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Black Glass: Short Fictions by Karen Joy…
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Black Glass: Short Fictions (edition 2015)

by Karen Joy Fowler (Author)

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1784102,383 (3.85)7
"First published in 1998 ... and now reissued with the addition of a prefatory essay, Black Glass showcases the ... talents of this prizewinning author. In fifteen ... tales, Fowler lets her wit and vision roam freely, turning accepted norms inside out and fairy tales upside down--pushing us to reconsider our unquestioned verities and proving once again that she is among our most subversive writers"--Dust jacket flap.… (more)
Member:lmgrim
Title:Black Glass: Short Fictions
Authors:Karen Joy Fowler (Author)
Info:Marian Wood Books/Putnam (2015), Edition: Reissue, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Black Glass : Short Fictions by Karen Joy Fowler

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Showing 4 of 4
Well. As the description so tactfully understates, these stories are indeed often 'puzzling.' I pretty much didn't get them. Or like them enough to want to try to. However, if you're looking for something audacious and creative, give this a shot.

I did like the heartbreaking and wise story of Gulliver's wife, as told through her letters to her usually absent husband. And it was interesting to compare that to the story of Mileva, whom Einstein similarly abandoned (according to Fowler's story - not quite exactly according to history).

I liked the following lines: Some witches were mortally beautiful. The two words go together, mind you, mortal and beautiful. Nothing is so beautiful as that which will fade."

Overall, though, there are not many of you, my friends and followers, to whom I can recommend this." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
“I have learned to distrust words, even my own.”

This collection of short stories is nothing if not odd. Some of the stories I really enjoyed, some not so much. “Black Glass,” the first story in the book, falls into the first category. It is strange, disjointed, and wonderfully creepy.

There are no realities. There are too many realities. Time is meaningless. Contradictions are the norm. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it just felt as though the author couldn't decide which storyline she wanted to follow. And there were the ones that had me mentally scratching my head – huh? What does this mean? “Shimabara” was one of those.

It felt like reading fiction after partaking of too much recreational drugs of the LSD bent.

“Letters from Home” was pretty straightforward, and touching too. I loved “The Faithful Companion at Forty” and liked the odd “Duplicity.”

In the last story, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose,” a character says, “I could take you there.”...The universe right next door. Practically walking distance.”

I feel like I have been to the universe next door and back again.

I was given an advance reader's copy of this book for review. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Jun 6, 2015 |
Tiptree shortlist 1998. I enjoyed the first story, but all the others were either just ok or dull and all fizzled out. I didn't bother finishing.

Black glass - a DEA agent accidentally summons the spirit of carry Nation to help in the "war on drugs". Unfortunately she's a bit too zealous in her work.Enjoyable, but sort of fizzled out at the end.
Contention - well written but dull
Shimabara - well written but dull
The Elizabeth complex - Elizabeths' through the ages - quite good.
Go back - dull
The travails - dull
Lieserl - dull
Letters from home - very dull
Duplicity - ok
The faithful companion at forty - ok
The brew - ok
Lily red - didn't read
The black fairy's curse --
The view from Venus : A case study - didn't read
Game night at the fox and goose.- didn't read ( )
  SChant | Dec 6, 2013 |
Overall I liked this collection of slipstream, interstitial short stories (certainly much more than The Jane Austen Book Club), though there were enough stories that fell flat and weren't particularly great that I'm giving this 3 stars rather than 4. The ones I did like are a great subtle blend of realism and the fantastic (somewhat similar to Kelly Link, though I enjoy Kelly Link's stories more).

My favorites were the titular story "Black Glass", "the Elizabeth Complex" (which approaches the person Elizabeth as a combination of Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lizzie Borden), "the Brew" (Culloden and magical whiskey!), and the last two stories, which both deal with aliens/other worlds in a darkly funny way.
  mangochris | Jun 10, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
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This is the collection "Black Glass", that includes the story/novelette "Black Glass"; please do not combine the collection with the short story/novelette.
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