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Her Body and Other Parties

Stories
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

©2017 Carmen Maria Machado (P)2017 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Breaks needed

Needs longer/more concrete audio breaks between stories. Difficult to differentiate stories and no time to process after one has ended. Beautiful writing.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

Poignant and heartbreakingly accurate fiction. Good read if you're a woman and feel like nobody understands you... Machado reaches down into every cobwebbed corner of the female experience and closely examines what she finds.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It sounds like Siri is reading you a book

I had such high hopes for this book but unfortunately the terrible choice of robotic narrator was just too distracting to get me through the first chapter.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No breaks between stories

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

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • PJE
  • Central Virginia
  • 01-03-18

Character development is weak

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend these stories. Although I'm impressed by their originality and by the boldness of exhibiting intense sexual drives so explicitly and tastefully, especially with her female characters, ultimately, for me, the characters and the stories are too thin. The degree to which Machado sees sexuality as a defining characteristic of men and women makes her characters feel one dimensional (to me). I wanted to see other sides of her characters as the situations and the fairy tale dimension of her storytelling is often intriguing. Machado writes well, but her obsession with erotica becomes boring/annoying.

What could Carmen Maria Machado have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Deepen her characters/make them less one dimensional.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

If you liked the movie "Mother"...

This book is like listening to slam poetry. The plots, if there are actual plots, have been shuffled and diced until all that is left is a fragmented mosaic of prose. Maybe that's the point. It makes no sense and feels like it's trying to hard to be abstract art. If you liked the movie "Mother", this book might be for you.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

... meh

I usually like short stories but this one has too much magical realism for my liking. The SVU portion in particular I found to be really confusing. I enjoyed a few of the other stories, I don’t want to give away spoilers so I’ll just leave it at that.

From a narration standpoint, the stories all run together. The new chapters are never signified so it can be really confusing. The woman’s voice was also a bit dry.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kemee
  • ATLANTA, GA, US
  • 04-03-19

Not Sure...

I both loved and loathed this book. Several of the stories interested me, but then there were times when I was confused, but I must say I finished it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No chapter titles??

I may have been able to enjoy this book and it’s bizarre writing had each chapter/short story was broken up into chapters. I would be listening to a story and it would just begin the next one and I didn’t quite understand if it was the same story or a new one.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lacks chapter breaks, but the novel is inspiring

As it is a collection of short stories, it is essential to make the transition more clear to the listener. One story flows directly into the next- no pause- which makes it nearly imposible to recognize the start of a new story until you realize the characters have changed. I’m sure I would’ve have enjoyed reading the book much more.
The book is exhilarating in its novelty and honesty. The way Machado tackles issues of women’s sexuality and society’s violence towards women is truly inspiring and offers a springboard to engage in necessary conversations on the topics.