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Monster, She Wrote cover art

Monster, She Wrote

By: Lisa Kröger,Melanie R. Anderson
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
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Summary

Satisfy your craving for extraordinary authors and exceptional fiction: Meet the women writers who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales, from Frankenstein to The Haunting of Hill House and beyond.

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.

©2019 Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars

great for a recommendation list

great list of books and authors covered, a recommendation for everyone in here somewhere

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Profile Image for Stephanie M. Wytovich
  • Stephanie M. Wytovich
  • 25-09-19

Absolutely Inspiring!

An enchanting, inspiring read that made my TBR list grow about two feet! This should be mandatory reading for all speculative fiction writers. I'm so thrilled this book exists.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Rose
  • 30-01-21

Fascinating!

As a modern goth girl, this book was wonderful and informative! I learned about dark minds and “difficult” women from the long history of horror, pulp, gothic, and speculative fiction. As someone who is interested in, but not particularly familiar with literary history and terminology, reading this book was enlightening without being inaccessible. The authors don’t shy away from interspersing their own commentary in a way that feels very conversational and passionate. The reading lists are phenomenal! It’s clear to me that this book was written by nerds, and I mean that as the highest compliment!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Carolyn
  • 30-04-21

Good information, not ideal for audio

This is definitely a book worth reading, but perhaps not one that lends itself to audiobook format. It's written in more of a "listicle" style than a narrative one, which I wasn't really expecting, and I had to keep stopping to jot down authors and titles to look into, or I would completely lose track. Not the end of the world, but I think I would have preferred the print version.

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  • Chris Lane
  • 23-10-21

Find new writers with this primer

Already looked to see if The Blazing World was on Audible (it is). Download it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Red-Haired Ash
  • 03-09-21

Fascinating

4 stars - It was really good.

This was a fascinating look at the women who have pioneered horror fiction. I hadn’t heard of very many of these women or their books before this. I am not a huge horror fan but I want to read more in the future so I will be adding some of these authors to my TBR. Also I loved that at the end of each chapter the authors provided a list of recommended reading if you were interested. I am going to have to get the eBook version of this book now just so I can reference those lists.

If you are interested in horror history, book history, or pioneering women, I highly suggest picking up this book.

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  • Kristopher KR
  • 11-10-22

Worth A Listen

I stumbled across this book; somehow. I honestly don’t know how o came across it.

But, it wound up being an interesting listen!

I learned about all sorts of women authors, a lot of which - hundreds of years later - influence modern horror authors.

Most people know Mary Shelly and her writing Frankenstein; but there are so many more.

I also learned a new genre: afro-futurism. Basically, it’s a story whose main character is a poc and has a sort of sci-fi element to it. Tho, the author did say singer Janelle Monae is a part of it?

But, if you’re looking for new people to check out; this is a great reference and is full of suggestions and little-known writers.

Give it a look!!

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  • Raven
  • 02-10-22

choose a paper edition, not an audiobook

First off, this is a delightful book with interesting 10-minute vignettes about the women writers. It was especially fun to hear about writers that I know and have read. Unfortunately, the book pushed its limits when it mused on the future of women's horror and speculative fiction. This is what took 2 stars off the 5 stars potential. While the rest of the book sticks to traditional horror and speculative fiction, it begins to fall off the rails when it begins to make social commentary. For example. while The Handmaid's Tale speculates, it is not speculative fiction, per se. The same is true of The Hunger Games trilogy. However, Kroger and Anderson want to classify these books as "horror," because the characters face them. In a book that's about stories of true monsters and hauntings, these commentaries don't fit. Monsters and hauntings fit into the genre of horror and speculative fiction. Atwood's and Collins's do not. It's almost an insult to try to squeeze these books into this genre.

That being said, be warned regarding the format. Each vignette ends with a reading list. I would have loved to explore the recommended and "not to be missed" books, but an audiobook makes it wholly impractical to try to retrieve this information. If this information is interesting to you, then a paper edition would fit better than an audio.

(Just an interesting addition to the exploration of Anne Rice: the vampire child Claudia was inspired by her own daughter who tragically died of cancer at a very young age. I'm surprised the writers did not include that.)

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  • Tara
  • 29-09-22

not a story just someone else opinions

this isn't a story. this is someone's opinion on other women's books, and little clips of what that other book is about.

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  • Maddie
  • 01-08-22

What to read next

This book does a great job giving short biographies of the women who created horror and also recommending your next read. I loved getting to know how much of an impact each woman made and then getting a sample of what some of them wrote to really tie it all together.

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  • Michele A. Cacano-Green
  • 16-07-22

So informative

I have so many books to read! This history of women authors has given me so many titles to seek out and names to explore. Did you know that Mary Shelley wasn't even the first to write horror novels? There were a few published a hundred years earlier!

Of course, many of my already-favorites are here, besides Mary Shelley: Shirley Jackson, C.L. Moore, Tanith Lee, Octavia E. Butler, Toni Morrison, Kelly Link, V.C. Andrews, etc. etc. But now I have so many more to read! My mother and I have always enjoyed C.L. Moore's short SF stories, but I had no idea she wrote under at least two other pen names.

Many women authors were much more prolific than their male counterparts, and, therefore, deemed less important (explain that one!). Also, because so much of this work was published in disposable mediums like the serials of the late 1800s, or the pulp paperbacks of the 1920s through the 1950s, much has been lost to the world. It is a tragedy to know so many inventive and imaginative tales will never be remembered or reprinted. I must also seek out the publishers who are making an effort to revive and preserve these works of past writers.

I loved hearing about mid-20th-century short stories being adapted into television episodes of anthology series like Night Gallery, Outer Limits, and others. I remember several mentioned, and was glad to a woman writer was credited and paid for some of the more memorable episodes.

The structure of this book was also a pleasure. Each chapter begins with a short passage, the name of the author, and a short biography of that writer 's career. After briefly discussing the life, works, and reception of the author (both critical and popularly), there is sometimes a comparison to contemporaries, antecedents, or preceding influences upon the author. At the end of each chapter, the recommended reading list is shared. Perfect.