Inside Madeleine : Stories Paperback – 15 May 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
The one exception. Spoiler-Alert!! Whereas the first 8 stories show rather than tell (an excellent thing), the 9th story gets a little bogged down by trying to fit within a concept. The protagonist loves to be filled, every which way, and then something bad happens, and she turns into a frigid anorexic (the opposite of wanting to be filled). This concept becomes quite clunky and labored. And, being the longest story by far in the collection, it drags on too long.
That last story neatly dovetails into the very first story, which was a very nice way of creating a sense of wholeness in a short story collection. Very well done. Overall, I would recommend this book highly. Though it's not for everyone. Bomer doesn't pull any punches. But if you want to read a handful of stories that will make a real impression, please give the book a try.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As I am in my early thirties, the book transported me to my own time of self-discovery and realization. The collection would have been more profound and shocking if I had read it in my late teens/early twenties--I think the stories speak most to younger women.
Bomer’s language is by turns fierce and abrasive, introspective and disconcertingly explicit; unnerving in its frank intimacy, fearlessly personal, unabashed, trenchant. In the aptly-titled “breasts” the author brilliantly reveals something of her anti-heroine’s turbulent inner life through a starkly unsentimental description of her physical form. And in “pussies” the reader can practically feel the main character’s dread and disappointment at the understanding of her destined place in the scheme of things, the very mortal terror that is the price of self-awareness:
“This was before I knew that we all live on this planet, driving in the cars of our own little minds, our own self-contained worlds. Yes, this was before I knew that, when I thought I mattered, when I thought that people saw me, deep into me, saw all my love and excitement at being alive, saw the very glistening running-overness of my aliveness. But we only matter when we do something awful. Then, someone sees us and only then.”
This is an important book, whether considered as an example of erotically frank coming-of-age fiction, or an exciting example of an emerging “mature literary” approach to story-telling. It will, I suspect, open eyes to realms of possibility, even as it inspires and empowers generations of writers to come.
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