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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!
This book is wonderful. I've read it a few times now and I still find myself attached to many of the characters, wondering what will become of them (lucky we will be able to find out when Kiernan's new book "Murder of Angels," a sequel to "Silk," comes out in a few months). The language is painfully beautiful, though sometimes difficult, which may be...
Published on March 25 2004 by Samm

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I'm Missing Something
Silk has a permanent home on my bookshelf next to Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls. I've read them both twice, to be fair, and don't really intend to read them again.
Perhaps I just don't understand this brand of "horror." Throughout the entire story, I wondered what I was intended to think of the characters. Was I supposed to like them? Was I supposed to...
Published on Jan. 6 2003 by Kieri


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not goth, Jan. 8 2009
By 
Yanna (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
What an unfortunate train wreck this turned out to be.

I wanted to knife every single character in this silly novel and just kept wondering why even they themselves continued on. People that miserable tend to (thankfully) off themselves, no? Miserable, useless to society, thinking that dying your hair an unnatural colour or singing in a "punk" band makes you somehow more human or relevant than those of us who don't earn a living busking in the gutter or working at some minimum wage coffee shop past our teen years.

Just horrible on every count. I keep reading in the negative reviews that Kiernan is a better writer than this garbage, but I don't think I can give her a second chance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just awful!, July 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Silk (Paperback)
Every cliche possible is dusted off for this lame story. Based on the reviews I was expecting something really intriguing, but this was just silly, trite, and tedious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I'm Missing Something, Jan. 6 2003
By 
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
Silk has a permanent home on my bookshelf next to Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls. I've read them both twice, to be fair, and don't really intend to read them again.
Perhaps I just don't understand this brand of "horror." Throughout the entire story, I wondered what I was intended to think of the characters. Was I supposed to like them? Was I supposed to care about them at all? If so, then I must have missed something. All I saw were a bunch of boring Gen X-ers in a small town who died in some bizarre, but ultimately inexplicably dull ways for no apparent reason. If there was a point to this book, other than "Some stuff that happened to these people I once knew," I couldn't find it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much ado about nothing..., Nov. 4 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Silk (Paperback)
Very disappointing read, and don't get me wrong, I like gothic literature and knew what I was in for. The problem with this particular gothic novel is that it's really only a short story strung out over hundreds of pages. Very slow, but I kept hoping it was going to build into a real crescendo. Unfortunately, even the ending is slow and a let-down. I love Caitlin's writing and the ins and outs of the characters like Spyder and Robin kept me going till the end, but then when it was finished, I was like, what was the point? No monsters...not even a villain to speak of! It's just words on a page. It's like my brother jumping out of a closet saying boo! Not really scary, just kind of there. I give it two stars for writing style, but if you're looking for plot, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A shocking disappointment., June 19 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
After reading Kiernan's short fiction (most of which is astounding) and the many good reviews this books has received, I was really very sorry to find Silk near impossible to take. The characters are broadly written caricatures, Goth kid cliches in a Goth cliche universe, interchangeable and utterly forgettable. The writing sways from brilliant to boring, from perfection to slash, sometimes within the same line. The story itself only begins to exist somewhere around the halfway mark, then steamrolls toward an ending neither satisfying nor believable.
Kiernan has proven herself a far better writer than this novel indicates. Here, her work falls into a pit of Goth subculture cliches. By page 15, all are present--the strange obsession with hair and hair dye descriptions (each character can be told from the rest by his or her hair color and quality), Tom Waits, The Cure, Nosferatu, boring drug use, and a character named Byron. All of which would be fine had Kiernan raised even one of her characters out of the blandness and made him/her real. Unfortunately, the next two hundred pages are just more of the same. When the story does actually begin, the reader is too sick of the characters to care.
Silk - a novel about hair dye, Tom Waits, and spooky posturing; a sophomoric mix of embarassingly overwrought and brilliantly poetic prose; a heartless, shapeless story crammed into a black lace costume; a story Poppy Brite would have written better; a misguided attempt by a writer who is capable of so much more.
If you are new to Kiernan, read her short story collections. Their praise, I'm sure, is far more deserved than that of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this, but..., May 25 2000
By 
Michael Toland (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
I've been dipping my toes into Goth fiction a bit recently. Started with Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls, which I found reasonably entertaining but not the earthshattering experience others did. I felt her personal obsessions (Goth culture, gay sex, explicit violence) got in the way of her storytelling. So instead of reading another Brite I turned to her friend Caitlin Kiernan. I read most of the reader comments here at Amazon and got the impression that Kiernan's Silk would be a very different kind of book than Lost Souls, indeed, it sounded more immediately appealing.
Alas, I'm coming away from this even more unsatisfied than I was after finishing Lost Souls. It's not that it's not well written - for the most part it is. While a bit choppy in spots I found Kiernan's style much more appealing than her buddy Brite's. She mixes her pop culture references in naturally instead of intrusively. She has a strong sense of place with her Birmingham setting, and characterization is obviously a strong point for her. The fact that the first 3/4 of the book are devoted to character development and nothing really happens until, oh, page 265 or so, doesn't bother me in and of itself - it's hardly the first book to do that (hell, if you want to get technical, Anne Rice spent two whole novels doing character development before getting the actual plot started in Queen of the Damned). What bothers me is that I find the characters so enormously unappealing. They're all self-absorbed 20somethings proudly and defiantly wrapped up in their own pain and dysfunction. I couldn't find any sympathy in me, much less empathy, for any of them, not even Spyder, who was horribly abused as a child. Every time Daria lost her temper over her junky boyfriend I wanted to slap her. Every time Spyder evaded the questions of those who wanted to love and help her with vague mumblings I wanted to strangle her. These are people who enjoy wallowing in their pain.
God knows when I was in my 20s I rolled around in self-pity as much as anybody, maybe more than most. But now that I'm older and living a life I can't bring myself to empathize with any of these characters. And since I can't really care about them, I can't care about the danger they're supposedly in. When characters started dying I just shrugged and turned to the next page.
It's not that I don't still enjoy art that drowns itself in despair - I love Larry Brown's fiction and Mark Eitzel's music unreservedly. But Silk I just couldn't get into. Maybe if I'd read this ten years ago I would've empathized more. So if you're in your 20s and confused and hating life, by all means, give this a shot. You'll probably dig it a lot more than I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As poorly written as I could possibly have feared., May 22 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
Well, the new "goth" author rears its ugly head. Thankfully, I didn't have to buy this awful book, as it was given as a review copy. Bad move on the editor's part, but not as bad a move as buying the manuscript in the first place. Kiernan's plodding and pretentious prose is awful enough in short stories, but absolutely intolerable in a novel-length format. Writing about execrable characters no one in a right frame of mind cares about is a mystery to me. And yet again I find myself amused by the holier-than-thou attitude of the alternative set, who think, in a kind of weird reversal of roles, that they are superior to the mundanes whose existences so bother them. This novel showed no promise at all, and likely reinforced the author's lamentable interpretation that this kind of writing is anything more than awful. I shudder to think what good work is shouldered out of the way so that garbage like this can see the light of publication. Ah, well. Perhaps there are enough Poppy Brite fans around to ensure that the book sees a profit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, Dec 4 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
Not a book to be lightly tossed aside, but one to be hurled with great force...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a novel, just a big pile of sentences., Nov. 13 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Silk (Mass Market Paperback)
I will keep this short, as short as Silk should have been. Kiernan's verbose novel is tolerable only to those who have little or no interest in story, who wish to spend (waste) their time swimming in the superficial, faux-Gothic,pretentious crud known as "Goth." This bastardized version of Gothicism will not appeal to people who enjoy the work of true Gothic writers, such as Poe and Shelley, for more than just the "spooky" descriptions. Kiernan's Silk is all about the make-up, people. The most Gothic thing about this novel is the mysterious lack of plot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!, March 25 2004
By 
This review is from: Silk (Paperback)
This book is wonderful. I've read it a few times now and I still find myself attached to many of the characters, wondering what will become of them (lucky we will be able to find out when Kiernan's new book "Murder of Angels," a sequel to "Silk," comes out in a few months). The language is painfully beautiful, though sometimes difficult, which may be what some of the negative reviews are about (i.e. the people who "just didn't get it"). Kiernan has an extraordinarily talent way with words, but if you don't have the vocabulary to cut it, thats not her fault!
It is difficult for me to put this book into a specific category or to give a concise synopsis of the plot, due to its many shifts and complexities. Just pick it up and give it a read! If you like intelligent, emotional fiction you won't regret it. (I'm getting ready to read it again for the third or fourth time.)
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Silk
Silk by Caitlin Kiernan (Paperback - Oct. 25 2002)
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