Fireworks [Book Review]

Fireworks [Book Review]
Hello there!
Title: Fireworks
Author: Angela Carter
Publisher: Quartet Books
Published Date: 1974
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: In the short fiction of Angela Carter, the
landmarks of reality disappear and give way to a landscape of riotous and
uncensored sensibility. The city of Tokyo turns into a mirrored chamber
reflecting the impossible longings of an exiled Englishwoman abandoned by her
Japanese lover. An itinerant puppet show becomes a theatre of murderous lust. A
walk through the forest ends in a nightmarish encounter with a gun-toting nymph
and her hermaphrodite ‘aunt’. Not simply a book of tales, Fireworks is a
headlong plunge into an alternate universe, the unique creation of one of the
most fertile, dark, irreverent, and baroquely beautiful imaginations in
contemporary fiction.

Review: This
is a short story collection recommended to me by my older sister. I decided to
read it without quite knowing what I was getting into, and I quite enjoyed the
short stories here. Angela Carter is an author new to me, but she certainly
does know how to vividly paint pictures in the reader’s mind and bring across
subtle messages with her words.
All of Angela Carter’s stories were so beautifully
written. I can’t say it any better than my sister did when she described it to
me – the author uses very purple writing. Occasionally, I must admit, it made
it a little difficult to understand some of the stories or what I was supposed
to be thinking about when reading them. However, in some stories it perfectly
worked with the voice and the message to make a mini masterpiece in itself. I
don’t think her writing will cater to everyone’s taste, but if you generally
enjoy classics then I am sure it can be something for you.
I also really liked that all of the stories were set in
Tokyo. If you know me, you know I am someone who is big on culture and having
stories set in different countries than the usual Britain or USA that I always
seem to be reading about, makes me incredibly happy. Some of the stories were
also set in alternate worlds that weren’t exactly Tokyo as well. But I was
Of course, with every collection, there were some stories
I liked more than others. I’m going to discuss some of my favourites here in
this review.
A Souvenir of Japan: I really liked this story
because of the message behind it. I found it to be about the difference between
appearances vs reality, and you can think of this best when it comes to first
impressions, which almost never really add up to who you really are. This
message was described through a romance in the short story, and I really liked
how it was done.
The Executioner’s Beautiful Daughter: This one I
understood to be about humanity and what that word itself entails. Right about
the same time as reading this collection I was also reading The Summer That Melted Everything byTiffany McDaniel, and I was so intrigued in this topic. It was interesting to
see how Carter handled that.
The Lovers of Lady Purple: Now this was a story I
had a mix of emotions about. It said something about language and
communication, both in verbal terms and those of the body. It said something
about seductiveness. It said something about your own creation occasionally
growing bigger than you and how it can overwhelm you if you are not careful.
The ending was twisted and I’m still not sure what to quite make of it yet. But
this one definitely held my interesting.
Penetrating to the Heart of the Forest: Again,
this one seemed to be dealing with humanity. How it is best when at one with
nature. I also got quite a few Adam and Eve like vibes from this story, and yet
it was twisted away from that too. Almost like a sinister version of a
Elegy for a Freelance: As the last of these
stories this one was almost a bittersweet ending to a collection I didn’t want
to leave. It was also the most interesting of them all. It dealt with murder,
death and idolization of someone close to you. Love can be blinding and Carter
played on that common saying.
All in all, these short stories were a quick read, but
left me thinking about them between reading story to story. I especially loved
the meanings of the novel and Carter manages to add sinister or dark twists to
almost all of them. Definitely thought provoking and worthwhile reading.
Gif Summary: 

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: What do you think defines the word

Olivia-Savannah x

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