Read Alabaster by Caitlín R. Kiernan Ted Naifeh Online


An albino girl wanders the sun-scorched backroads of a south Georgia summer, following the bidding of an angel - or perhaps only voices in her head - searching out and slaying ancient monsters who have hidden themselves away in the lonely places of the world. Caitlín R. Kiernan first introduced Dancy in the pages of her award-winning second novel, Threshold (2001), then weAn albino girl wanders the sun-scorched backroads of a south Georgia summer, following the bidding of an angel - or perhaps only voices in her head - searching out and slaying ancient monsters who have hidden themselves away in the lonely places of the world. Caitlín R. Kiernan first introduced Dancy in the pages of her award-winning second novel, Threshold (2001), then went on to write several more short stories and a novella about this unlikely heroine, each a piece, of which, has become an epic dark fantasy narrative. Alabaster finally collects all these tales into one volume, illustrated by Ted Naifeh (Gloomcookie, Courtney Crumrin)...

Title : Alabaster
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596060609
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 182 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Alabaster Reviews

  • Karl
    2019-05-19 23:49

    This is copy 22 of 350 signed and numbered copies. Read in December 2006.

  • Annie
    2019-05-04 23:47

    Finally out in paperback! I had been waiting for this to be published for almost a year (there's a hardcover edition, but it's hard to find and spendy) and it was SO VERY worth it. The five short stories here center around Dancy Flammarion, the mysterious albino monster-hunter you might have met earlier in Threshold. The stories reveal more of Dancy's background and of her world's creepy, creepy undercurrents to us while still leaving a deep sense of mystery intact. Kiernan's ability to make her deeply disturbing imagery feel beautiful and yet still horrifying amazes me, and it's on display here like crazy. There's also fantastic, subtle worldbuilding - while not as overt as other fantasy writers, Kiernan slowly weaves details together in all of her novels and short stories, creating one of the most deeply felt worlds I think I've ever experienced through reading. Alabaster hints towards details from Silk and Murder of Angels at a couple of points, and it just makes me want to read more and more by her to see these tiny pieces fall together.Far Territories also did a great job here putting together a beautiful book. The cover art wraps around the entire cover, and I think the way the front just so slightly hints at the horrors lurking behind is awesome, and in a way characteristic of exactly how I feel reading these stories. This edition contains a great afterword by Kiernan as well with its own creepy story (which actually went the farthest in not letting me sleep after I finished reading, I think!). I know I'm gushing here, but Kiernan deserves to be SO much better known, and if you're a fan of being unsettled by your books and exploring unconventional, deeply imagined fantasy worlds, you owe it to yourself to check this author out.

  • Clarice
    2019-05-02 21:47

    A series of short stories all relating to the character of Dancey Flammarion, an albino girl-child who hunts really scary monsters at the direction of a terrifying angel. I definitely got the shivers reading about some of the things she encounters... the story Bainbridge ends up linking up with all the rest of Caitlin's other books and for that reason is a good thing to read.

  • Robert Beveridge
    2019-04-22 02:21

    Caitlin R. Kiernan, Alabaster (Subterranean Press, 2006)What I have always loved about Caitlin R. Kiernan's work is the sense of being lost; there's never quite enough explicitly stated to let the reader gain firm ground, leaving one to make the associations in one's head. And as we all know, the imagination produces scarier things than we'll ever actually see. It's the same thing that works so well in John Carpenter's best movies or Kathe Koja's early novels, but Kiernan wields it more masterfully than either when she's bringing her A game. And Alabaster is, most certainly, her A game.Dancy Flammarion has never been a central character in Kiernan's work, but she's often on the sidelines, looking out at the events therein. In Alabaster, Kiernan switches up and makes Dancy the lead, exploring some of the avenues Dancy has hinted at in previous books. And the little albino girl with the big blade, as it turns out, is just as absorbing, if not more so, than the characters we already know so well. Guided by an angel (who might not be), she finds herself in situations that get stranger and stranger as life goes on. And considering how outright weird her first brush with the supernatural is, that's saying something. As always, what seals the deal here is Kiernan's almost delicate touch with prose, working words the way a baker kneads bread, banging them around and slapping them down on the table, with the final product achieving a paradoxical softness, with a hint of sweet to counter the sour. While Kiernan's fame has been growing over the past decade, she's still nowhere near the A-list writer she certainly deserves to be. If you're a fan of the supernatural and have not yet discovered Caitlin R. Kiernan, I suggest you do so at the earliest opportunity; for my money, she's right up there with Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell as a purveyor of the strange and rare. ****

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-05-12 00:29

    Kiernan can write, no question about it. She is excellent at painting a surreal picture ripe with menace. This collection of stories was beautiful yet keenly disturbing. Reading it is like that feeling when you know someone is right behind you but they haven't announced themselves yet. The longer the feeling lasts, the worse it feels. Dancy is a very unusual protagonist, one I grew quite fond of. I'm not sure she's completely sane, but the things she's faced, who can blame her. Take a plunge into the frightening worlds that Kiernan has created, but I'd read it during the daytime if I were you.

  • Jason Lundberg
    2019-05-01 01:27

    An incredible collection that gathers up all the short stories featuring monster-slayer Dancy Flammarion (first introduced in Kiernan's second novel Threshold, which still may be my favorite of hers), as well as "Bainbridge," an original novella. Subterranean Press has once again outdone themselves in the gorgeousness and gorgeosity of the book design, and Ted Naifeh's cover art and interior illustrations are the perfect counterpoint to the short stories within.

  • harlequin {Stephanie}
    2019-05-11 19:21

    Wowza! The loves they are a many. Nuff said.

  • Paige Ellen Stone
    2019-04-25 19:25

    Short fiction is Kiernan's preferred format, but, as she says, you can't make a living writing short fiction. This is a collection of all of the stories of a character she discovered while writing a novel, the title of which escapes me. The stories are extraordinary. Full of what I have come to call, "Kiernanisms". See my reviews of her novels if you want to get the full sense of just who CRK is. She is, without doubt, the best writer of the English language I have read in years. She has the courage in her writing that Faulkner claimed Hemingway lacked. You actually have to have a dictionary handy because she uses some words you will have to look up. READ THIS BOOK!

  • Steven
    2019-05-17 22:30

    I have to admit, the monster-killer Darcy Flammarion was not my favorite character in Threshold and the first time I read "Alabaster" I felt more sympathy for the 'panther' than the protagonist. Alabaster makes me reconsider my opinion, though, and not just for the gorgeous Ted Naifeh illustrations. "Alabaster" and "Bainbridge" reminds us just why people used to greet visitations from angels with terror, but in all of the stories it's never entirely clear just who the real monsters are, or what they want.Kiernan's prose is polished, dark and gorgeous. Definitely recommended.

  • Daryl Nash
    2019-05-11 23:21

    This is my third book of Kiernan's to read, and either it was better than the other two, or her style has finally "clicked" for me. I found Dancy a captivating character, and the vagueness and shadowed suggestions that bothered me about the other two books seemed to be a positive attribute here. I know that this short book has made me move Threshold to near the top of my "to read" pile after I had abandoned it a couple of chapters in several years ago.

  • MW
    2019-05-17 20:35

    After hunting the web for a hard copy of this book, I was hooked on the collection of tales that made up "Alabaster". Caitlin R. Kiernan had renewed my belief in both monsters and angels; along with a little lingering doubt of whether the motives of each are truly benign or malicious.

  • Alina
    2019-05-10 18:48

    I stumbled upon Alabaster at my local library/workplace by accident. sometimes during my lunch break, I like to look in our Science Fiction/paranormal section and see what book I may stumble upon that seems interesting. I've found some really great books this way and Alabaster is no exception. Filled with short stories of a unique and unlikely heroine, Dancy goes around killing things that go bump in the night. But she doesn't do it all willey nilley, no; Dancy gets orders from an Angel that tells her where and what to kill. Tired, but Obedient, Dancy does her job and she does it well. If there is one thing to warn you about is that this book is not linear. It reads as scattered fragments of Dancy's life/journey, but everything is connected. Caitlín Kiernan's writing style is flawless and gripping. I will most certainly be looking for more of her work.

  • Georgi Nikolaev
    2019-04-19 02:48

    В началото си мислех че това ще е една от малкото истински петици за тази година, към края обаче започна да наближава четворка. Въпреки това заслужава повече от 4,5, препоръчвам на всеки който харесва крийпи хорър в кратка форма и южна готика.

  • Melissa
    2019-05-08 21:25

    See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksAn albino girl wanders the sun-scorched backroads of a south Georgia summer, following the bidding of an angel - or perhaps only voices in her head - searching out and slaying ancient monsters who have hidden themselves away in the lonely places of the world.First introduced in Caitlin R. Kiernan's second novel, Threshold, Dancy has gone on to be the unlikely heroine in several short stories and even a novella. Each story is a small piece of a larger fantasy narrative and in Alabaster they are finally gathered together in to a single volume.I admit, dear reader, I wasn't quite sure what I was picking up when I picked Alabaster up off the shelf in my local library. In truth I had been looking for another book by the same author and ended up getting this one instead. From what I understood (or thought I understood), Dancy was a minor character in one of Kiernan's novels and this collection of short stories expand upon her background.Having not read Threshold, I don't know if I'm correct or not. I do know, however, that these stories presume that the reader has at least a passing knowledge of Dancy. And having no prior knowledge of the character, I found myself a bit lost.Kiernan is an excellent author, that much I do know from reading these short stories. She is able to spin a believable yarn; to give the reader information while still leaving something to the imagination. She does have the occasional penchant for run on sentences, but I have yet to read an author who doesn't.Readers who have read Threshold and are familiar with Dancy will likely enjoy this collection. It gives glimpses in to her character and takes the reader on brief adventures. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the first book in the series, but all in all I found it a nice read.

  • Stephen
    2019-04-29 21:31

    Keirnan is an award winning author of dark fantasy/gothic horror in the vein of H. P Lovecraft. Her novel The Drowning Girl is exceptional. I've also enjoyed Threshold and Silk. Alabaster is a collection of short stories about Dancy Flammarion the young ragamuffin albino heroine from Threshold who guided by a vengeful (and rather horrific) angel seeks out and slays demons across the bayous of the deep South. Each of the stories in this collection is interesting and atmospheric--Les Fluers Empoisonnees and Alabaster and Bainbridge standout. But the collection would be more effective if presented in chronological order to enable the reader to better understand how Dancy came to be the haunted figure she is. As presented, Dancy is almost an enigma in the first story: very young, depressed, possibly insane, unafraid of the monsters she encounters and strangely resigned to her own death. The story itself does not explain how she arrived at this state. Only in the later stories do we learn Dancy's history. I like Ms. Kiernan's writing but do wish she would use less theatrics and more direct narrative at times. In Les Fluers Empoisonnees for example, Dancy wins the day, but I found it impossible to understand how even after re-reading the last act several times. Alabaster and Bainbridge are more successful because the theatrics are toned down. With small adjustments this would have been a 4-star vs 3-star read for me. The stories in Alabaster can also be found in the Alabaster: Wolves series of graphic novels by Kiernan. I definitely plan to check these out to see an artists interpretation of these stories. Dancy is one of the most fascinating characters I've encountered in fantasy literature. I hope Kieran continues to write about her. For readers new to Ms. Kiernan, I recommend The Drowning Girl as an entry point to her writing.

  • Ben Rowe
    2019-04-19 20:43

    This is a short collection of inter-related short stories that have also been the subject of a series of graphic novels.Basically they are about a young albino monster hunter who may or may not be led/ guided by an angel. They are atmospheric and effocative and dark as well as full of wonderful moments but I sometimes feel that they dont know quite what they want to be.Here is a section "And this time the laughter rises like a storm, like an ugly bit of flotsam buoyed on the crest of a wave, echoing off the high obsidian walls of Kearvan Weal."not the sort of quick easy reading bit of description that fits some of the more actiony moments and we have something with its feet in several different types of story that does not fully work the way I want it to (both feet in any one would be better).I found the graphic novel Alabaster: Wolves to be superb and recommend if you only read one version of the Darcy stories you go for it but if you feel like there is plenty of worth and value in picking this up.

  • Kevin Farrell
    2019-05-06 18:33

    I enjoyed this book very much - 4.5 starts worth. Horror is not usually my thing but when combined with the right amount of weirdness and excellent writing, I can not put it down. This book is a small collection of short stories about a 16 year old albino demon slayer who goes wherever she is sent by her Angel.The author plays tricks throughout all the stories that make you wonder if albino girl really has an Angel or if she is just a lunatic killer on the loose. At times the Angel appears to be something other than the pure essence that we would normally associate with Angels. This seems to be a tainted Angel and we are wise to suspect the motives of the Angel.I would like to read one of the novels by Caitlin Keirnan.Maybe her first one - Silk.

  • Pedro Marroquín
    2019-05-04 02:49

    Excelente reunión de historias cortas de esta autora, esta vez sobre los orígenes un personaje, que algo más adulto apareció en un par de novelas suyas. Aquí la vemos luchar contra todo tipo de monstruos, dirigida por un ángel. Se pueden leer cronológicamente o por el orden en que los escribió, pero en cualquier caso una delicia ver como se enfrenta a lonque se encuentra por el camino (de perdición?). No todo es redondo, pero hay pasajes tan líricos que te olvidas completamente de que algunas cosas no son tan redondas como otros relatos suyos. Y el epílogo, con el génesis de estos relatos da casi tanto miedo como los demás relatos. A

  • Doug
    2019-04-18 19:36

    Dancy Flamarrion is a young drifter shadowed by a being that calls itself an angel and tells her to go places and kill things. Not people, usually, depending on how you define your terms. The stories in this volume mostly grew from a paragraph in Kiernan's novel Threshold that lists some of Flamarrion's prior exploits, and several are brief, with a bit of a bit of a fill-in-the-blanks feel. But if the plots are sometimes a little thin or pedestrian, the prose is always rich, vivid, and lush. And even though I noted the similarities between some of the stories, I had no inclination to stop reading 'em. And now I really want to read Threshold, and more from Kiernan generally.

  • Heather
    2019-04-25 21:29

    I have never read anything else by this author and so I never read the story in which the character Dancy Flammarion is introduced, however that didn't really have much baring on my enjoyment of this collection of short stories at all. The writing here is eloquent and the character is one which fascinates. These stories are almost compulsively readable and the world that they inhabit (one where monsters, demons, and angels exist alongside the human world) is hard to look away from. I just wish there was more.

  • Erin
    2019-05-10 18:27

    Loved, loved, loved it. All the good parts of Lovecraft, but written by a woman with awesome illustrations and with more moral ambiguity, less just plain crazy. I love that Dancy's angel is so scary and uncomforting. I love that Dancy is so unsure of herself; she isn't an unrelenting badass, and she's scared a lot of the time (for good reason). If I had decided to get a PhD in American Literature, I would have been all over Kiernan like white on rice.

  • Sarah Staszkiel
    2019-04-27 00:33

    An interesting story, but not really my kind of book. The writing seemed very disjointed, vague, and confusing. It was at times unclear who was talking, what was a flashback, and what was just all in her head. Which I understand was very intentional by the author, and in that it was pulled off very well. Again, this is simply not the kind of book I enjoy reading, so in my opinion it was an uncomfortable experience.

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-18 19:22

    It's not often that I DNF a graphic novel, but right from the beginning it was obviously not my thing. I gave it two tries; no go. It has a really scattered plot, with difficult to follow dialogue bubbles. A lot of religious metaphor, and I'm not educated enough in religion to get the full effect that I'm sure others would appreciate. Some of the artwork was really enticing, but it wasn't enough to hold my interest.

  • Katherine Harbour
    2019-04-19 20:39

    This is an anthology of short stories about an albino girl named Dancy Flammarion, who is both a seer and a slayer, sent to hunt down monsters by a shady angelic presence that seems like a monster itself. The stories are creepy and beautiful with a perfect sense of the uncanny. The writing itself is lyrical, but realistic, evoking the southern states perfectly, and the isolated young heroine is heartbreaking, but never feels sorry for herself. One of the best dark fantasies I've read.

  • Laurel Narizny
    2019-05-14 21:43

    Kiernan is an excellent writer, but this book is strange in that the stories are arranged mostly in reverse chronological order. It's a little confusing. To anyone interested in reading this, I would recommend checking out Alabaster: Wolves instead. It's the graphic novel version of this book, with gorgeous artwork, and incorporates the majority of the content of the stories in Alabaster much better.

  • Maria Kramer
    2019-05-09 21:28

    This is not one story - but a series of stories about a teenage monster-hunter who may or may not be insane. These stories are so atmospheric and heavy with poetic language that, at times, it's hard to figure out what's actually going on. But for all that, they are intriguing and delightfully creepy. The collection gives you just enough to want more.Recommended for fans of:Mike Mignola

  • Megan
    2019-05-13 00:33

    These stories are prototypical Caitlin Kiernan - dense, beautifully written, Gothic prose about an alternate eastern United States populated by ghouls, vampires, human monsters, and angels that may or may not take orders from familiar deities. Dancy is a bleaker, lonelier Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Highly recommended dark fantasy.

  • Orrin Grey
    2019-04-19 01:38

    It appears that I didn't write a review for this back when I read it, and now I've largely forgotten what I would have said save that I liked it quite a bit, if not as much as some of the other stuff I've read by Kierman.

  • Carl
    2019-05-10 22:22

    More stories featuring Dancy Flammarion from Threshold and best read after that. I didn't care for the deep backstory in Bainbridge; others may differ. I quite liked the "Where ideas come from" essay at the end, and everything else.

  • Depressivefish
    2019-05-12 19:29

    surprisingly entertaining again, though i've never been a fan of those vampire-monster-witchunters stories, this one captures u 4 several hours. besides, Kiernan's language is skillful and colourful, so endless battles and wanderings don't bore the reader