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The Girl in the Flammable Skirt: Stories Paperback – 1 Nov 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Books (1 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385492164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385492164
  • ASIN: 0385492162
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
After reading through the stories in this collection over three times, I have to say that Aimee Bender is one of the best new writers I've read in years. Her stories are language-driven, impacted with brilliant images and NEW ways of describing emotions and situations that are universal. Perhaps this is why some commentators have declared that she is only out for the outlandish and bizarre, and hasn't spent a day in the real world. It's because she's not going the old, well-traveled route to show us life in all its darkness and glory. Also, any slightly savvy reader would see that she's working with form and structure, adopting the speed and economy and shocking language of fairy tales and applying it to tell modern stories. Some reviewers have said that her characters aren't connected to the world or even to their own selves, as though this is something Ms. Bender doesn't realize. They seem to see this as a weakness of hers. Perhaps they've failed to realize that Bender's characters being disconnected from society and their own selves is her point. And a poignant one, too. She's awesome. I'll re-read these stories for the rest of my life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Oct. 1998
Format: Hardcover
This collection has been hideously overhyped. The stories are trite and cliched, and yet the author seems to be trying so terribly hard. You'd be thrilled to read these in a high school lit. mag., but what a disappointment that a major publisher would take them on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Aug. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Two words: "wow" and "imaginative" sum up this wonderful collection of short stories. While reading "Skirt", I kept thinking "Aimee has got one hell of an imagination!!" My favorite story is "The Librarian" (not the real title, but what it is most often called). You will never look at a librarian with quite the same eye as you have in the past.
I have had the honour of meeting Ms. Bender. At her reading she read the "Imp" story with much animation and passion. It is a joy to see not only a fantastic new writer blossom, but to know that she is a NICE person as well.
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By S. Shamma on 30 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
As much as this book has received positive reviews, it seems to have received just as much negative reviews.

I have to say, I'm on the fence. I read this book relatively quickly, it's a quick easy read. Usually, I find anthologies, or short stories take forever to complete because they're either too boring, or because they're easy to put down and forget about after completing one of the stories. With this one though, I found myself flying through the pages, and I have to admit...I did not hate it.

This is my second Amy Bender book, the first being that Maths teacher one (I hated it so much I completely forgot its title). It was such a terribly written book, with the most uninspiring character, and the most boring plot I have ever read. I finished it thinking I was going to hate her other book for sure! Even more so once I read some of the negative reviews on it, so I kept putting it off.

But I did not hate it. I actually enjoyed some of the stories (the mermaid/imp one was interesting, as was the hand of fire/hand of ice one). Yes, they were very weird and some were just gruesomely nasty and vulgar (such as the librarian with the dead father who has sex with every single male visitor that enters the library that day), but in my opinion, you can't read a short stories book with the expectation that you're going to love every single one written.

Overall, they were interesting, kind of witty, and enjoyable to read. The style reminded me a little of Andrew Kaufman's books, and I felt that she was making a concerted effort to copy his style. I love Kaufman's books, and only somewhat like Bender, so I will not sit here and say she's as good a writer or novelist as he is, but there's hope.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Oct. 1998
Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The characters are flat and the stories seem pointless. Can quirkiness carry an entire collection? Is this what's out there for young writers?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Aug. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Aimee Bender's short stories are addictive. I picked up the book the other night intending to read a few pages, ended up reading the whole thing. Her ability to make me laugh with a single phrase is astounding. Everybody who reads this collection talks about it. Ms. Bender is incapable of writing boring prose. This is a first edition you can heirloom to your grandson, who will be writing his college thesis on "Myth and Ritual in Bender's Early Fiction."
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Format: Hardcover
This collection of short stories is simply superb. Aimee Bender has such a wild and quirky imagination and it definitely shows through her work. Could a girl learn to love a man with no lips? Read on and find out! My personal favorite story in the collection is "The Healer." It's a modern fable that just reaches out and grabs you. The story centers on two girls, one with a hand of fire and the other with a hand of ice. The neutralizing affect these girls have on each other reminds me of those innocent childhood friendships between people with otherwise polar interests. That the girls grow up in opposite directions is no surprise, but who would have thought that those hands would become the source of other pleasures? The fire girl learns to entice others with her hands, finding a maschochistic and carnal joy in burning herself and others. Ice girl becomes the healer. Her hand becomes the soother of strangers' pains. Only Aimee Bender could create such dynamicism in her stories. With her talent, I will not be surprised to see and hear more of Aimee Bender in the years to come.
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