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[Whiteley, Aliya]のThe Beauty (English Edition)
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紙の本の長さ: 112ページ Word Wise: 有効 タイプセッティングの改善: 有効
Page Flip: 有効 言語: 英語
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内容紹介

Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night.

The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its aural roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the darkness. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods?

Hear the tales, watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?

Discover the Beauty.

This is a bold and striking novella to shake up the New Weird and does contain strong imagery and events. The beautiful and the terrible exist side by side. Encompassing post-apocalyptic setting, science fiction and horror, this is a story you will never forget.

About the Author


Born in Devon in 1974, Aliya took a degree in Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University in the early 1990s and has been writing since then. She’s lived all over the UK and in Germany, and is currently in Sussex with her husband, daughter and dog.

She writes in many genres. Her two comic novels, Light Reading and Three Things About Me, were published by Macmillan, and her speculative fiction has appeared in various publications, such as Strange Horizons, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the Elastic Press slipstream anthology, Subtle Edens (co-written with Neil Ayres).

Her short stories are violent, terrifying, tender, and funny. They have received much critical praise, from The Boston Globe to Tangent, and have garnered accolades such as The Drabblecast People’s Choice Award, runner-up in the Guardian’s Short Short Story competition, and runner-up in the McSweeney’s 13 Writing Prompts competition. In 2012 she was the runner up in the British Fantasy Society short story competition.

レビュー

This novella should win stuff. Seriously, just read it. Original work is being done. Here's proof. **** -- Nina Allan I was provoked, shocked, disgusted, touched and, ultimately, I emerged feeling wiser. A brilliant, haunting original. **** -- Craig Lines Den Of Geek This is a short book with a lot to say, all of it interesting ... Most of all it's about the power of storytelling to preserve our past and shape our future, and so one can see why it would appeal to an imprint called Unsung Stories, on this evidence a name to look out for. The Beauty is intellectual and visceral, frightening and thoughtful, an adventure and a meditation. **** -- Stephen Theaker Interzone If I were to push one book on you from 2014, shove one book at you and say "this", it would be The Beauty. **** -- Benjamin Judge Aliya Whiteley's elegant, dreamlike prose masterfully frames the most slippery of issues - the fluidity of gender and sexuality; history and the power of propaganda; the value of life in all its forms, and the complex, grotesque nature of desire and disgust. The deconstruction of gender roles provides a sophisticated comment on the natural passage of identity and selfhood. **** -- Jen Wade We Love This Book

登録情報

  • フォーマット: Kindle版
  • ファイルサイズ: 578 KB
  • 紙の本の長さ: 112 ページ
  • 同時に利用できる端末数: 無制限
  • 出版社: Unsung Stories (2014/9/4)
  • 販売: Amazon Services International, Inc.
  • 言語: 英語
  • ASIN: B00NC5OJW0
  • Text-to-Speech(テキスト読み上げ機能): 有効
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  • Word Wise: 有効
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Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta) (「Early Reviewer Program」のレビューが含まれている場合があります)

Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.4 11 件のカスタマーレビュー
5つ星のうち 5.0 WOW! 2017/1/27
投稿者 Susan Flett Swiderski - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
I've called other books "different" before, but THIS one just moved into first place for the MOST different of all the books I've ever read. It's in an "other" category all by itself. I mean, how can a book be both wonderful and horrible at the same time? Okay, not horrible... more like horrifying.

The writing is top-notch, and the author creates unforgettable images within her allegory about a group of males striving to survive in a world in which all females have died. This story centers on what these males are willing to do, and the instinctive revulsions they are able to ignore, just so they can fill their aching need for something "female."

This book is both brilliant and disgusting. I'm in awe of this author's imagination.
5つ星のうち 4.0 Terrific 2016/6/15
投稿者 カスタマー - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
This book is unlike any I have ever read. With every few pages the story line morphs into a new and disturbing outcome. So weird and fantastic. I recommend this book to anyone who wants their world and gender roles to be rocked beyond belief.
5つ星のうち 4.0 Another reason for my husband to dislike mushrooms. 2016/5/5
投稿者 Caterina Runyon-Spears - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
The premise was interesting. I'd like to see a part two. It was something I'd never seen before.
5つ星のうち 5.0 Five Stars 2016/10/12
投稿者 Ranica Arrowsmith - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
This book is horrifying in the best way. Read it.
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5つ星のうち 4.0 Love Child of Ursula Le Guin and Jeff VanderMeer 2014/10/9
投稿者 Han Jie - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版
In a recent episode of the Coode Street Podcast, hosts Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe invited Nina Allan and Paul Kincaid on the show to discuss, among other things, the state of speculative fiction publishing. Allan and Kincaid agreeing that commercial publishers use a heavy hand molding authors’ submissions into a shape they believe will better sell, the conclusion was that small presses are the place to find works that do not spoon feed, rather offer the spoon. And Aliya Whiteley’s short novel The Beauty (2014), published by the new small press Unsung Stories, is a perfect example. Though at times lacking the subtlety of pure literary genre, the poetic prose, thematic outlay, and sharply focused narrative nevertheless give it a leg (or two) up on the majority of factory produced speculative fiction currently being published by the big houses.

Though technically post-apocalyptic, The Beauty bears little in common with the titles the sub-genre is most known for. Feeling perfectly like the love child of Ursula Le Guin and Jeff VanderMeer, Whiteley uses fungal bizarreness in a dark woodland setting to overlay a story hitting a couple major touch points of feminism and gender relations. Playing things safe, Whiteley works within comfortable bounds, thematically. The story of an all-male group eking out existence in the aftermath of a catastrophe that wiped women from the Earth nevertheless purports ideas that bear repetition, the wisdom not perennial for all.

The Beauty is the story of one of the young men in the group. Nathan has aspirations of some day being a storyteller and is practicing the craft under the guidance of other, more experienced men. Taken to a graveyard one day by his Uncle Ted, Nathan experiences something which he cannot later explain. But the aftermath is even more inexplicable: sway-hipped, wonderfully acquiescent women made of fragile mold and fungus emerge from the woods seeking relationships. Though filling a gap in the men’s lives, their quiet, surreal subservience causes dissension: there are some in the group who don’t want the mushroom women to become part of the stories, while others hope to integrate the moldering, yellowed ladies. Discord only spreading, Nathan, his Uncle, and the other men eventually face a crisis that tells its own future for the group.

The Beauty is written in sparsely poetic prose that moves to the haunted rhythms and introspections of the dark side of society. The macabre imagery of the mushroom women, the procreative fate that befalls the men, and the overall graveyard mood are balanced by passages that by turns elucidate and detract from the ideas under discussion. The story elements most often explicated in sharp poetic tones, the musings are, by turns, not always delineated with the same clarity. “William, Eamon, the farmers, the older men: they all think there will be no baby and they hate the idea that there could be hope. Because hope takes the form of a joining rather than a continuation.” Not quite balancing with the expression ‘hope for the future’, fully baking the philosophizing would have more tightly pinned down the notion. But though there are other passages which do not fit so neatly as puzzle pieces—marrying the plot to poetry as it were, but overall Whiteley’s sense of narrative expands ideas, builds imagery, and creatively drives the story to a pertinent conclusion.

Gender issues have evolved through the initial waves of feminism and social revolutions which came to prominence in the 60s and 70s into the complex, contemporary age of political correctness. Save one significant aspect, reading The Beauty one would be hard pressed to tell. The idea of a world without women a science fiction conceit if ever there were, Whiteley advances it along the lines that women are necessary to continue the species and that men and women form a natural pair in doing so. This is not to dismiss the importance of the these ideas; there are obviously still many who think like dinosaurs in terms of gender relations. But Whiteley’s novel only confirms ideologies that have been presented in fiction several times before. (See Le Guin’s “Solitude”, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Joanna Russ’ “Souls”, and many others.) The significant aspect, however, is the press to include women in society's "stories". The most applicable and contemporary part of the gender discussion, the gender reversal that arises stridently sets this concept center stage (it’s ghoulish imagery that sticks in the head, in fact). But regardless whether one considers the themes familiar or cutting edge, it should be stated clearly that Whiteley presents the theme in a wonderfully symbolic form that uses the tropes of genre to effectively marry plot and theme, and in a piece of writing, this isto be considered a success.

In the end, The Beauty is a brief novel about the quiet power and societal significance of women. Written in edged, poetic prose, it features gender role reversals, ghostly fungal women, and a dark, primitive setting wherein mankind is literally what the term expresses itself to be. Focusing on the male/female relationship and perspectives of said relationship, it is not the most ambitious novel thematically, but what it does outlay is perennial, the message never old. Along with the aforementioned similarities to Le Guin and VanderMeer, readers who enjoyed Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden, P.D. James Children of Men, and James Tiptree Jr. in general will enjoy Whiteley’s effort. With books like Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire being lauded for what are actually commercial genre efforts with a sprinkling of gender issues on top to soften the politically correct crowd, it’s great to see efforts such as Whiteley’s, efforts which more effectively focus on gender issues and believe in and understand the power of prose, come available. As such, it’s difficult to disagree with Allan and Kincaid: in The Beauty’s case the small press has delivered more substantial material than the big commercial houses.
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