The Color Master

Title: The Color Master
Author: Aimee Bender
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
Pages: 240
How I Got It: NetGalley

In this collection, Bender’s unique talents sparkle brilliantly in stories about people searching for connection through love, sex, and family—while navigating the often painful realities of their lives. 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.

I appreciate Bender's style and tried to keep an open mind, but I personally did not like the stories. Billed as a collection of grown-up fairy tales, I was hoping for something racy and dark but with a lesson. Like last year's release of Philip Pullman's Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm but for adults.  I found the stories unsettling and vague. To be truthful, I only read the first four stories and then gave up. I love a non-conformist style (House of Leaves is one of my favorite books) but this just left me scratching my head.

Read Beth Kephart's review in the Chicago Tribune. 

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