American Housewife: Stories

American Housewife Stories A sharp funny delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch celebrity treasure hunters and the best bra f

  • Title: American Housewife: Stories
  • Author: Helen Ellis
  • ISBN: 9780399565694
  • Page: 307
  • Format: Audiobook
  • A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.Meet the women of American Housewife they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it s cloudy They casserole They pinwheel TheyA sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.Meet the women of American Housewife they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it s cloudy They casserole They pinwheel They pump the salad spinner like it s a CPR dummy And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven These twelve irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop Vicious, fresh, and nutty as a poisoned Goo Goo Cluster, American Housewife is an uproarious, pointed commentary on womanhood.

    One thought on “American Housewife: Stories”

    1. American Housewife: StoriesOk so American Housewife: Stories didn't cut it for me. I couldn't connect with the whole "Stepford Wife" theme that runs through the 12 stories included in this collection. Although some of them were slightly entertaining, I didn't find them particularly funny, at best they elicited a sarcastic smirk on my face. The concept of writing short fiction using dark, unhinged female characters in a domestic setting was pretty clever, but something was missing for me. I think [...]

    2. I love the irreverence of these stories but so many of them feel quite similar and read like notes toward something rather than satisfying stories. There are a couple real highlights. The Fitter is unforgettable, as are Welcome to Book Club and Dead Doormen. My favorite story was Dumpster Diving with the Stars. Definitely worth reading.

    3. "The secret to keeping brown sugar from getting hard is storing it with a marshmallow. I put the first batch of oatmeal raisin in the oven and then return my attention to Eddie. I turn on my radio. Dismemberment and freezing are the priorities."The last collection of short stories I read was George Saunders' Tenth of December back in 2013. It's not a genre that I'm super comfortable reading. In fact, I've read more essay collections, which is strange to me as my reading diet mostly consists of f [...]

    4. 3.5 At times amusing, catty, ironic, filled with irritating women, women who want their way regardless of the cost, and some with deeper meanings underneath the humor. I have three favorites, The Wainscoting War, a decorating war the goes too far. Dumpster diving with the stars, a comedic look at the publics penchant for reality TV shows. Lastly, The Fitter, the best bra fitter around who happens to be male and his wife who despite some major problems will do anything to hold onto her man. If I [...]

    5. Ok, so this one started off strong. I was loving the sarcastic, witty humor, but then it fell flat. About two-thirds in, I debated on giving up but decided to push through because I did not want to give up on it so close to the end. I wish I could rate the short stories separately because a couple definitely earned 5 stars. For those stories, I wish I owned a copy opposed to borrowing from the library, so that I could highlight and tab pages to go back to when I need a pick me up - yes, they wer [...]

    6. Don't let my three-star review deter you from reading this book. It's plenty entertaining - witty, mischievous, and arch. The stories mostly involve wicked twists on feminine stereotypes, as in some of my favorites highlighted below:"Dumpster Diving With the Stars" - what happens when a long-blocked author books a gig on a kind of reality show version of American Pickers, along with some celebrity scientologists, Mario Batali, a Napoleonic host nicknamed "F'in Tiny," and a sad Playmate partner w [...]

    7. 3 1/2 stars. American Housewife is a short collection of short stories. In one way or another, the stories focus on contemporary American housewives. The women are either based in the South or in New York City. They have varying degrees of engagement with their domestic situations. They are often trying -- and rarely succeeding -- to write novels. In contrast, Helen Ellis sure can write. Her prose is clever, twisted, full of irony and attention catching. Her stories are edgy and often a tad surr [...]

    8. The theme the southern housewives and the New York housewives The book clubs Shopping Sentences as sharp as razors and nails The last bit of every section leaves you wondering and thinking, sometimes in shock and sometimes laughing at what just happened. We deal with wars among neighbours on the same floor a decorating war that takes many other faces and shapes. We read about celebrity dumpster divers and its satirical view about reality tv and pop culture. The stories are refreshing like a cold [...]

    9. This review and the rest of the crap I write can be seen @ my blogBark's Book Nonsense . Stop by and say hey.I grab almost every audio available to me and prefer to go in blind when I can. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t and I end up with nightmares (I’m pointing at you, Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates). When I started American Housewife, I had some vague memory of someone somewhere saying it was a memoir and I started reading it with glee because these people were horrid and I [...]

    10. I loved every second of this. I couldn't help but cheer on all of these fierce females. Hilarious and dark at the same time, highly recommended!

    11. This collection of short stories is chock-full of quirky, creepy, clever women. I can't imagine someone not seeing themselves in at least one of these characters. I read several stories multiple times and plan on reading a few of my favorites again once this gem of a collection is published in January. I think the shortest stories are my favorites -- they pack a big punch in just a couple of pages (especially "Southern Lady Code", "What I Do All Day", and "Take It From Cats"). I was reminded of [...]

    12. Since I work from home and have caregiving responsibilities for my family, I feel in some ways a kinship to the American housewives in Helen Ellis’ short story collection. Ellis is a gifted writer and somehow manages to unify the diverse experiences of women who stay at home. Her collection is at once hysterical as it is bittersweet. And at under 190 pages in a petite size, American Housewife is a satisfying single-sitting read. File this one away for your next readathon.— Sarah S. Davisfrom [...]

    13. I'll be damned if I know why this is in my queue. This is a chick book (I'm not) & I don't indulge in mind altering drugs. I must have been in a really quirky mood. Since the alternative is aliens or early onset dementia, I'll go with quirky.What I do all day -- is just that. Pointless, just a quick outline of a day in the life of a boring woman. She doesn't even have a pet. Not very funny. Not a good way to start. 2 starsThe wainscoting war -- Emails show just how a common area between 2 ap [...]

    14. I want to read this book. I don't read a lot of short stories but this book came to me in some publicity from my main supplier and sounded quite good. It's not released until 16th January but already has a 141 ratings and 62 reviews so it must be good. Right? Well hopefully. I did review this book, or wrote about it anyway when I first added it as 'want to read'. However it was flagged after several months of it being up and deleted it. I don't quite understand why it was against their ToS as i [...]

    15. 3.5/5 I liked how some of the stories each had a character who was a writer in some way. And I did like the author's writing in general, just some stories were a lot better than others. * means the stories I most enjoyed and/or found most interesting.What I Do All Day - 2.5/5The Wainscoting War - 1/5Dumpster Diving with the Stars - 3.75/5Southern Lady Code - 1/5*Hello! Welcome to Book Club - 3.5/5*The Fitter - 3.5/5How To Be a Grown-Ass Lady - 3/5How To Be A Patron of the Arts - 2.5/5*Dead Doorm [...]

    16. American Housewife is a gem of a collection of short stories. Helen Ellis's writing is something to savor. She looks at women in different stages of life, and makes those stories relevant and thought-provoking.In "What I Do All Day," a housewife goes on a stream-of-consciousness rant on her daily life. (I break into a sweat when I find a Sharpie cap, but not the pen)."The Wainscoting War" is a collection of emails between two women, a widow and a trophy second wife, who have apartments on the sa [...]

    17. 3.5Short story collection filled with cynicism, wit, and diabolical charm. While I'm not a Southerner, I found myself engrossed in the drama presented. Some of the shorts fit more as how-to guides, like "How To Be a Grown-Ass Lady". While others bite at the veneer rich housewives enjoy, like "Dead Doormen."Overall, the book's worth a read. You'll laugh at ridiculous and morbid rivalries ("The Wainscoting War"). You'll feel a bit sad ("The Fitter"). You'll wonder about book clubs ("Hello! Welcome [...]

    18. My husband sometimes makes the capital mistake of asking me "What did you today?" when he gets home from HIS workday. After making the nth Peggy Bundy crack, I am running out of sarcastic retorts so I was very happy to find new material in Helen Ellis' tongue-in-cheek essay, What I do all day, from her hilarious, sharp, and deliciously dark story collection, American Housewife. In The Wainscoting War, a series of email exchanges between neighbors in an uptight Manhattan Co-op reminded me ruefull [...]

    19. Take a look at the American Housewife on the book’s cover and at first glance, it’s reminiscent of the artwork you’d see in the 1950s – from Betty Crocker, for example. But view closer and it’s obvious that this housewife has ATTITUDE, despite her hair curlers and Emory board. You can see it in her skimpy bikini panties, her bright orange nightshirt, her poise.American Housewife has attitude. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Take the first story: “I hop in the shower and a [...]

    20. I found some of the stories in this collection quite entertaining, but the majority of them were lost on me.

    21. On point and wickedly funny! An excellent collection of stories about different types of women. More of a modern housewife but something everyone can relate to, I think. I thought it would all be about women with kids but it wasn't. Some of the characters were very specific wives but others were just women who were married. I hope that distinction makes sense. All the way around a strong viewpoint on women's roles in the home or in society. I loved it from beginning to end and I think any woman [...]

    22. This is the book to beat the winter time blues! A 4.5 rounded down. OK, so I'm the target audience, maybe a little older but all the stories hit my funny bone in that "you're so bad" way (re: Southern translations). Who wouldn't want to know a perfect bra fitter, male or female? Be careful of joining book clubs if you're a recent college graduate with a mountain of debt. And, ahem, once my husband was president of the HOA. I need a wooden stool! The only bad thing I can say about this is that it [...]

    23. These are a small collection of perfectly sharp, short stories written by your most clever Tumblr friend. An escalating war on interior design, magical bra fitters, the novel sponsored by Tampax and a sadly, all-too-plausible reality show called Dumpster Diving with the Stars. A light bit of confection that was altogether a hoot to read.

    24. Some of these stories are sharp like a razor blade in a cupcake--so cute and sweet until they rip you to shreds. Some are lighter, with observations punchy enough to knock you out. The whole book, though, is zingy and mirthful and made me laugh more than any book I can remember. I loved it.

    25. When I came across this line -- I fix myself a hot chocolate because it is a gateway drug to reading. -- in the first story, I knew it was love.Ellis' collection of short stories are brisk, funny, and snarky. They go down dangerously easy and you may, like me, embarrass yourself then with some snirking, snickering, and outright laughter when in public. And like a lovely, boozy Sunday brunch with friends, I have no regrets.The stories all focus on a certain type of married American woman, Souther [...]

    26. Snarky social commentary with a flair for the bizarre, Helen Ellis’ American Housewife is brutally hilarious. It’s written from multiple perspectives, in various voices ranging from dueling, vicious housewives to a leader of a cult-like book club, to a struggling author held hostage by Tampax. These stories rip apart the manicured, corseted, perfectly polished picture of an American housewife and unleash the pent-up fury resulting from suffocating social norms and mores. Ellis slices through [...]

    27. I'm going to start my review with a couple disclaimers. 1) I have been put on a project at work that requires no audio so I can listen to audiobooks at work now. That means that I listened to this entire book in a single night. 2) Because I am listening to them at work, there are times when I'm not focusing entirely and sometimes I get interrupted before I can pause. So I will likely only be listening to "whatever" books and nothing that I am dying to read. 3) I only listened to this because I'm [...]

    28. These stories are funny, sad, and horrifying. Many of them deal with psychotic housewives who really need to get a job! Another theme running through these stories is that of a writer with some serious writer's block. I imagine that's a little tongue in cheek from the author.I loved the email exchange from The Wainscoting War, though that did get very strange at the end. I enjoyed John Lithgow in Dumpster Diving With the Stars. Hello! Welcome to Book Club was frightening.Which begs the question, [...]

    29. if you nodded and cringed over the "On Pandering" discussion last year, this book feels like the antidote: these smart, hilarious stories are deeply feminine - strong, daring and irreverent. They are brilliant and deserve awards; which are likely to be handed over by some man adding an undermining joke about this being 'chick' fare. Which would be both getting and missing the point. Yeah, you're right, this isn't written for you. It's not written in awe of Steinback and Irving and Wallace or to [...]

    30. Great collection of dark, funny, subversive short stories about being an American Housewife and all the first-world-problems that can entail that can be turned on their head in shocking and entertaining ways.

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