I read the rave reviews of a fellow reader on Goodreads about a book titled “The particular sadness of lemon cake” which struck me as a very quirky title. I researched the author a bit and decided to read her short story collections titled The Color Master as my first book. The idea was to gauge her writing style and how it would arrest my imagination.
Title: The Color Master
Author: Aimee Bender
Genre: Short stories, Fiction
Aimee Bender is an American writer, most well-known for her fantastic characters and plots. Her writing has been called bold and her stories enchanting and unpredictable. She has several short story collections to her credit and has twice received the Pushcraft Prize.
The color master is a rich collection of surreal stories where characters struggle with love, sex, and familial ties while traversing the bitter harsh realities of life. These stories enchant the reader to imagine a world of such rich possibilities that its difficult to extricate one out of them. The stories take you into a house of mirror where every possible reflection can be seen, leaving you thrilled and excited to the core with the many possibilities.
In Red Ribbon a woman complies to play out her husband’s fantasy by roleplaying as a prostitute; only to discover that she loves the thrill and now no longer wants to abandon it for her regular life.
Tiger Mending is a story of two sisters who excel in needlework are approached by a pair of exotic looking women who promise them a fulfilling job if they accompany them to Malaysia. Once there, they travel to deep forests to find tigers whose skins have deep tears in them. The two women set about to repair them into whole but never could find out as to how and why were the tiger’s skins splitting into two.
The Color Master is my favourite story out of the lot and is the tale of finding that perfect shade of color to be made to specifications as imagined and requested by its patron and put into a dress. The process of color making involves putting in emotions into the pigment to give it that perfect shade and its only the Color Master who has perfected the technique of doing so.
The Devourings is a tale of a woman married to an Ogre and who ends up eating their six children one night in a fit of ravenous hunger. The woman decides to leave him as she is not sure she wants to be in this marriage any longer. The ogre is sad to see her go but packs up food and other items for her long journey. In the food items, he packs a magically regenerating cake which keeps replenishing itself till the woman is sick of eating it.
Lasting Impression on me:
I found the writings to be lush with magic and surrealism, lending them a reality that I was hard pressed to leave. The imagery is evocative yet very believable. Each story has a very unpredictable theme and even more unrealistic ending – yet every one of them left me aching for more. The writing comprises of fairy tales, folk-lore and then a bit of modern-day sense; all shaken and stirred into masterpieces to be devoured down into one’s imagination.
The stories of Color Master have me bewitched and I am striving to read more of this author. If you favour reading fantasy and love imagery layered text, then this book is a must read for you. *****
* This post contains affiliate links and if you click to buy from here, I will earn some referral fee amount *
Do you love reading short stories? What did you think of this collection? Are you charmed by such fantastical tales?
I am on a no-book-buying pact as I am pretty much broke; not to mention that I am running out of space as well!! But incase anyone wants to trade their books or send me gifts, please do check out my Wishlist on Amazon & Want to read on Goodreads.
Coming up tomorrow is [D] for The Dalai Lama’s Cat
For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.
The A to Z Challenge is created by Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out
and co-hosted by
Alex J. Cavanaugh of Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy Hawkins of Hollywood Nuts
John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing
J Lenni Dorner of Blog of J. Lenni Dorner
Some of my previous posts you might be interested in catching up on