Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
Stories

83%

20 Critic Reviews

In these eight impressive stories, Russell pulls the rug out on our imagination, creating perplexing, surreal scenarios that bump into the common reality that most of us take for granted.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

From the author of the New York Times best seller Swamplandia!—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—a magical new collection of stories that showcases Karen Russell’s gifts at their inimitable best.

A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull’s nest.  A community of girls held captive in a silk factory slowly transmute into human silkworms, spinning delicate threads from their own bellies, and escape by seizing the means of production for their own revolutionary ends. A massage therapist discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the tattoos on a war veteran’s lower torso. When a group of boys stumble upon a mutilated scarecrow bearing an uncanny resemblance to the missing classmate they used to torment, an ordinary tale of high school bullying becomes a sinister fantasy of guilt and atonement. In a family’s disastrous quest for land in the American West, the monster is the human hunger for acquisition, and the victim is all we hold dear. And in the collection’s marvelous title story—an unforgettable parable of addiction and appetite, mortal terror and mortal love—two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood.

Karen Russell is one of today’s most celebrated and vital writers—honored in The New Yorker’s list of the twenty best writers under the age of forty, Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, and the National Book Foundation’s five best writers under the age of thirty-five.  Her wondrous new work displays a young writer of superlative originality and invention coming into the full range and scale of her powers.  

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide. 

 

About Karen Russell

See more books from this Author
Karen Russell, a native of Miami, has been featured in The New Yorker's debut fiction issue and on The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 list, and was chosen as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. In 2009, she received the 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation. Three of her short stories have been selected for the Best American Short Stories volumes. She is currently writer-in-residence at Bard College.
 
Published February 12, 2013 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Vampires in the Lemon Grove
All: 20 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Nov 15 2012

A consistently arresting, frequently stunning collection of eight stories.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Joy Williams on Feb 07 2013

The dangers that dwell in a good story collection are the occasional listless pup, the willing but weak sister.

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NY Times

Excellent
on Feb 04 2013

She has fashioned a quirky, textured voice that is thoroughly her own: by turns lyrical and funny, fantastical and meditative.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 27 2013

...multiple threads are tied together by pervasive magical realism, with the author’s macabre imagination conjuring malevolent seagulls, karmic scarecrows, and melancholy vampires...

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Oct 29 2012

There are only eight stories in Russell’s new collection, but as readers of Swamplandia! know, Russell doesn’t work small.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Meg Wolitzer on Feb 15 2013

...the atmosphere created here is one of tension and even, eventually, well-earned fear.

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NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Feb 12 2013

Vampires in the Lemon Grove is flawless and magnificent, and there's absolutely no living author quite like Karen Russell.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Jim Carmin on Feb 11 2013

In these eight impressive stories, Russell pulls the rug out on our imagination, creating perplexing, surreal scenarios that bump into the common reality that most of us take for granted.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Kevin McFarland on Feb 25 2013

This book covers war, gender issues, puberty, marriage, and death with such flair and delight that it’s still surprising to realize this is only Russell’s second story collection.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
on Feb 13 2013

Vampires in the Lemon Grove, finds the author pushing even further into the numinous.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
on Feb 15 2013

There is a spark in this writer more substantial than a jar of fireflies, and it's finally starting to burn like a house on fire.

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Booklist Online

Excellent
on Dec 01 2012

Continues her mind-blowing, mythic, macabre, hilarious, and tender inquiry into the profound link between humans and animals, and what separates us.

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Dallas News

Good
on Feb 15 2013

Russell’s fantasies are compelling because they enhance reality.

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The Boston Globe

Above average
on Feb 16 2013

She does have an almost vampiric — which is to say, occasionally destructive — hunger for unusual imagery.

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Tor

Excellent
Reviewed by Jenn Northington on Feb 12 2013

If, like me, you’re haunted by Bradbury’s calliopes, King’s snowbound resorts and dark woods, Poe’s cheerful murderers, and Mieville’s inter-dimensional insects, but also like a dash of humor with your terror, Vampires in the Lemon Grove is a must-read.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Excellent
on Feb 13 2013

Vampires in the Lemon Grove is a startling success.

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Chicago Tribune

Good
on Feb 10 2013

Her work may be too outlandish for some, too reflexively alternative, but those very qualities translate into a dependable stream of admirable originality.

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Journal Sentinel

Good
on Feb 08 2013

It's exactly what one would expect, from a writer who has once again mapped the dark country between our everyday and more primal selves.

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NY Daily News

Good
on Feb 12 2013

Russell’s collection might leave readers impressed with her ingenuity, but it won’t break their hearts, and they certainly won’t be sleeping with the lights on.

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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Mar 01 2013

The heightened realism mode stretches the boundaries of character and situation; it also stretches the boundaries of language and metaphor. It’s not so easy for a reader to judge the success of that stretch.

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Reader Rating for Vampires in the Lemon Grove
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 345 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'

Rick McKay

Rick McKay 5 Sep 2013

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Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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