“Machado’s verve shines through: macabre, erotic, and never quite what they initially seem, these aren’t stories that are easily dismissed.”



This is a debut work that was shortlisted for this years National Book Award.

The book consists of eight stories, two which can almost be classified as Novellas.

The opening two stories are about a woman and her sexual awakening, but both end up having a Stephen King twist to them as does a third story in the book. Of the two lengthy stories, one is a rendition of the authors thoughts about every episode of Law and Order SVU.  As I don’t watch the show I couldn’t appreciate it as someone who was familiar with it could.

The other long story concerns a woman going on a retreat.  She is a writer and other artists are also on the retreat with her.  This also has a Stephen King edge to it.

The book is well written and I enjoyed the first two stories the most.   Once the SVU story comes up, It started to get a bit sluggish for me.  It was interesting to read stories about sexual situations that end up sort of macabre, and I found that quite unique.

Not for everyone, but there are a few really interesting stories here.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 16th January 2018

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Richard Franco