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Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls

Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls [Kindle Edition]

Alissa Nutting
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Chosen by Ben Marcus as winner of the sixth Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction
“Alissa Nutting builds a dark catalog of behavior for her characters and the result is a kind of human bestiary, if humans were programmed to go down in flames, to run themselves aground, to seek ruin on every occasion. These fine stories, anthropologically thorough in their view of the contemporary person, illuminate how people hide behind their pursuits, concealing what matters most to them while striving, and usually failing, to be loved.” —Ben Marcus, author of Notable American Women

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 432 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0984213325
  • Publisher: Dzanc Books (1 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,826 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant collection of themed shorts 11 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Highly recommended for people who enjoy challenging, innovative, experimental fiction. The stories swing successfully from the comic to the tragic. Frequently bleak but manages to be emotive and tender in places. A brilliant collection of dark and inventive shorts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative short stories..... 6 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I have never read anything quite like "Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls" by Alissa Nutting, although there may be a comparison to be drawn between this book of short stories and the Fairy Tales collected by the Brothers Grimm.

Alissa Nutting has an amazing "outside of the box" imagination. Each of her stories found in the Table of Jobs at the beginning of the book is quirky, to say the least, if not totally weird. They all feature a female as the central character and the title of the story is an indication of her role in life. I was particularly intrigued by the titles "Dinner", "Ant Colony" and "Dancing Rat". Some of the stories are amusing, some are very sad, others are downright gruesome, but what they have in common is powerful imaginative writing that draws you into each story.

If you enjoyed the weirdness of some of Grimm's Fairy Tales when you were a child, you may well love this collection of tales. I know I did!

I would like to thank NetGalley for the chance to read this for free, in return for an honest review.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor 29 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Impenetrable. Not easy to read. Not enjoyable. Only bought it because Tampa had reasonable reviews. Not easy to get what it was all about.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like linked or themed story collections and I absolutely like feisty American females who shoot from the hip. This one took time to build a fanbase in the States - only three reviews in year of publication, one the Midwest Book Review, one mine; it took her (somewhat opportunistic?) novel to give this oddball volume traction. How about this, from September 9 last year? 'This book reminded me of a gruesome auto accident. You don't want to look, certainly not appear eager to examine every detail. But you do look & maybe wish you could get around the authorities for a better view. First I decided it was too weird for me. Then I decided maybe I would only read 2or3 stories. After that I was hooked..' Me, I haven't enjoyed a book this much since, hmm.. Beth Lisick's This Too Can Be Yours?

First, the reader advisory bit (to weed out the picky)
Specimen 1 (p18) I puked in my mouth but absolutely did not open my lips and let it fall on the floor
Specimen 2 (p23) her head...flipped back like a Pez dispenser

Still with me? OK, listen up, I think Alissa's a poet. The concept is, loosely, occupations - though not necessarily career choices. From story #3, on being 'space's first whore'(!)

- At least I'm not putting makeup on the dead
- I decide I should have a space persona. I rename myself Lorna
- I'm staring at Earth, which looks like the circular door of some ancient tomb
- I cover up the Earth and its oceans with my hand, and then even with the cameras it seems like no one can see me

These stories are too dense to deconstruct. Just read the other space story Deliverywoman, at 20 pages by some way the longest, then Corpse Smoker (yup, you heard), a mere 4 pages, or Zookeeper, all of 2.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  60 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have never read anything or anyone like Alissa Nutting and that equally terrifies and excites me. 3 July 2013
By madeusbooks - Published on
In two words: Disturbingly Delicious.
Best paired with: Red Wine

The one thing that struck me the most about this collection of short stories is the honesty displayed by the characters and the writing. Nothing is sugar coated and that is disturbingly delicious. Alissa Nutting put her characters in surreal and dark situations but showed us the complexity and drive inside of them. At times I had to throw my hand over my mouth at what I read, stunned, but that moment allowed me to get past the unconventional and look deeper into the heart of the character. These stories will make you feel an overwhelming and odd combination of feelings. "Models Assistant" will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable, "Ice Melter" will leave you numb and aching and "Knife Thrower" will tear any emotional resolve you have into little crumbs. I was not prepared for some of these stories. "Dancing Rat" is probably the one that I will remember most of all. Each one of these carefully planned stories will leave you wanting but for what I cannot tell you because, even now, I don't know myself. All I do know is, I need more. I have never read anything or anyone like Alissa Nutting and that equally terrifies and excites me. It is a rarity in this world to find something that is written with such fearlessness. I can go on and talk about each story but I won't. These little gems need to be discovered by your unprepared and stammering heart. I believe they will bring something different out of you than they did out of me and that is their real beauty. These stories were meant to be read, explored and felt, so, read on.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising! 19 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not normally a fan of short story collections, but this one was unexpectedly different. It is flat and honest, but in the way of a comic without a straight man. If there were a new wave of feminine neo-existentialist comic fiction, it would vote Alissa Nutting to the office of Treasurer or higher.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! 8 Dec 2012
By J. Wainwright - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This selection of smart, surreal short stories is unpredictable and exciting to read. I prefer the longer stories that develop characters and stretch the imagination, rather than the one to two page segments. Its a dark read, layered and explorative of metaphor and an altered universe for women, but well worth diving into. If you enjoy poetry and the short story genre, this book is right up your alley.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is absolutely the strangest thing I've ever read 10 Aug 2013
By EJAbbott - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The stories often surreal, sometimes plausible, and all are painful, raw examples of the female need for emotional connection and their often misguided attempts at seeking understanding. Even though the characters can be hard to relate to, any woman would find the emotions in each story as natural as breathing. In this collection, there really is no way to admit to having a favorite without revealing a little too much about oneself.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 30 Jun 2013
By V. Cano - Published on
A short story collection that packs a punch this one is a good choice for all those of you who enjoy darker fiction.
From the first sentence ("I am boiling inside a kettle with five other people"), the reader gets thrown into a strange, slightly askew world in which women have many, many odd jobs. The creativity in these stories really has to be applauded, as well as the sharp and insightful writing. The beginning stories are the best ones, with some of the middle ones losing a little bit of steam, but I suppose that is normal in most collections.
There is a certain humor in the writing and the ideas behind the stories, but what really comes across is a careful, nuances look at humanity and femininity in all its guises.
This collection is not for everyone. You have to like the bizarre, the eclectic, and the slightly grotesque, but if you want a taste of something completely different, then this one is a great choice.
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