LISTENER

Mister Pants

  • 2
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 21
  • ratings
  • Her Body and Other Parties

  • Stories
  • By: Carmen Maria Machado
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 262
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 237
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 239

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Breaks needed

  • By Nora on 04-06-18

No breaks between stories

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-18

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, this audiobook is hampered by kind of a dumb and unnecessary flaw -- the reader doesn't provide any pause or other noticeable break between stories. She ends one story, then immediately reads the title of the next one and continues on, without any change in cadence. It's OK if you're able to pay complete attention to the book, but if you're driving or doing something else while listening, it's easy to miss the transition from one story to the next. I listen while driving, and was four stories in before I realized it!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Ritualistic Human Sacrifice

  • By: C.V. Hunt
  • Narrated by: Andersen Prunty
  • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

Nick Graves is a miserable man. Every day he comes home from his dream job to a stale marriage. On the day he finally summons the courage to tell his wife, Eve, he wants a divorce she has exciting news for him - she's pregnant. Nick is a spiteful man. He purchases his dream home in an ideal location far away from family, friends, and coworkers. It's a life changing decision he's chosen to make without Eve's consultation.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Delivers what it says on the tin...just barely!

  • By Mister Pants on 12-03-16

Delivers what it says on the tin...just barely!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-03-16

What disappointed you about Ritualistic Human Sacrifice?

Despite giving every appearance of being a horror novel, nothing all that horrific happens until the very end of the book! For most of its length, this is an occasionally amusing but mostly plodding tale of domestic discontent, involving a thoroughly nasty fellow whose plans to divorce his wife are thwarted by her unwanted (by the husband, at least) pregnancy.

This is essentially a short story padded out to novel length with a number of unnecessary scenes, such as one where the narrator meets with his boss about being permitted to work from home (this following a previous scene where the narrator meets with someone else at his company about being permitted to work from home), or one where the couple go grocery shopping and we're treated to a helpfully detailed description of their purchases.

To be sure, when the actual horrific events occur (spoiler alert -- they do involve Ritualistic Human Sacrifice), they are pretty gruesome and disturbing, but ultimately this is the literary equivalent of a bottle labeled "Grapefruit Juice" that turns out to contain only 5% actual grapefruit juice.

What three words best describe Andersen Prunty’s performance?

Flat Affect Theater

Any additional comments?

I guess I should have been upset at being sold a horror novel that turns out to contain very little actual horror -- and what there is of what one might recognizably term "horror" is mostly just erotica with some gross-out details thrown in -- but the egregiousness of this book actually amused me to the point where I enjoyed the experience. I was left feeling as if I'd been trolled, but with a degree of audacity that was at first startling, then astounding, and finally almost charming.

Is this a bad novel? Yes -- the writing is competent but unremarkable, the characters' behavior and choices defy all logic, and there are not merely gaping plot holes but several points where the author seems to have forgotten what she wrote just a couple of chapters earlier. As a piece of literature and as a horror novel, it fails in some critical ways. Yet, there's sort of a shaggy dog quality to the whole thing that almost redeems it. I can't in good conscience recommend this book, but I have to admit I did find it strangely compelling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful