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Mona Awad

Forfatter af Bunny

7+ Works 2,897 Members 130 Reviews 1 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Mona Awad received a MFA in fiction from Brown University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing and English literature at the University of Denver. Her work has appeared in several journals including McSweeney's, The Walrus, Joyland, Post Road, and St. Petersburg Review. Her first vis mere novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was published in 2016. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre
Image credit: from author's website

Værker af Mona Awad

Bunny (2019) 1,668 eksemplarer
All's Well (2021) 516 eksemplarer
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (2016) 456 eksemplarer
Rouge (2023) 254 eksemplarer
Your Biggest Fan 1 eksemplar
Tout est bien (2022) 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

McSweeney's Issue 34 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2010) — Bidragyder — 110 eksemplarer
The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic (2020) — Bidragyder — 108 eksemplarer
Modern Grimmoire (2013) — Bidragyder — 44 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

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Almen Viden



I am struggling to review this book without being too negative, because I think there is a large audience who would get something out of it. Fans of this author's brand of "weird" or people who like reading about damaged women who are preyed on by cults would enjoy this. In the end Rouge was trying too hard to be edgy (lots of reviews describing it as a "fever dream") but it lacked substance.

Rouge is kicked off when Belle's mother dies unexpectedly in a mysterious accident, so Belle must travel to Southern California to tie up loose ends. She and her mom had this complicated relationship, most of which is either repressed or is described through her exceedingly unreliable memories. The night after the funeral, Belle puts on a pair of red shoes that she finds in her mom's apartment, which lead her to a mysterious spa by the ocean. After that, she starts to possibly descend into madness brought on by youthening "free treatments" from this spa that her mother was frequenting (and plowed all her money into) before her death. This is all dressed up with lots of allusions to classic European fairy tales (most notably, The Red Shoes, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, and, to a lesser extent, Beauty and the Beast and maybe Bluebeard) and some Egyptian mythology.

This seems like it could be a great satire of the beauty industry, but I found it more frustrating than enjoyable. First, it was far too long, with two male characters whose existence seemed completely unnecessary. There's a section in which her spa treatment and its aftermath, and her *second* spa treatment and *its* aftermath, are described in detail, with the same events, dialogue, imagery, etc. repeated. (I'm aware that in fairy tales things often happen 3 times, with the third time being the change in the pattern. I still think there would have been a more succinct way to allude to this idea. The middle 100 pages felt loooong.)

Of course the main character is a featureless dope with no personality or motivation (of course!). This is also a fairy tale element, and it's one that works fine when you're reading or listening to a short story, but it becomes tedious over the course of nearly 400 pages. Plus we've now had decades of woman-forward retellings of classic fairy tales, so it's not at all mind-blowing to point out that "princess" characters are hollow and bland.

Finally, what bugged me the most is that so many things just didn't make sense. If it's all in Belle's head and she's having a psychotic break brought on by grief about her mom, that's fine. However, there are elements that can't be explained by the "it was all a dream/psychotic episode" interpretation, so I think we have to conclude that there's something supernatural going on. If the explanation is "shrug, things happen in this world that we can never understand or explain" that's also fine! But writing a surrealist book is not a license to give up on trying to make its internal logic cohere. If it turns out there's an *actual* conspiracy afoot, then waving your hands and hoping all the plot holes go away is not a very satisfying strategy.

It turns out that (SPOILER) there's an evil cabal of soul-vampires led by the Egyptian god Seth who are using the contemporary beauty industry to harvest *some* souls (but they also have a perfectly legit beauty product business on the side--I guess even 4000+ year old supernatural beings still need to make bank). What? Starting to try and explain all this, and then dropping it when it becomes inconvenient is frustrating. "Just because" or "I wanted to be edgy" is not good enough. (The implication is that they have to find particularly needy/insecure people's souls to harvest, and preferably those should also be people of color [?] or maybe only self-hating mixed-race people [?]. Also, they have to find and groom these people *from childhood* so that they can eventually steal their souls 30 years later. Surely there has to be a more efficient way for soul vampires to operate and find "excellent candidates." No? Maybe not.)

Also, there was 100% too much Tom Cruise. I get it, but come on.
… (mere)
sansmerci | 6 andre anmeldelser | Feb 1, 2024 |
Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes… no?
the.lesbian.library | 73 andre anmeldelser | Jan 15, 2024 |
This was a fun read for someone who has gone to graduate school, especially in the arts or writing. There are darkness, horror, and weird supernatural events - but I mostly read them as symbolic of graduate school doing violence to an individual's creativity. Interesting prose - not always successful for me, but innovative!
mj_papaya | 73 andre anmeldelser | Jan 7, 2024 |
All’s Well by Mona Awad

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mona Awad's writing gets me so excited as a reader. I am obsessed with Bunny and I loved All's Well too! I read it twice through, and I wrote
a long blog post with my thoughts and analysis.

You can do and read that if you want (obviously it contains lots of spoilers and quotes etc!), but here I will just stick a Mini Review!

I loved it, obviously.

- A twisty unreliable narrator that goes from sympathetic to the villain in her own story!
- The writing is clever, and viscerally describes the experience of chronic pain (clearly from the author's own experiences) and misogyny in a medical establishment run by men. I am obsessed with Mona Awad's writing, its so confident and her voice is so strong. She immediately has me.
- Delicious Shakespearean witchcraft, references and themes as the novel hangs between Macbeth and All’s Well That Ends Well.
- Atmospheric, visual and spooky, it gave me David Lynch (Twin Peaks) vibes.
- It does have an ambiguous ending that not all readers may love, but thematically I think its fitting.

If you did enjoy Bunny, then I think you’ll enjoy this one too! It’s narrative is more straightforward and it doesn’t have the guts and gore!

View all my reviews
… (mere)
ImagineAlice | 20 andre anmeldelser | Jan 7, 2024 |



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