and thought the island setting was interesting. Overall I enjoyed it.

Daughter of the Clay
A young woman who has always been different finds out she was swapped out at birth by faeries. I really liked this story. It was a slightly different take on the whole “swapped out by faeries at birth” theme. ( )
  krau0098 | Nov 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375843205, Hardcover)

Margo Lanagan's electrifying stories take place in worlds not quite our own, and yet each one illuminates what it is to be human. They are stories of yearning for more, and learning to live with what you have. Stories that show the imprint love leaves on us all.

If you think you don't like short fiction, that a story can't have the depth or impact of a novel, then you haven't read Margo Lanagan. A writer this startling and this original doesn't come along very often. So for anyone who likes to be surprised, touched, unsettled, intrigued, or scared senseless, prepare to be dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:54 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Ten stories that take place in worlds not quite our own and yet each one illuminates what it is to be human. They are stories of yearning for more, and learning to live with what you have.

» see all 5 descriptions

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