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fabulous-beasts

Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma is a horror novelette about a strange woman living in luxury with her lover, but irrevocably tied to her childhood of deprivation and dark secrets in northwest England. The woman recalls the unravelling of the family upon her uncle's release from prison....

Title : fabulous beasts
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25722444
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 38 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

fabulous beasts Reviews

  • karen
    2018-10-23 11:35

    Snakes are easy. It’s people that I don’t know how to charm.this tor short is equal parts beautiful and disturbing. it also comes with a warning: Please be warned that this story deals with difficult content and themes, including child abuse, incest, and rape.and also snakes. up close and personal and slithering, so if you've got phobias, or any triggers around the themes mentioned above, there are many other free tor shorts for you to read. me, i have no triggers and no phobias (not any real ones anyway, although i quite sensibly mistrust twins and birds and dolphins), so this story was nothing but smooth dark chocolate for my heart. it's a very…unexpected tale, and as the story made its sinuous sexxy turns into its reveals - some predicted, some complete surprises - i was completely entranced by her writing, her characters, and her perfect blending of gritty realism and fantasy elements. because "fabulous" here is not used in its camp mode, but in its literary sense, as it relates to 'fabulism.' and this is some pitch-perfect fabulism here.and i kind of don't want to say too much about this one, which might seem like someone who's just trying to get out of writing a long-overdue review for a short story they read months and months ago, but i assure you - this is done more out of respect for you, potential reader, than out of laziness of me, procrastinating reviewer. it's that i just reread the story now to properly review it, and if anything, i liked it more the second time around. it even got an extra star and now i can't stop thinking about it.it's just so achingly beautiful:“Tallulah, what am I? Am I a monster?”She sat up and leant against me, her chin on my shoulder.“Yes, you’re my monster.”it's family and love and strength and sacrifice and helplessness and revenge and snakes and power and suffering and coming through all sorts of pain with a sense of humorThese people with their interminable words. I came from a place where a slap sufficed.again - it goes to dark and triggery places, but i don't think it's gratuitous at all. sometimes you need to be made to feel uncomfortable, and an author who manages access into a reader's emotional space - it's something to celebrate, not shy away from. which is maybe me speaking too much as a reader who rarely experiences strong emotions from reading, and regular non-robot people do not enjoy this discomfort which they probably feel more acutely than i do, but all i know is that after reading this a second time through, i think it's a perfect short story. and i have just discovered she has another free tor short: rag and bone which i will read tomorrow. which is really going to mess you up since i won't be posting this review until way in the future, a future in which i will have already read (but likely not reviewed) that story and you will think you are magical time travelers but you are not. anyway, read this story. i thought it was phenomenal.read it for yourself here:http://www.tor.com/2015/07/27/fabulou...

  • ♛Tash
    2018-10-26 04:47

    The writing is brilliantly visceral, but this story is just not for me because of 1.snakes2. incest3. rape4. All the above happening all at onceSomebody hand me a fluffy bunneh pls!!!http://www.tor.com/2015/07/27/fabulou...

  • Althea Ann
    2018-11-16 11:55

    No, this is NOT a Harry Potter tie-in!The exotic Eliza and her stunning partner Georgia are now the toast of the high-society art world. But in Eliza's past - before she was 'Eliza' - are disturbing secrets. We follow her back to when she was just Tallulah, a little girl with a single mom, living in poverty - and discovering some very strange abilities that may slither through her family's DNA. It's lucky for her that she has her beloved cousin Lola to support her. But will that support be enough, when their uncle Kenny is finally released from jail, and things start to go from bad to horror-movie-level-worse? (PS, check out that gorgeous 'cover' art!)

  • Anusha Narasimhan
    2018-11-03 08:33

    When I saw snakes and a woman on the cover and noticed that the writer was Indian, I assumed that this is going to be about a nagini. Taking Gods and mythical creatures, putting them in a modern context and imagining their lives in the current world seems to be a trend in writing nowadays. So, I put this one off for a long time.This story was nothing like what I imagined it to be. It was darker and creepier than I expected. Not sure how I managed to complete it. Definitely not for people who are put off by snakes, rape, incest, and violence.

  • Courtney
    2018-11-04 11:28

    This story feels very understated, I would say. It's an interesting story, but it never really draws you in to the point you don't want to put it down like some books do. Despite this, though, the mystery behind the characters is still interesting enough to keep you reading. You read it wondering about the characters, and their backstories as facts are slowly revealed. There's an obvious supernatural element going on with the story, but despite it being out in the open it's almost a background factor to the story. Thee supernatural aside, the main focus of the story is really on the characters - their interactions with each other, their histories, and the mysteries behind what their motivations are.As the plot progresses we learn more about the characters, bit-by-bit in the way they interact with each other until the truth is made clear. With so much hinted at in the interactions, there ends up being very few points in the story that truly come as a surprise. Despite so much interaction between characters, however, what I feel to be the story's major flaw is that there is constantly a certain level of emotional distance from the characters, even the main characters Lola and Eliza whose eyes we see through. You're never able to really become emotionally attached to the characters, or empathize with them even when the scene being shown is one that should be emotionally charged. Further separation is emphasized by the fact that in Lola's story, while the two children are likeable enough, the adults are each shown to be flawed in ways that often make it hard to commiserate with them, despite being able to understand their motivations. In Eliza's side of things, we're kept back even further with no real situations that engage readers on an emotional level, rather showing us a series of bland interactions with meaningless names that we never re-encounter. The exception to these disposable personas is Georgia, who never makes enough of an appearance for readers to get any kind of clear grasp on who she is as a person. Overall I'd say it's a story worth checking out - the characters in the main story are intriguing, as is the backstory that is slowly revealed. Personally, however, I don't think it's one that will stick out in my memory.

  • Ellen Gail
    2018-10-22 09:45

    Look at your princesses, Kenny. See how special we are.Do you enjoy being emotionally destroyed? How about being punched in the gut by literature? Do you find yourself being drawn to fucked-up situations and characters, knowing you are in for a hell of a ride? Then BOY do I have the short story for you!Read it here: http://www.tor.com/2015/07/27/fabulou...A pillow to hug and a stiff shot of alcohol are recommended, but not included.

  • Melki
    2018-11-12 06:34

    Snakes are easy. It’s people that I don’t know how to charm.In both her work and personal life, Lola/Eliza is surrounded by vipers. Though the subject matter is disturbing, this is an excellent, beautifully written story. Keep an eye on this author.So it is that serpents are reviled when it’s man that is repulsive.

  • SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*
    2018-11-22 05:45

    Loved this,well written. Would read more of her work.

  • Vishakha
    2018-11-16 08:48

    This was so well-written that I got goosebumps while reading. Errie and chilling, Fabulous Beasts was a very satisfying read and the perfect choice to get me out of my reading slump.

  • Daiva
    2018-10-30 03:40

    I don't know about the 'fabulous' part but yeah... quite disturbing, indeed. Well, let's just say - not the family history you would look forward to. I liked this quote though: "Snakes are easy. It’s people that I don’t know how to charm."

  • Mangrii
    2018-11-18 08:31

    3,5 / 5La ganadora del British fantasy award 2016 es una historia de terror sobre una extraña mujer que vive en una posición acomodada con su pareja, pero que ha sufrido una oscura infancia llena de privaciones y secretos en el noroeste de Inglaterra, en un sórdido barrio de Liverpool. A través de dos líneas temporales entrelazadas, Lola / Eliza irá recordando la desintegración de su familia tras la liberación de Kenny de la cárcel.Violaciones, incesto, asesinatos, traiciones y personas metamorfas en serpientes que funcionan como el elemento fantástico de la historia. El elemento fantástico es escaso, y un mero mecanismo para hacer avanzar la trama a través de la metamorfosis, pero me ha gustado realmente lo que aporta dentro de la historia. Lo que sí que me ha parecido es que hay cierto distanciamiento emocional con el lector, puede que el tema complicado que maneja hiciera que este escrito de esta forma, pero me ha sacado un poco de la historia y no he llegado a conectar al 100% con sus protas.

  • Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
    2018-11-18 11:34

    Fucking bizarre. I honestly do not even know what that was.

  • Gabrielle(busy lil' fox)
    2018-10-31 04:27

    Trigger warning: Rape, incest, snakesRead this story hereBe it with movies or books, I’m picky when it comes to horror. I’ve mentioned multiple times before that I don’t scare easily, or in the conventional sense. Anything that relies on gore and jump scares to deliver it’s spookiness will not hold too much interest for me. I’ve sat through years of this kind of horror, and at this point, I’m just really careful with any horror-thing I pick up.Except for when I want to watch a shitty horror movie on purpose. Those times don’t count. But I digress.Fabulous Beasts is one of those special horrors that don’t rely on gore and jump scares to make your skin crawl. It’s a creepy and slimy tale about two cousins who aren’t quite normal, and whose lives change when their uncle is let out of prison. Right from the get-go, Sharma’s writing captivates you. She takes her time building the story, and once you hit the zenith of this little tale, you’re invested in these characters, Lola and Tallulah, and your skin is crawling.Is this scary? Not in the traditional sense, no. You (probably) won’t lie in bed at night, wondering if there are snakes slithering in slow circles under your bed, waiting for you to fall asleep – for your hand to hang off the edge of your bed for them to use to join you on your comfy mattress. What you will do, if you can handle the subject matter, is devour this story in one sitting, and wish to God it had been longer.This story isn’t too graphic, so if you think you can stomach it, I urge you to put it on your Halloween TBR. It’s worth your time. If you suffer from Ophidiophobia/Ophiophobia, then you might want to stay away from this one. There are a lot of snakes.See this review and more at So We Read This Book

  • Jaffa Kintigh
    2018-11-20 04:40

    The darkest of family secrets: rape, incest, murder and betrayal coil and writhe beneath the skin in this dark novelette set among the seedier neighborhoods outside Liverpool. Two timelines entwine to show how ugly little Lola along with her pretty sister-cousin, Tallulah, escapes her horror-filled past to become scientifically-successful, if not still socially awkward Eliza on the arm of her beautiful, celebrity lover, Georgia. More than just her name was sloughed off to become the adult survivor that she is.The violence and psychologically scarred upbringing ring with fear and quiet desperation.The novella contains a fantastical, dysmorphic element not unusual with themes of abuse, gender dysphoria, or abnormal sexuality. Adult Eliza works as a herpetologist with a specialty in vipers. She embodies many elements of the snakes she loves to overcome her family secrets and to escape her past.This tale appears in The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2016 edited by Paula Guran, I received directly from Prime Books.

  • Nadine Jones
    2018-11-15 08:26

    My interrogator doesn’t look convinced. Nor should they be. I’m not even called Eliza. My real name is Lola and I’m no princess. I’m a monster.That was really gripping and gut-wrenching. It was horrifying in every way, with a satisfying yet melancholy ending. So powerful.When I was a kid, I found a whole shed snake skin in the wooded area behind my house. I thought it was a live snake, so I threw a rock near it to scare it off, but it didn't move and I realized it was a shed skin. I didn't know snakes shed their entire skin in one piece like that! I kept it coiled in an old jewelry box - it might still be around somewhere. No diamonds, though.Read it here: http://www.tor.com/2015/07/27/fabulou...

  • Marco
    2018-10-30 05:41

    This intriguing short supernatural / horror novelette is the story of a strange woman living in luxury with her lover, but irrevocably tied to her childhood of deprivation and dark secrets in northwest England. The woman recalls the unraveling of the family upon her uncle's release from prison. The author explores the difficulties of growing up in a poor family, with an abusive uncle and a psychologically dependent mother. One of the best stories of the year.This is one of my nominations for the Hugo Awards for best novelette: http://goo.gl/2BJp6G

  • Sheila
    2018-11-12 04:46

    Damn. What a nasty little story.

  • Rhianna
    2018-11-21 05:44

    This is bizarre and visceral in unexpected yet not unwelcome ways. The alert at the beginning certainly holds true; this is not for the faint of heart.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-22 06:48

    Goals

  • Sam Bux Romatet
    2018-11-09 09:38

    3.5?

  • Sophiya
    2018-10-28 07:51

    Best horror short I've encountered in a long time.

  • Tiffany Lynn Kramer
    2018-10-26 11:46

    There is a loveliness to Sharma's writing and I enjoyed the way the story unfolded but I must admit some of her choices did ruin my enjoyment.

  • Fiona
    2018-11-01 07:28

    Absolutely brilliant. And my twisted sisters shelf finally gets to be literal!

  • Wenting
    2018-11-02 06:45

    have been compulsively reading tor shorts. this one was disturbing & amazing & excellently structuredalso really enjoyed: - meat + drink- autobiography of a traitor & a half-savage- the best we can

  • April
    2018-11-18 10:29

    This was a dark and frightening short story/novelette. Since it does deal (rather graphically, at least in my estimation) with incest, childhood sexual abuse, and other unsavory topics, I was glad to see that on Tor.com this does come with what amounts to a trigger warning.It was a bizarre story, though. That being said, I was able to follow it fairly well. Yes, there were jumps from past to present, and as other reviewers have said, there is an emotional distancing that occurs between the reader, the protagonist, and any of the other characters in the book (including the protagonist). However, I believe that this was done purposefully, because when dealing with topics such as these, if a person were relating the incidents that the story talks about, there would have to be that blank, impersonal "wall" up between the memories and the ability to talk about them.I guess basically what I'm saying is - the numbness/emptiness that this detachment from emotional connection from any of the characters leaves the reader feeling is purposeful. Because in real life, there would have been a lot of dissociation going on were the events that took place real. Minus the shapeshifting, anyway...Though I really did love that in a creepy-as-shit way. :)Based on my enjoyment of the story as entertainment, it would have gotten a 3/5, because the incest was disgusting and the fact that it was an intergenerational pattern made it even worse.But... based on my enjoyment of the story as being interesting and (as) true to life (as possible) - with the emotional detachment, the matter-of-fact retelling, etc - plus the cool element of (view spoiler)[snakes, shapeshifting, and the way those two were related (hide spoiler)] I'm going to rate this a 4/5.Do NOT recommend to anyone who is easily triggered by incest, child abuse, or violence.(I do think, though, that this story would yield a lot regarding analysis and other more academic things that I'm not going to explore right now.)

  • Ronnie
    2018-11-08 05:44

    This is a free horror story available on Tor.com about two girls, shapeshifters and growing up. Favorite Quote(s): “She moved up the side of the tank. I realised that I was swaying in time with her, feeling unity in the motion. I was aware of her body, each muscle moving beneath her skin, her very skeleton. I looked into the snake’s black eyes and could see out of them into my own.”“Mouse. He’d swallow her whole. He’d crush her.”(view spoiler)[What did you like: I liked how everything connected at the end. The left over skins and showing Lola shedding was eerie. Sharma used the women’s shedding of skins as a way of revealing their true selves, showing their true bestial nature, and removing the masks they have to don was neat. What didn’t you like:What happened to Ami? Really? And this one wasn’t as scary in my opinion (compared to Dark Warm Heart & Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers) Kenny seemed pretty predictable as a father and the story kind of hinged on that ‘twist’. The horror elements seemed to be a bit more exploitative rather than being nuanced. There are a lot of dark themes in this story like rape, incest, child abuse, alcoholism and they feel tacked on and not fully immersed in the story. :/ (hide spoiler)]

  • Kinsey_m
    2018-10-22 04:47

    I liked very much the relationships in this one, which (sadly) felt very real. I didn't buy the magic realism/fantasy part, and would have prefered that it was less drastic SPOILER ALERT:I would have much rater preferred if characters could take some minor attributes rather than fully transform, as I would have found it more believable and would have detracted less from the experience. I have to say that I didn't believe that Gregor Samsa transformed into a giant beetle in Kafka's metamorphosis, so it may be a case of it's me, not you.

  • Maggie Gordon
    2018-11-19 10:46

    CN: Sexual assaultVisceral is a good way of describing this work. Like the snakes it talks about, the story slithers around you, constricting and squirming. It's uncomfortable in the way that great literature can be. As noted, the topic is dark, but the strength that the characters show is enormous. Fabulous Beasts is going on my favourites list.

  • Zuky the BookBum
    2018-10-23 03:38

    I loved this short story, right until the end. I found myself wanting to scroll and scroll and scroll, to find out what was going on, though I guessed a lot of it. When I reached the end, though I expected it, I was still weirded out by it and disliked how it had turned out.Excellent writing skills with such graphic detail it'll make your skin crawl.

  • Hail
    2018-10-22 07:42

    “Une jolie laide.”A fantastic story with some ugly turns. I couldn’t tear myself away, finding it to be hiding more than I was expecting. Great writing! The descriptions were short but suited, I could clearly visualise Laird Tower and the life beneath it. A great short story that (if you're squeamish) really makes your skin crawl.