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Battleborn by [Watkins, Claire Vaye]
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Battleborn Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

'This assured collection brings together stories from the underbelly of Nevadan life.' --Guardian

'Her remarkably assured and arresting collection of stories, Battleborn, draws on her own family history and life among the casinos, brothels and deserts of her native Nevada.' --Nicholas Wore, Guardian

'I urge you to read these spellbinding tales set in the arid landscape of Claire's home state of Nevada. This is the American west at its most other-worldly - a dark, visceral and raw place where her contemporary characters are weighed down by their past.' --Wales Online

About the Author

Claire Vaye Watkins is a Nevadan and a Presidential Fellow at Ohio State University. Her work has appeared in Hobart, the Hopkins Review, Las Vegas Weekly and Ploughshares.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 669 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594488258
  • Publisher: Granta Books (16 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008F8GE5Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This series of short stories could depress you if it wasn't so full of tension and activity. It's John Steinbeck in brief bursts, Cannery Row in the desert, perhaps too many daughters deprived of a mother's love, and a bit racy in language and description. But definitely four-star for the psychology of a variety of dysfunctional or semi-functional relationships. I would have liked a bit more optimism.
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Format: Paperback
THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

There is something equally freeing and unsettling about the wide-open desert--the horizon stretching out forever is both unattainable and inspiring. In Battleborn, a collection of stories by Claire Vaye Watkins, we get to explore all aspects of Nevada, from the sad allure of a brothel to nights out in Vegas that can only lead to trouble, told in an honest and yet lyrical voice. We bear witness to those moments in time beyond which there is no return. And what comes after this tipping point--that is our salvation.

Of course the themes and ideas in this book are not limited to the American West. The concept of a parent making a mistake that can change things forever--that's a universal fear. Turn away for a second, and your child can wander out into the street, can open a screen door and simply disappear. In "The Last Thing We Need" we get to see this very moment spill out onto the page, and whether or not the father in this story meant to educate his daughter by engaging her in a moment of wanderlust, that unsettling wash of anxiety is powerful.

"When I awoke this morning there was no snow on the ground and Layla was gone. She'd left no tracks. I pulled on my boots and walked around the camp. A layer of white covered the hills and the valley of skeletons of the old buildings, lighting the valley fluorescent. It was blinding. I called my daughter's name. I listened, pressing the sole of my shoe against the blackened rocks lining the fire pit. I watched the show go watery within my boot. There was no answer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not a huge fan of the short story genre, but this short stories exceeded my expectations.

The author, Claire Vaye Watkins, is the daughter of a member of the Charles Manson group, and the first story, "Ghosts, Cowboys," is about this topic.

There are nine other stories, all from the American west, most in the state of Nevada, about life in its small towns, deserts, Reno, and even the stories that are focused on other places (Califormia) are truly rooted in West.

Each of the stories are from different time periods and different genres, sometimes set in the old west, sometimes in today's west.

I don't want to spoil the book so just a couple of examples: the second story is about a man who writes to somwonw he's never met, only because he came across some man's belongings with an adress on them.
Another is about human beings' love lives and begins: "She will be thirty when she walks out on a man who in the end, she'll decide, didn't love her enough, though he in fact did love her, but his love wrenched something inside him, and this caused him to hurt her."

All the stories makes you want to read on, which is the mark of a great storyteller.

A new talented and versatile writer and a book for those who like literary fiction that examines the complexity of human nature.
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