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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Audible Book Review: Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger, Melanie R. Anderson

This is packed with recommended reading!
Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
By: Lisa Kröger, Melanie R. Anderson
Narrated by: Erin Bennett

Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
Release date: 09-17-19
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Genre: Celebrities, Entertainment, Literature History, Nonfiction, Women
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.25; Narration 4.25.

Publisher's 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.

This is a fascinating and extremely informative work. I enjoyed the format used. The authors define a subgenre giving the history of its development, and its main characteristics and elements that help the reader identify the subgenre. The authors then highlight the female authors who contributed to those subgenres. When appropriate the authors mention peer males in the subgenres. Individual authors are then highlighted with a bit of history of their lives and how or why they started writing in the genre. Then there are recommendations of the best of the specific works by that author with the addition of similar works in the same subgenre by other female authors. There are also selected quotes shared which add interest. The subgenres include the classic gothic, terror, guts and gore, occult, haunting houses, new goths, and speculative fiction (modern vampires, apocalyptic, eotwawki).

I thought that I was aware of the female authors of horror, but I had only a small list. Even then, there are many I haven’t read. The big thing I missed with the audiobook is a pdf with lists, which are sometimes provided with audiobooks. Although it was easier to listen, I wasn’t in a situation where I could take notes. It might be appropriate to get the hardback as a table reference book or the kindle version as a searchable book. I recommend this to readers who want to find book choices in any horror genre.

Audio Notes:
Erin Bennett does a nice job of narration. There could have been some clearer pauses particularly when quotes are given but now that I look at the Kindle sample, I see that they are boxed items so it may have created a bit of a challenge to read those smoothly in the text. The audio is fine but to reference you have to go back to the audiobook.

Source: September 2020 Audible Plus Catalog. This qualifies for 2021TBR and 2021Audiobook goals.


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