The Color Master

The Color Master


eBook - 2013
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A traumatic event unfolds when a girl with flowing hair of golden wheat appears in an apple orchard, where a group of people await her. A woman plays out a prostitution fantasy with her husband and finds she cannot go back to her old sex life. An ugly woman marries an ogre and struggles to decide if she should stay with him after he mistakenly eats their children. Two sisters travel deep into Malaysia, where one learns the art of mending tigers who have been ripped to shreds.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385534901
Characteristics: 1 online resource (222 p.)


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LPL_KimberlyL Mar 04, 2018

Aimee Bender's writing style perfectly mixes the real and the unreal - these short stories are either unusually usual or completely bonkers. I wasn't quite sold on her as an author when I first started reading her works, but The Color Master is yet another collection I have read of hers that makes me want to read everything she has ever written. I would recommend if you like weird fiction, fabulism, or magical realism in any of its forms.

Jul 11, 2016

These stories are really creative and well written. My favorite was "The Color Master" which reads like an artistic fairytale [Anderson, not Grimm].... have to say that I was compleately disgusted by the first story and almost quit reading the book. it very creatively objectifies a girl and discribes a gang-rape in flowing other-wordly language. Come on, as a writer, I could describe the delicate dance of flames as they dance elegantly on a building during an arson [also a felony like rape] but that wouldn't be appropriate.

Sep 16, 2013

This volume of short stories features weird and wonderful characters pursuing connections in extraordinary ways (and sometimes failing). Surreal events (like the sewing together of tigers or the creation of a dress the color of the moon) punctuate many of the tales, though not all of them -- one tells the very realistic story of a woman who fulfills her husband's fantasy and then finds she can't quite let go of it. Many reviewers describe these stories as "fairy tales," but while some are whimsical, they're also dark and melancholy, like the best fairy tales for adults. Versatile and distinctive, this is a collection to be savored.

Sep 14, 2013

I'll be honest, I liked Beautiful Creatures more as a whole. But this collection still had some amazing five star stories in it that made it well worth reading. I'm a big fan of Aimee Bender and her short stories, which always have an otherworldly feel (even when she's not telling a story about ogres or magic clothing makers). It didn't quite live up to my expectations, but I loved a few of the stories enough that I'll probably be buying myself a copy soon.

Sep 02, 2013

I've read a few comments like this lately, which seem to be written by a professional who is pushing the book. Always four or five stars, with descriptions that don't seem to be from our usual well-read and intelligent commenters who write without the flowery prose. This book got a good review in the Toronto Star, and I'm interested in reading it, but this description was so over the top that it puts me off. What's up?

ksoles Aug 21, 2013

In her most recent collection, Aimee Bender explores the undulations, oddities and surrealisms that define both loneliness and companionship. The fifteen stories share similar themes, symbols and character types but diverge in setting and particulars. Most read like modern folk tales, featuring obvious or subtle magic, and all emerge as compelling, provocative tales.

Bender's opening 2-page story portrays a dark scene that poses a relevant questions for the entire book: do we exist in fantasy or reality? Symbol or solidity? Later, the reader meets two sisters who travel to Asia to heal skinless tigers. The title story features characters stitching clothing in the colours of the sun, moon and sky, indicating uncertainty and transformation. An ogre's wife mourns the loss of her children and a family inexplicably begins to find extra objects around the house. As "The Colour Master" blurs the line between mundane and fantastic, elements of real life weave with shimmering glimpses of an unknowable exterior world.

Bender also highlights emotional isolation and awkwardness. A college-age woman spends a strange evening with an elderly man, a boy cannot or will not see the faces of the people around him, a teenage girl at the mall with her friends acts like a social and temperamental outlier and a man keeps losing the "words of things," remaining incapable of committing to a relationship with a woman he truly likes.

One could certainly read this collection in one sitting thanks to its brisk pace and straightforward style. However, each story deserves to be mulled over, unpacked and contemplated in order to appreciate the complexity of the author's ideas.


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