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Mouthful of Birds: Stories von Samanta…
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Mouthful of Birds: Stories (2020. Auflage)

von Samanta Schweblin (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
3211963,653 (3.62)39
Schweblin's stories have the feel of a sleepless night, where every shadow and bump in the dark take on huge implications; they leave your pulse racing and the line between the real and the strange blurring. In the tradition of Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor, Schweblin's stories move on the boundary between the real and the fantastic. This selection, chosen by the author, is an indispensible piece of contemporary Argentine literature.… (mehr)
Mitglied:Quixada
Titel:Mouthful of Birds: Stories
Autoren:Samanta Schweblin (Autor)
Info:Riverhead Books (2020), Edition: Reprint, 240 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:fiction, short stories

Werk-Details

Mouthful of Birds von Samanta Schweblin

  1. 10
    The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories von Mariana Enriquez (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both are South American writers who use horror and an off-beat point of view.
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A short story collection with a lot of hits and a few misers. Seeing this beautiful cover, I wanted this book so and bad! I was at work when I saw this book. I read a story and was immediately sold. Unfortunately, that story was the only 5 star for me.

This little story collection has 20 stories. All with a dark and unsettling feeling to them. Some stories follow normal couples stopping for some food. Another one follows a girl who only eats live birds and one is a story about butterflies.

This book was pretty good for the most part. Seeing everywhere that this author has won a lot of prices made me have faith that she could read interesting stories. And she does just that. All of the stories were pretty good idea wise. The execution of the stories on the other hand was sometimes not so great. What pains me the most in books is that sometimes you see a good idea and what the author is trying to say only to have it wrapped up in something so illogical that it misses the whole point. A lot of stories here are just too short. With a little bit more explanation they would go a long way.
For example, I have to use a spoiler. So be warned.
In the story about the butterflies only on the last sentence you understand what the story is about. How a father can just shove something aside only to realize later they hurt someone in the process of doing so. This is an example of great story telling. The writing sets up a scene. You as a reader have no idea how it turns out. Revealing it only in the last sentence.
I wish I could only rate that story and not have to deal with all the other ones.
Most of the other stories in this book are lacking this explanation. They set a scene, create interesting characters, have an unusual thing going on, only to leave it there. No explanation or something to make sense of why and how something happened.
Now this could be deliberant and a choice from the author but in my opinion this didn’t do the book any favors.

A short story collection that has some really good writing If you can overlook the weird and nonsensical ones.
( )
  luclicious | Sep 20, 2021 |
A mixed bag of stories: some had no discernible point, some were deeply unsettling. This collection overall made me feel like I was slowly descending into madness, where even a mundane set-up could start to feel low-key ominous. Schweblin has a knack for the slow burn, steadily crafting an atmosphere that feels sinister without always resorting to shocking imagery or violence typically found in the horror genre. Endings are not her strong suit, however. Many felt unsatisfying and sudden. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
‘’Calderón, on the other hand, stands motionless. He can’t bring himself to lift his foot from the one he has killed. He is, perhaps, afraid of recognizing his girl’s colours on the dead wings.’’

Twenty stories full of darkness. Deep, impenetrable, untraceable, lingering in our souls. Stories told in a strange place between reality and a world we meet in our dreams. Or are they actually hallucinations that reveal our true colours? In Schweblin's collection, the boundaries between human relationships and violence are extremely thin. Birds are eaten alive, butterflies are destroyed, children present the greatest mystery. Are they a projection of our true nature before this is influenced by external factors? Is parenthood an act of uncertainty, a leap of faith? Are human beings destined to be alone even if we are surrounded by family and loved ones? Are we all prone to commit the ultimate acts of violence when prompted by the slightest trigger?

Samanta Schweblin's stories don't need verbose tricks. Her writing is minimalistic, yet extremely intricate in its gifted simplicity. Through innocuous moments of our daily life, circumstances beyond our imagination arise, turning the surreal and the macabre into a tangible reality that the reader experiences with merciless force. In every story, you encounter a hidden aspect, a wish locked in a chest that you may be too afraid to open. You realise that the intense feeling of something being wrong lies next to you, extending a finger pointing at us. Each story is a universe, a dream we are desperately trying to wake from. In vain.

Children are turning into butterflies. Women find themselves a part of a wedding ritual that thwarts their dreams. Mothers are able to delay the birth of their children ''until the time is right.'' A teenage girl gives in to absurd cravings. A train that never reaches its destination, condemned in an eternal schedule, repeated on and on and on. An emissary comes face-to-face with a starving crowd. An artist with violent urges. A family drama unfolds in a toy shop. Children are swallowed by the pit they dug. A couple, living on the steppe, longs for a child. A man murders his wife and is treated as an artist by a corrupted psychiatrist.

Continuing the tradition of Borges and Cortázar, Schweblin creates a collection that is eerie, haunting, and merciless. Two of her stories, Butterflies and On The Steppe are so flawless that you will read them again and again. Mouthful of Birds is one of those unique books that mirror our soul in a dark room. It is like a hazy dream that frightened us even though we are unable to recall its details the moment we wake up. It is a monumental work in today's Short Story genre, in a brilliant translation by Megan McDowell.

''Then the madness began. They say that one night a woman heard noises in her house. They were coming from the floor, as if a rat or a mole were digging underneath it. Her husband found her moving the furniture, pulling up the rugs, shouting her son's name while she pounded the floor with her fists. Other parents started to hear the same noises. They moved all the furniture into the corners of their homes. They pulled up the floorboards with their hands. They knocked down basement walls with hammers, dug up their yards, emptied the wells. They filled the dirt streets with holes. They threw things inside, like food, coats, toys, then they covered them over again. They stopped burying their garbage. They dug up their few dead bodies from the cemetery. It's said that some parents kept digging day and night in the empty lot, and that they stopped only when exhaustion or madness finished off their bodies.''

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com/ ( )
  AmaliaGavea | May 14, 2020 |
The first four stories were creepy masterpieces. The rest felt like sketches where Schweblin explores themes that will no doubt be the core of her work as a writer, and that recall the everyday dread of Fever Dream: the weirdness of family; the impossibility of knowing even those you know best; the way everyday routine can decay unexpectedly into chaos and terror. In real life it’s an accident or unexpected illness; in these stories it’s learning your daughter is eating live birds or that the butterfly you just killed wasn’t a butterfly at all. The terrors here are metaphorical phantasms but they map onto real-life fears and that is what makes these stories powerful rather than just macabre. ( )
  poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
This is an odd collection of stories. They are compelling and well written, but twisted. I’d hate to live in Schweblin’s imagination... but I’m weeks since finishing this book, and some of the stories are still with me, carrying along big question marks. ( )
  amillion | Feb 18, 2020 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (3 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Schweblin, SamantaHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Ammar, AngelicaÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gugnon, IsabelleÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
McDowell, MeganÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Nicola, MariaÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Schweblin's stories have the feel of a sleepless night, where every shadow and bump in the dark take on huge implications; they leave your pulse racing and the line between the real and the strange blurring. In the tradition of Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor, Schweblin's stories move on the boundary between the real and the fantastic. This selection, chosen by the author, is an indispensible piece of contemporary Argentine literature.

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Durchschnitt: (3.62)
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