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Beasts & Children: Stories by [Amy Parker]
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Beasts & Children: Stories Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The monkeys, seals, elephants, pangolins, sunfish, and domestic pets of Parker's wonderful collection of linked stories offer sublime metaphors and splendid foils for the floundering adults, as prone to moments of astonishing cruelty as the beasts are to sudden vengeance. Characters include sisters Carline and Cissy Bowman, whose family spends a fortune to ransom the father out of Thailand in "The White Elephant"; another pair of sisters, Jill and Maizie, are daughters of diplomats stationed in Ching Mai, and who venture out of their compound in "Rainy Season." Other stories involve a road trip to catch a lover ("The Balcony"); Jill and Maizie visiting a Thai orphanage ("Endangered Creatures"), and Carline and Cissy dealing with memories of their mother's bout with cancer ("Catastrophic Molt"). More than the dissatisfied and guilty adults, Parker's sympathies lie with the children, who with preternatural calm and piercing devotion survive early formative ruptures that will haunt them. Parker's sentences are clear, polished, finely-faceted gems, the images incandescent and precise, the tone balanced between the hypnotic and the absurd. Drawing out the implacable connections between beauty and danger, between love and pain, each individual story delivers a final punch of surprise both unpremeditated and yet perfect, "whole and alive in the way that only children and animals seem to be." It's to Parker's credit that the collection feels as complete as a novel, a journey transporting readers from the exotic to the familiar, leaving them blinking, dry-mouthed, and changed. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Feb.) --This text refers to the paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

In America, a lonely immigrant mother drives her car into a river, drowning herself and her two children. In Thailand, a teenage girl convinces her younger sister to cruise and drink with grown men. A father forces his son to kill a kitten, desiring only that the boy "be smarter than me." Gruesome? Perhaps. Indelible? Definitely. Readers may not immediately experience a taste for the darkness of some of the family relationships, but after a few stories, they will bite down hard. Parker writes too well to be forgotten and displays a talent for unearthing aches readers have attempted to bury. After Jill, the neglected daughter of a diplomat, finds herself in the apartment of an opiate addict, her remorse is so stark that many teenagers will strongly identify ("She understands this about herself—that her shame will endanger her again and again."). The pieces share characters and are connected. It's comforting to meet the characters again, but there's also the pain of realizing how badly their lives turned out. How do young people recover from the traumas of childhood? Why do some adults carry their pain so deeply? There are no comfortable answers, and this is not a collection for those who cry easily. VERDICT A collection for teens who love to look at the darker side of life. It will have a special lure for ex-pats and will command a strong audience in international schools.—Pamela Schembri, Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, NY --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00QPI6U7I
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner Books; 1st edition (February 2, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 2, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3085 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 323 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 32 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
32 global ratings

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