Horror Stories

Horror Stories Review

From the two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter behind the groundbreaking album Exile in Guyville comes a haunting memoir in stories in the tradition of Patti Smith's M Train

When Liz Phair was just starting out in the Wicker Park, Chicago, music scene in the early 1990s, she mostly encountered a**holes—mostly men, who didn't respect her and were determined not to see her fail, exactly, because they didn't care enough about her to wish failure on her—they just wanted her to get out of their space, to disappear. "Girly Sound" was the name of the cassettes she used to pass around in those days, and in 1993 those songs became the landmark album Exile in Guyville, which turned Phair, at twenty-five, into a foul-mouthed feminist icon.

Now, like a Gen X Patti Smith, Liz Phair tells the story of her life and career in a memoir about the moments that have haunted her most. Horror is in the eye of the beholder. For Phair, horror is what stays with you—the often unrecognized, universal experiences of daily pain, shame, and fear that make up our common humanity. In Phair's case it means the dangers of falling for "the perfect guy," and the disaster that awaits her; the memory of a stranger passed out on a bathroom floor amid a crowd of girls, forcing her to consider our responsibilities to one another, and the gnawing regret of being a bystander; and the profound sense of emptiness she experienced on the set of her first celebrity photoshoot.

Horror Stories reads like the confessions of a friend, a book that gathers up all of our isolated shames, bringing us together in our shared imperfection, our uncertainty and our cowardice, smashing the stigma of not being in control. But most importantly, Horror Stories is a memoir that asks questions of how we feel about the things that have happened to us, how we cope with regret and culpability, and how we break the spell of those things, leeching them of their power over us. This memoir is an immersive experience, taking readers inside the most intimate moments of Phair's life. Her fearless prose, wit, and uncompromising honesty transform those deeply personal moments into tales about each and every one of us—that will appeal to both the serious fan and the serious reader.

Title:Horror Stories

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    Horror Stories Reviews

  • Nenia ? Aspiring Evil Overlord ? Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestThis is actually one of the best memoirs I have ever read. I'm shocked because most celebrity memoirs end up as something of a disappointment. H...

  • Eilonwy

    Liz Phair's album Exile in Guyville has held a long power among alt-rock listeners of a Certain Age. I saw her show for that album in Boston, and I've been thinking about it over the past year because...

  • Eric

    Upon first seeing Horror Stories by Liz Phair, I thought of how this was going to be a roller-coaster of a book told in the fashion of an in-your-face, rip-snorting recounting of loud and audacious ta...

  • Theresa

    Thank you, Netgalley and Random House for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review. As a huge fan of Indie rock queen, Liz Phair - I knew I HAD to read her memoir, "Horror Stories" A...

  • Ren

    This is imperfect, but ends up being pretty meaningful anyway. I would've skipped it because I really don't like celebrity memoirs even when they're celebrities I like. Also I haven't paid her newer s...

  • Jillian

    I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was thinking this would be a memoir and give me info on Liz’s upbringing and her music career. Instead it was a series of...

  • Sayo

    I grew up listening to Liz Phair, and I really wanted to like this book.But it was not my cup of tea, while I appreciate the candorin her stories, they were very dramatic. And I think much more dramat...

  • britt_brooke

    I disliked this in the same way I disliked Maggie O’Farrell’s I AM, I AM, I AM. Those were not all brushes with death and these are not all horror stories. Literary gimmicks annoy the hell out of ...

  • Renata

    mmmmmm I mean I guess for starters I guess I should say I'm not a die-hard Liz Phair fan or anything, but I like some of her music and I've enjoyed reading some of her interviews etc so I figured I'd ...

  • Jennifer

    I received this ARC via Netgalley. This wasn’t quite what I was expecting- I was anticipating a straightforward memoir but it was instead it was series of essays. Not in chronological order, but arr...