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Paperback Pj Harvey's Rid of Me: A Story Book

ISBN: 0826427782

ISBN13: 9780826427786

Pj Harvey's Rid of Me: A Story

(Part of the 33⅓ (#48) Series and 33 (#48) Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: New

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Book Overview

Rid of Me joins Music From Big Pink by John Niven and Meat is Murder by Joe Pernice as one of three fictional titles in the 33 1/3 Series, and tells the story of Kathleen and Mary, two women who find themselves alone in a house in the middle of the dark, forbidden forest that borders their depressed valley town. Amidst a dramatic natural setting, they negotiate their freedom, their pasts, their survival, and each other. Rid of Me is a story of...

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Customer Reviews

3 ratings

a really beautiful work

I haven't listened to the PJ Harvey album that inspired this book, but it isn't necessary - the story stands alone. Schatz's storytelling is vivid, layered, and intense. This novel is a love story, an adventure, and a magical realist fantasy. A really beautiful work.

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down...(and rise again!)

Kate Schatz has delivered a carefully crafted, mesmerizing tale of entrapment, flight and freedom that left this reader eager to read whatever she'll be writing next. As someone totally unfamiliar with the music of PJ Harvey, I read this story for its own sake and was not disappointed. Its two heroines, Mary and Kathleen, were each manipulated and confined by the men in their lives, one powerful in his own right, one completely powerless yet equally controlling. Their separate escapes and bizarre and frightening union made this reader question conventional notions of mental illness, crime and the redemptive powers of love. After reading this book, I listened to PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me," CD for the first time, paging through each chapter during its related song. It was as if Mary and Kathleen were baring their souls and sharing their spirits! Thank you, Kate Schatz, for taking me where I would never venture on my own. It was a thrilling ride!

Stands on its own... doesn't replicate the album

Rid of Me is the latest addition to Continuum International's 33 1/3 series, which takes seminal albums of the last 40 years and allows writers of various bents to write about, around, through and over the music that informs the books. Rid of Me takes its cue from PJ Harvey's album of the same title and appropriately veers away from its surface toward an unusual and fictive adventure into the irreverently dark psychology(ies) that made the album popular in the first place. There is a tendency in reviewing an interdisciplinary project like this, to weigh the "derivative" text (Schatz's Rid of Me) against the original work (Harvey's Rid of Me), but it's been awhile since I was really into the album (even back then it wasn't one of my mainstays). Not to mention that to evaluate the book in this way would too readily presuppose that it is necessary to have some insider knowledge of the album in order to appreciate Schatz's book (which is, frankly, not true), and it also tends to overvalue the original album instead of considering the generative potential of the intermingling of creative forms. Certainly, for the knowing reader, the lyrics are weaved into Schatz's text, but what is more interesting is the way that the story disembarks from the album through a detour into the troubled backstories of two "characters" (Mary and Kathleen) mentioned on the album. In Schatz's story, having struggled in a patriarchal world that disavows their subjectivity, both Mary and Kathleen are escapees bound together in their troubled pasts as much as in their desire to leave the world that traumatized them behind. As their histories and scarred psychologies are revealed to us through dream, hallucination, flashback and narration, I became increasingly unsure of the boundaries between reality and hallucination, between utopia and dystopia. I suspect this suspension of disbelief, evoked by the text, is meant to mimic in the reader the tenuous link between self and world that both Mary and Kathleen experienced in their lives, and continue to struggle with even in their escape. The implication is that one cannot really leave trauma behind, but can only watch it burn and "go on," and, in this sense, the story is as much about female love and reconciliation as it is about the violence and struggle of being a woman in a patriarchal world.
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