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Willful Creatures: Stories by Aimee Bender

Willful Creatures: Stories (2005)

by Aimee Bender

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5512018,107 (4.05)14

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I wonder how many times the word "surreal" has been used to describe Aimee Bender's Willful Creatures? It fits. Descriptors such as "imaginative", "off-the-wall", "Kafkaesque", "mind-bending", "brilliant" (in my opinion), "complex" and "phantasmagorical" apply as well.

This is not a light read ('nuff said about that!). One has to wonder how much of her own psyche the author has shared with her readers. Yikes.

You'll get no spoilers from me . . if you're looking for a book of (fifteen) short stories that will leave you shaking your head in amazement/disbelief?; backtracking to make certain your eyes were not deceiving you and rehashing a storyline long after the book has been read . . you might consider this one!

Highly recommended. ( )
  idajo2 | Nov 3, 2015 |
Tiptree shortlist 2005. Ghastly - didn't get past the second story. The first story was slightly fantasy in that it was about a man who torments a tiny man. The second was about a selfish, stupid woman who meanders around at a party being a nuisance - no SF&F elements whatsoever. Neither stories went anywhere and neither examined gender. ( )
  SChant | Jan 30, 2015 |
I read this book again and again and never find it any less enthralling. ( )
  brwilliams387 | Mar 19, 2014 |
Bender's style is witty and sometimes perverse. She likes to tell fables and stories of the fantastic. What I like most about this collection is the amount of realism present in such fantastical stories. My favorite story is the one about Ironhead. ( )
  eidzior | Apr 6, 2013 |
Wonderful mix of stories. I particularly liked "The Meeting"--one of those stories that makes you stop and think at the end of it. ( )
  rlc307 | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Always unexpected, the events befalling these characters aren’t the whims of a cruel author who enjoys inflicting pain. In fact, Bender feels less the creator of these stories and more a charming hostess who, despite some less than ideal circumstances, makes you comfortable with affable, screwy humor, parlor-room wordplay, and some plain old cute sentences like, “He felt very very tired for four years old.”
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385720971, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:15 -0400)

"Aimee Bender conjures surreal worlds in which authentic emotion blooms. A woman's children may be potatoes, but the love she feels for them is heartbreakingly real. A boy with keys as fingers is seen not as a freak but as a hero. Bender infuses even inanimate objects with human warmth."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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