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Bliss Montage
Bliss Montage: Stories | Ling Ma
14 posts | 18 read | 18 to read
A new creation by the author of Severance, the stories in Bliss Montage crash through our carefully built mirages What happens when fantasy tears through the screen of the everyday to wake us up? Could that waking be our end? In Bliss Montage, Ling Ma brings us eight wildly different tales of people making their way through the madness and reality of our collective delusions: love and loneliness, connection and possession, friendship, motherhood, the idea of home. From a woman who lives in a house with all of her ex-boyfriends, to a toxic friendship built around a drug that makes you invisible, to an ancient ritual that might heal you of anything if you bury yourself alive, these and other scenarios reveal that the outlandish and the everyday are shockingly, deceptively, heartbreakingly similar.
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review
Lesliereadsalot
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Mehso-so

I was attracted to this book because the author wrote Severance, which you might have seem on tv. Can‘t say these stories spoke to me, as there was only one that I found interesting about a student and her professor. Pretty dull all the way around.

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Suet624
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Mehso-so

Unpopular opinion but I scratched my head during the entire book, wondering what I was missing. Maybe I wasn‘t paying enough attention but the women seemed so passive and uninspired I felt drained after many of the stories.

Reggie I‘m sorry, Sue, this is my fault. 2w
Suet624 @Reggie after I finished reading it your review was the only thing that made me sort of understand it. No need to apologize- lots of people really liked the book. 😊😊 2w
54 likes2 comments
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

These are both EXCELLENT short short story collections! Universal took a sci-fi look at different types of love and how they might manifest in the future from sex in VR suits to dead holographic spouses. Still thinking about these over a week later!

Ma looks in relationships but in a more subversive way. She‘s got a keen eye for what makes people tick and even drives them to do crazy things like live with 100 boyfriends or bury themselves alive.

Ruthiella Tempting! I typically shy away from short stories but I loved 2w
Megabooks @Ruthiella I enjoyed Severance too, but I liked Montage even more!! 👍🏻 2w
78 likes3 comments
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Reggie
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Pickpick

Have you ever gone to Target and loaded up your basket and within an hour put everything back? Or even worse just left the cart full and walked out of the store? That dissatisfaction, disillusionment of what not knowing what you want and what you don‘t know you need is the itchy thread in all 8 of the short stories in here. The language was vibrant and the stories, very creative. I can‘t wait to see what she writes next. All the 🍊s!!!

Leftcoastzen I cannot tell you how many times lately I feel like that!Dysphoria! 1mo
sarahbarnes Great review - yes! I loved these stories, too, and can‘t wait to see what she does next. 1mo
Chelsea.Poole Great review! I‘m on hold for this one from Libby 1mo
See All 11 Comments
Reggie @Leftcoastzen I hope it passes for you. I think we all get that funk coupled with the times, it‘s no good. 1mo
Reggie @sarahbarnes the Peking Duck story and the one where the husband buried himself to become anew were my favorites. Lots to discuss here. 1mo
Reggie @Chelsea.Poole thanks! Each story is a nesting doll. I hope you like them! 1mo
Tamra That‘s a stack for me! 😃 1mo
sarahbarnes Yes, agreed. I loved Peking Duck too, and Office Hours. These were all so weird and good. 1mo
Suet624 I‘m going to try not to run out to the bookstore to buy this right now. I love nesting doll stories. 1mo
Rissreads You are a master at selling a book @reggie I already had this one stacked! 🧡 Run @Suet624 run! 🏃‍♀️ (edited) 1mo
Reggie @Suet624 @Rissreads I think the author was very good about introducing something in these stories that had you think at first-what the hell does this have to do with anything- and then pages later have you say- Ohhh. Lol 4w
71 likes8 stack adds11 comments
blurb
Reggie
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Besides my LMPBC books every book I‘ve read this month has been off of Libby. I started Bad Cree one day and then the next day all 4 of the others came in and I just kept seeing 14 days count down. The theme song in my head has been The Heat is On by Glenn Fry. The pressure!!! Lol also top right guy is because The Heat Is On has a catchy sax lick like most 80‘s songs do and who can think about 80‘s sax without thinking about Lost Boys Sax Guy?👇🏼

Reggie Happy Reading Littens! 1mo
Bookzombie Happy Reading Reggie! I love how much use you are getting out of your library. 🙂 I use Libby mostly for audiobooks, but have the same issue. I end up setting some to come back around later. 1mo
KathyWheeler Absolutely nobody can think about 80s sax without thinking of the Lost Boys guy. 😄 1mo
See All 33 Comments
Aimeesue I can absolutely hear that sax part in my head 😂 1mo
Suet624 Gah! I know that feeling of downloads and paper editions all coming at the same time! Tick tock, Reggie. 1mo
vivastory Reggie, I still believe! 🎷🦇 1mo
Ruthiella If you said Duran Duran and sax, I‘d think the Solo in Rio first ! 😆 But you‘re right - every song in the ‘80s had to have the sax solo! 🎷 1mo
Ruthiella Duh. Just realized I mixed up The Lost Boys with Wild Boys…😂 1mo
Reggie @Bookzombie yeah, and there are other newer horror books on there that I could borrow but I just don‘t want them until I clear these off. With my luck, they‘ll be on hold. It feels good to use the library. 1mo
Reggie @KathyWheeler my 2nd favorite sax song is Careless Whisper by Wham, cause I‘m never gonna dance again, Kathy. These guilty feet have got no rhythm. 1mo
Reggie @Aimeesue there‘s this totally cheesy bonkers movie from the 80‘s called Teen Witch and there‘s this song in there called Never Gonna Be the Same Again. It‘s half sax. Lol it‘s so good. 1mo
Reggie @Suet624 ⏰ I know. Lol 1mo
Reggie @vivastory did you know that same guy was on tour with Teena Turner in the 90‘s and during Private Dancer he has a solo. Tina and him just scorch the stage. 1mo
Reggie @Ruthiella no joke, A View to a Kill by Duran Duran is simultaneously my favorite James Bond theme song and one of my go to Karaoke songs. Their 90‘s stuff is my early teen years. “But I won‘t cry for yesterday. There‘s an ordinary world…” 1mo
Centique I know that ticking countdown feeling! And yes the ubiquitous 80s sax 🙌🙌 1mo
Reggie @Centique I will be done with Bliss Montage tomorrow finishing this five holds in 15 days gauntlet. I just finished G- the one about the toxic friendships we can‘t give up in our younger years. These are crazy stories, Paula. I‘m liking them though. And she has a fresh style, although, maybe it‘s all the mention of fruits. 1mo
Centique I love that first story when the husband speaks $$ 😂 1mo
Reggie @Centique yes!!! You know exactly who he is! 1mo
Centique @Reggie they do stay with you because they‘re so strangely gripping! I wonder if that first one is kinda saying that all her boyfriends live with her because she carries her past with her literally 1mo
Centique @Reggie and I kind of wonder if $ guy sums up who parents want you to marry. Just a blank sheet of a guy as long as there‘s $ 1mo
Reggie @Centique and then that one leaves and you think maybe she‘s finally letting go of him. Then the next story is about him. 1mo
Centique @Reggie that‘s a really good point! One leads to the other.. 🙌 1mo
Reggie @Centique also I feel like I‘m being a little unfair to this author. When I read Severance, and the mc had the purchasing of bibles job, and I read that the author had the same job once upon a time in life, I thought, maybe we‘ll never hear from her again because when you hear that a story is so close to the author‘s life maybe you think their life is all they got and Severance was great so how could there be more?!!! And it‘s ridiculous how 👇🏼 1mo
Reggie how I‘m reading these stories thinking it‘s her life. Every author does this . What writer doesn‘t draw from life experience? And for some reason I‘m slighting her with it. The writing is really good. Idk what it is. I need to get over it. 1mo
Centique @Reggie I do know what you mean. I kept thinking it was a kind of therapy as I read it - an exorcism of her past relationships. It‘s sat better with me after a little time. But I agree, it‘s an assumption that could be quite wrong - one we‘re more likely to make with a young woman too I think. 1mo
Centique @Reggie then again you do find some authors telling their story again and again - and it gets tired - so it is valid to worry about that happening! 1mo
Reggie @Centique I do think I carry a bit of misogyny around with me. Am I trying to do better? Yes. There are times when I want to tell someone ‘don‘t be such a girl‘ or ‘or don‘t be such a sissy‘ and I don‘t because it would mean that I think both those things are weak. So why don‘t I just say weak. Like when I read Pew and I thought of Pew as a girl because maybe I thought of her as a victim and girls/women are more likely to be victims than boys/men 1mo
Reggie @Centique and then I had to unpack that. It‘s crazy. I just finished Bliss Montage, and I liked every single story in there. The Peking Duck one is going to gnaw at me. About here telling her mother‘s story and the mother telling her it didn‘t happen to us just to her. And then the reading of her story in workshop where the hoped for ally in the other Asian male trashes it. Jeez!!! These are definitely make you think, bookclub discussion worthy 1mo
Reggie stories. 1mo
Centique YES! Peking Duck made me think and think and rethink. It was so good. And back to your first comment - I think many women have those stereotypes in their minds as well. I assumed Pew was a girl straight away too. And I spent so long in my younger days thinking I‘m not “that type of girl” allowing me to judge and dismiss other women. Still working on not making those auto judgments 😬 My daughter is fab at pushing me to think twice and thrice! 1mo
Centique @Reggie Trevor Noah has this bit in one of his stand up shows where he rails against people/men referring to weakness as a female body part. It‘s a really good bit. 😂 1mo
GatheringBooks I have started two books - both not feeling them and i hate it, not sure if it‘s a reading slump or the books I am reading as part of our #DecolonizeReading2023. Sigh. 😭 1mo
Rissreads You can‘t go past Rob Lowe playing the sax (pretending!🤣) in St Elmo‘s fire. I had such a crush on him in this movie and About Last night. And I LOVE Careless whisper too! ♥️ (edited) 1mo
65 likes33 comments
review
jackday
Pickpick

Such interesting female narrators. Perfect amount of surrealism. Love the short story format to get me back into fiction. The yeti lovemaking one was my fave. Need to read her first book.

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BekaReid
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Pickpick

Ling Ma's writing is incredible, and her observations on contemporary workplaces, pop culture, and social psyche are sharp and often framed in an unsettling manner leaving the reader perhaps a bit uneasy. The stories in Bliss Montage pick apart illusions, considering why we maintain them and what happens when they are shattered.

15 likes1 stack add
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Centique
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Pickpick

Thank you so much for this book @Reggie it was weird and wonderful! I‘m so looking forward to you reading it because many stories could be interpreted wildly differently and I‘m keen to discuss! Ling Ma writes in a very realistic style but in most stories there is one singular element that is surreal, that shocks the reader, but is accepted as rational in the world Ma has created. Some stories seem to be detailing a legacy of trauma or numbness⬇️

Centique from past relationships, some family history, the way personal narrative distorts. There is a lot to be unpacked in them and I haven‘t got anywhere near there yet! 2mo
Megabooks This is high up my TBR!! 2mo
Centique @Megabooks I hope you enjoy them 👍 2mo
Rissreads I loved Severence by her. Stacked! 2mo
Reggie I put it on hold on Libby. I‘m glad you liked this. I‘ve been very lucky with short stories this year. And I loved her Severance. 2mo
64 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I loved Severance, so I was excited for this one and it doesn‘t disappoint! Ling Ma sprinkles magical realism through some of her stories and they are all intriguing. My only quibble is that two of the stories just stop abruptly in an unsatisfying way, to the point that I wondered if my ebook didn‘t fully download.

Megabooks This is on my Christmas list. I‘m so glad you enjoyed it. 5mo
sarahbarnes Agreed! I just finished it this weekend and thought it was a fantastic collection. 5mo
64 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Graciouswarriorprincess
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Book 123 of the year.

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TheBookDream
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Pickpick

Good book good food!

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TheBookDream
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Reading at work. Only made it two full hours for #20in4. That‘s 20 points for #teamslaughter! @Clwojick Also watched two Halloween shorts so I believe that‘s another 10 pts making it 30 total so far.

Clwojick Way to go! 🖤🦇 6mo
16 likes1 comment
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kyraleseberg
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Pickpick

Ling Ma is fantastic - I loved Severance and this short story collection seals Ma as a favorite author for me! Short stories are hit or miss for me but I loved every quirky moment with this collection!

25 likes1 stack add
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PNWBookseller85
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Pickpick

I‘ve been on a short story kick lately. I love the form and I feel like it - even more than a novel - gives you a sense of an author‘s mind and style. Ling Ma is brilliant. These were funny and engaging and weird and powerful. I very much recommend this book! Out in September.

Chelsea.Poole Awesome cover! 🍊 9mo
65 likes1 comment