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Heroes and Villains
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
7 posts | 8 read | 4 to read
Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive. Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilized world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination. Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, Heroes and Villains is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.
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review
i.z.booknook
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
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Mehso-so

This was a weird book. My first time reading Angela Carter, too. Published in 1969, 10 years before The Bloody Chamber, it is a post-apocalyptic story in which, after nuclear war, the surviving people have split into 3 categories; the Professors, the educated who have become the leaders (and within their societies we have the Soldiers and the Workers), the Barbarians, travellers before the war who raid Professor villages, (cont. in comments 👇🏻)

i.z.booknook (1) and the Out People, those who were in the cities when the bombs dropped and have mutated. It is a very interesting premise and one I have seen more recently in films like Doomsday, etc, so must have been a really original idea at the time and one that has resonated. However, the story is more to do with the characters than what happened. 4mo
i.z.booknook (2) Goodreads and Amazon have listed this under romance… This is a worse romance book than It Ends With Us, which is saying something! There are several extremely questionable events that feel like they‘re sort of brushed past and I can‘t work out if that is because it is an example of the crumbling of the society or a reflection of the times this book was written in and so I am still unsure how I feel about this book. 4mo
i.z.booknook (3) There are some really interesting ideas and themes in the book, such as religion and the idea of creating a new religion from which to lead people, and some of the descriptions and language, specifically at the start where she introduces us to this new world, is very specific and loaded with meaning so we get really nice, abstract images. 4mo
i.z.booknook (4) After finishing this book though, I am still unsure of what I am supposed to be thinking or feeling, or what the message was. For such a well-known feminist author the message I felt I came away with was anything but feminist which makes me think I‘ve completely misunderstood the book. I don‘t know. 4mo
24 likes4 comments
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Ambl1966
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
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Loving this, glorious and substantial

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Cweeeevs
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
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Mehso-so

The Bloody Chamber remains one of my favourite collections of short stories. Carter's feminist re-tellings of fairy tales are exquisitely written in lush & often startling prose. She employs the same rich, immersive language here, however, the effect is often more frustrating than beguiling. Ultimately the story was too brutal & disturbing & it felt provocative in an alienating way. 2/5 stars: wouldn't recommend except to Carter enthusiasts!

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Chittavrtti
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
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Rediscovering an old friend.

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review
EmSilver
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
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Mehso-so

This is some beautifully written, meandering prose that journeys through a post apocalypse by gliding by on the edges. Ultimately, as lovely as the language is, I was left only a glancing impression of the world of the novel, and left further adrift by the protagonists and their inability to move me, or invite me to think about some of the ethereal concerns of the book. Beautiful yet bizarre.

review
EmSilver
Heroes and Villains | Angela Carter
Mehso-so

This is some beautifully written, meandering prose that journeys through a post apocalypse by gliding by on the edges. Ultimately, as lovely as the language is, I was left only a glancing impression of the world of the novel, and left further adrift by the protagonists and their inability to move me, or invite me to think about some of the ethereal concerns of the book. Beautiful yet bizarre.