You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories

You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories

Open this book to any page and find yourself enspelled by these lush, alchemical stories. Faced with the uncanny and the impossible, Rickert’s protagonists are as painfully, shockingly, complexly human as the readers who will encounter them. Mothers, daughters, witches, artists, strangers, winged babies, and others grapple with deception, loss, and moments of extraordinary...

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Title:You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories
Author:Mary Rickert
Rating:
Edition Language:English

You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories Reviews

  • Christopher

    You'll never go wrong reading anything by this author. Simply one of the most interesting and one of the best.

  • Galleywampus -

    Most of these works have been in past compilations by Rickert. There are three new ones here. This worked out well because I'm new to Rickert's work myself; I really have never been here.

    "Journey into the Kingdom" is a standout, amazing work of art. Of course, it has the award pedigree to back that up. It reminds me, in some ways, of Neil Gaiman plot and structure told with a more poetic, flowing voice. I don't mean to suggest there is anything derivative about this work. I am a huge fan of Gai

    Most of these works have been in past compilations by Rickert. There are three new ones here. This worked out well because I'm new to Rickert's work myself; I really have never been here.

    "Journey into the Kingdom" is a standout, amazing work of art. Of course, it has the award pedigree to back that up. It reminds me, in some ways, of Neil Gaiman plot and structure told with a more poetic, flowing voice. I don't mean to suggest there is anything derivative about this work. I am a huge fan of Gaiman. He writes some of my favorite short fiction. I loved this story, and place it high on my list of favorite short works. Period.

    The stories are not straightforward. They wind around, meander through realistic emotions. The sentences are lush, extended, multifaceted. I read "The Shipbuilder" three times, seeking the thread I had missed. I asked so many questions, marked the story up with highlighter, read passages to my wife and sought confirmation of my perspectives.

    This is the perfect compilation of stories for English majors, those who like analyzing every word, and those who like stories that don't hold the reader's hand. Highly recommended.

    *I received a copy of this book free from the publisher, who hoped I would review it. My review was in no way influenced by the manner of book acquisition.

  • Maria Haskins

    There are short stories in ‘You Have Never Been Here’ that are unsettling and disturbing, odd and brilliant, strange and weirdly beautiful, all at the same time. All the short stories share an ever-present vibe of dark suspense and skewed reality that keeps you on edge throughout, and some of the stories are so skillfully executed in their madness that I know they will stick with me for a long time.

    Rickert’s tales teem with death and ghosts and bones, love and loss and haunting image

    There are short stories in ‘You Have Never Been Here’ that are unsettling and disturbing, odd and brilliant, strange and weirdly beautiful, all at the same time. All the short stories share an ever-present vibe of dark suspense and skewed reality that keeps you on edge throughout, and some of the stories are so skillfully executed in their madness that I know they will stick with me for a long time.

    Rickert’s tales teem with death and ghosts and bones, love and loss and haunting imagery. There are dead children, winged children, ghost children, and children collecting bones. There are drowned women who work in coffee shops, a shoe-box full of stones that hold memories of past lives, men building boats in their backyards, a corpse painter, and a strange place that might or might not be a hospital, and a train that might or might not really be a train taking patients to that hospital.

    The stories that appealed to me most were ‘Memoir of a Deer Woman’, where a woman is slowly turning into (back into?) a deer; ‘The Shipbuilder’, where a man named Quark tries to understand his own past and his abusive father (or is it really his father?); and especially ‘The Christmas Witch’.

    ‘The Christmas Witch’ perfectly crafted: a complex weave of witchcraft, weirdness, family, childhood, grief, fear, and loss; with a child at its center who is just as complicate and ornery and powerful and strange as real children can be.

    This is a strange and often wonderful collection of stories, even though there are a couple of tales (‘Holiday’ and ‘The Chambered Fruit’ come to mind) that I found so unsettling that they were almost difficult to read. That said, I have a feeling that different readers will find different tales to be the most unsettling.

    If you’re into twisted tales that veer off into suspense and even a dab of restrained horror, then this is a book for you.

  • Dorothy Paul-Vela

    "So, sadly, like many a daughter, I learned that my mother had been right after all, and when I returned to her, dripping with saltwater and seaweed, tiny fish corpses dropping from my hair, she embraced me."

    One of my most favorite lines I read from this story. This book of short stories rang familiar to me, and after long thought I realized this was because of the writing style. It reminded of Poe. The stories full of deep meaning, but indirectly written, and dark in nature.

    Agatha'

    "So, sadly, like many a daughter, I learned that my mother had been right after all, and when I returned to her, dripping with saltwater and seaweed, tiny fish corpses dropping from my hair, she embraced me."

    One of my most favorite lines I read from this story. This book of short stories rang familiar to me, and after long thought I realized this was because of the writing style. It reminded of Poe. The stories full of deep meaning, but indirectly written, and dark in nature.

    Agatha's story was one of my favorites because the above line I quoted from her. She reminded me of every daughter and every mother. So many daughters realizing the love of their mother and every mother's unending love for their child.

    I appreciate the short stories, its enough to know the characters and their stories and yet enough time to know others and theirs. Thank you for allowing the readers into their world.

  • Claire Humphrey

    Gorgeous, meticulous writing. I had the pleasure of seeing the author read recently, and she chose several pieces that were thematically linked; she also shared some things that had inspired her, thoughts from other writers, which underscored the themes. It was one of the most thoughtful readings I've attended. Well worth exploring.

  • Leah

    For those new to Mary Rickert's work, this collection from

    is an excellent representation of, introduction to, her eclectic style. I love Mary's work because it's all about the story and not about squishing that story to fit inside a particular (genre) box. Only reason I rated

    4 instead of 5 stars is that it contained only 3 new stories: "The Shipbuilder," "The Corpse Painter's Masterpiece," and "The Mo

    For those new to Mary Rickert's work, this collection from

    is an excellent representation of, introduction to, her eclectic style. I love Mary's work because it's all about the story and not about squishing that story to fit inside a particular (genre) box. Only reason I rated

    4 instead of 5 stars is that it contained only 3 new stories: "The Shipbuilder," "The Corpse Painter's Masterpiece," and "The Mothers of Voorhisville." Now, if like me you don't read online, this collection is the first time you'll have a chance to read the latter, which alone is worth the book's purchase price.

    Highly recommended for hardcore fans (like yours truly) of Rickert's and those looking for a unique voice in SFF, especially dark fantasy. Chances are, if you like Neil Gaiman, Shirley Jackson or Angela Slatter, you'll fall head-over-heels for Rickert's stories.

    4 stars

    Note: You can read

    .

  • Ctgt

    A collection of 11 stories with a recurring theme of loss

    Loss of a loved one

    Loss of oneself

    Several “ghost” stories but I would not call this a collection of horror or even supernatural stories. These elements are tools to explore our questions of the unknown. Life, death, love….

    A collection of 11 stories with a recurring theme of loss

    Loss of a loved one

    Loss of oneself

    Several “ghost” stories but I would not call this a collection of horror or even supernatural stories. These elements are tools to explore our questions of the unknown. Life, death, love….loss

    -a woman gradually transforms in to a deer.

    - one of my favorites. A story within a story. A group of paintings is accompanied by an “artists statement” explaining the death of a lighthouse keeper and how the family is visited by the father as well as other ghosts. Ghosts continue their existence by taking our breath.

    -a son returns home after his father confesses to a crime. A bit of a selkie tale.

    -two people in their home during a winter storm tell stories to each other;

    The strawberry wife and a mysterious painting.

    -a sheriff and his wife deal with the loss of their son in different ways.

    -children collect the bones of small animals, “the skeleton stage” of child development. One girl has to deal with the bones taking on a life of their own.

    - a grown son tries to come to grips with the accusations against his father. A very uncomfortable story.

    - another favorite. A young mother and father deal with the loss of their child and their responsibility for her death.

    - another favorite. A son discovers a secret about his aging parents involving an ancient rite with Bloodstones. A fascinating ending.

    - a novelette that took some time to warm up. I became more intrigued as the narrative continued and ended up really enjoying the overall story. Several women and girls in town spend time with a blue eyed stranger driving a hearse.

    - a strange, dream fever type of story

    I believe most of these stories have been published before (three are new) but this is my first time reading any of them. These tales from Rickert are exactly what I look for in a collection, new ways to look at familiar human emotions. The writing was evocative, moving, emotional, poignant and at times, dark.

    Highly recommended.

    9/10

  • Gayle Slagle

    If you like weird, off-beat stories that are way outside the box, you will love You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories by Mary Rickert. These are stories that on the surface are unrealistic, but upon reflection are dangerously realistic and insightful. Rickert is a master of words and a master at telling a story. These stories will keep you turning each page with anticipation and you will never know exactly what is going to happen next. Part poetry, part suspense, part love story, pa

    If you like weird, off-beat stories that are way outside the box, you will love You Have Never Been Here: New and Selected Stories by Mary Rickert. These are stories that on the surface are unrealistic, but upon reflection are dangerously realistic and insightful. Rickert is a master of words and a master at telling a story. These stories will keep you turning each page with anticipation and you will never know exactly what is going to happen next. Part poetry, part suspense, part love story, part supernatural, the end result is a group of stories that will impact you and make you think and feel.

  • Claudia Piña

    He leído algunas cosas de Mary Rickert, pero mi relación con ella ha sido principalmente las ganas de leerla sin encontrar sus libros.

    Me gusta mucho su estilo, es desorganizado y evocativo pero creo que hay que encontrar los momentos para leerla porque a veces me aburría o no me podía concentrar hasta que tenía tiempo para dejarme llevar por las palabras y volvía a empezar una historia y fluía perfectamente.

    La mayoría de los cuentos incluidos aquí son oscuros con temas emocionalmente depriment

    He leído algunas cosas de Mary Rickert, pero mi relación con ella ha sido principalmente las ganas de leerla sin encontrar sus libros.

    Me gusta mucho su estilo, es desorganizado y evocativo pero creo que hay que encontrar los momentos para leerla porque a veces me aburría o no me podía concentrar hasta que tenía tiempo para dejarme llevar por las palabras y volvía a empezar una historia y fluía perfectamente.

    La mayoría de los cuentos incluidos aquí son oscuros con temas emocionalmente deprimentes, lo que supongo también es un factor a considerar, más aún que la parte no tan realista (que sin llegar a ser fantástico definitivamente se sale de lo común).

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)

    I was a little disappointed in this one. It's on the creepier end, as I'd expected - there is a lot of death. Upon rereading a few stories and finishing the rest, I realized most of them did not capture my attention. The style reminds me of Kelly Link's short stories. A little too weird, meandering, and nonsensical, ending with no real conclusion. I really enjoyed "Cold Fires" and "The Christmas Witch" held my attention fast. I skim read "The Mothers of Voorhisville" (the longest story, probably

    I was a little disappointed in this one. It's on the creepier end, as I'd expected - there is a lot of death. Upon rereading a few stories and finishing the rest, I realized most of them did not capture my attention. The style reminds me of Kelly Link's short stories. A little too weird, meandering, and nonsensical, ending with no real conclusion. I really enjoyed "Cold Fires" and "The Christmas Witch" held my attention fast. I skim read "The Mothers of Voorhisville" (the longest story, probably a novella) because I was bored out of my mind.

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