Horror Stories

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

I grew up listening to Liz Phair, and I really wanted to like this book.

But it just was not my cup of tea, while I appreciate the candor in her stories, they were very dramatic. And I think much more dramatic then they had to be, I was turned off when she described a tennis game with an ex boyfriend and when she realized he was a much better tennis player than her she burst into tears and was inconsolable, really?!While I'm sure there is more to that story than just what was floating on the surface, it did not make me any more empathetic to her. 

The feeling that I got from these stories was that these were all horrifying experiences for her, and I'm sure many of them were, but she hams it up a lot. Almost like she assumed we would all be shocked that all this happened to her... but in reality it's not shocking, it's just stuff that happens. 
I hate assuming how an author feels when writing anything, and I'm sure this was a very cathartic experience for her, writing it all out. 
But it read a lot like the ramblings of a drama queen.
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I'm a big fan of Liz Phair's early music, so I was excited to read her memoir. Unfortunately, though, I just couldn't connect to Liz's voice. This is a memoir in essays - moments that bother Phair from her past, or that have stuck with her for some reason. She's a great writer, and I really liked some of her anecdotes - especially one in which she sees an old classmate on a plane. She assumes he'll be thrilled to see her because she's famous now, but he just wants an unexpected favor having nothing to do with who she is. The essays move back and forward in time, and she reflects on what she feels are her shortcomings and mistakes, but doesn't necessarily let the reader in. I can't really figure out what prevented me from enjoying this, but I'm putting it aside for now, with a few chapters to go. I may pick it up in the future, but it fell short for me.
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I remember the first time I heard Liz Phair's music, it was Halloween 1998 and I was in high school attending a party thrown by one my good friends. My friend loved putting on mini-concerts at her parties, playing and singing the alt hits of the era and this party in particular featured a performance of Phair's Polyester Bride.  At the time, I was and still am obsessed with 80s music but there was something special about Liz Phair.  To me her songs seemed like little story snippets of her life.  Her memoir, Horror Stories showcases her strengths as a confessional story teller. Despite all her success in the music industry, Phair's experiences are everybody's stories: awkward relationships, break-ups and make-ups and struggles with self doubt.  Her honesty and candor is in this memoir is just what you'd expect if you're a fan of her music but I think her memoir would appeal to non-fans as well given the relatable nature of her stories.

What I also loved about this memoir is that the stories are not in chronological order and they can each stand-alone.  So, it's perfect if you're juggling multiple books at one time or are really busy and just have a few minutes a day for reading.
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I love this Liz Phair so much, and this is a great book!  All fans of 90s indie rock should check out horror stories at their local library
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.     Thank you NetGalley!
 
Horror Stories is a memoir written by singer Liz Phair.    While I'm not the biggest fan of her music, the book really did draw me in initially, and I enjoyed most of it.    Her stories were mostly interesting and suprisingly relatable.    Some were just...  quite boring and probably shouldnt' have been included in the book.     I probably won't read this book again honestly.
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Horror Stories is much different than I expected. The title is very true to the intimate stories she shares. Some of the stories may change your opinion of her, she is very honest and has made some pretty sad or selfish choices. It was nice though how honest she was. It was basically a bunch of short, sad stories.
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Thank you to Random House and Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC of Horror Stories by Liz Phair. I was so incredibly excited for this book when I heard it was coming out, and sadly was really disappointed with the book. I did read the entire book, due to the fact that it is loosely written in short essay style, and I really wanted to think at least one chapter would make this book worth the journey. It took me two months to get through the book because I kept putting it down to read other things. The story that Liz Phair chooses to tell in this memoir is all over the place. Chapters are not chronological, and it seems that the singer assumes that everyone is such a super fan that they would already know the ins and outs of her dating and personal life. Also while I get that this book is titled horror stories, I was not expecting this book to be such a negative "woe is me, poor little indie rock mega star". Nothing in this book is something I would consider a horror story, just a long list of whining and complaining. This book may just not have been for me while other fans of Liz Phair may love it, but this was definitely not a win for me.
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I liked this book so much more than expected.  I was a fan of Liz Phair’s music in college and was interested to read this book.  I figured it would be just like so many other memoirs but it wasn’t, in a really good way!  Her book was so vulnerable and self aware at the same time.  The first chapter is unforgettable and I can totally relate to that college experience.  Her chapters about her family, marriage, and subsequent relationships were so open, but she didn’t make excuses for her behavior.  Each of the chapters delves back (or forward) in time so you get a more complete picture of where she was coming from or going to.  The fact that she was willing to share such meaningful experiences was amazing.
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I don’t typically read autobiographies or memoirs, but I decided to make an exception for Liz Phair.
Liz Phair has long been one of my favorite musicians, so I thought reading about her life would add some new layers to her music.  I didn’t, really.
Not to be unkind, she told some good stories in the book.  But most of the time they seemed to meander and take their own time getting anywhere.  Much like song writing, she can tell an interesting narrative.  I just wished that had translated better onto the book page.
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I appreciated the book more after reading the Author’s Note, but I will say this for it, Liz Phair is not afraid of what people think of her. Many of these stories don’t paint her in a favorable light, but ultimately the effect is to make her more relatable.
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This was an incredible book that puts the author in a very vulnerable position. The title, "Horror Stories," refers to the moments in Phair's life that have haunted her the most. These moments are sometimes small, brief interactions, or mistakes that Phair has made that still stay with her today. This book is a compilation of memories that keep us up at night, of the things we wish we could have done differently. It's refreshing to read a book so honest about the dark moments in one's life.
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Entertaining read. I have a harder time rating and reviewing memoirs, because I feel like I’m judging someone’s life, but you can find a full review on GR or my blog! 
I enjoyed Horror Stories! Thank you #netgalley and Random House for the ARC.
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When I saw that Liz Phair was releasing a memoir, I knew that I wanted to read it. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Despite my excitement for this book, I must say it didn't meet my expectations; I found the stories that the author shared to be uneventful and not falling into the category of horror as her book's title suggests.
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DNF at 34%. I recently listened to the Ben Folds memoir and was excited to also read/listen to Liz Phair’s. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free ebook to read. I also purchased the audiobook. I really enjoy listening to memoirs narrated by the author and thought that might be a better way to take this one in. 

Unfortunately I really wasn’t connecting with the essays in this collection. They felt overwritten to me - and while there were some great moments including a description that unfortunately had me crying in public - I mostly couldn’t connect and ultimately decided to stop reading.
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Learned a lot about her life and career, thanks again for the review copy. I love learning more about my favorite artists, thanks again.
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The year was 1993. I had just turned 16 and was full of teenage angst. Liz Phair's 'Never Said' came on the local modern rock radio station, 89x, and caught my attention. From there, I dove into the rest of her first studio released album, 'Exile in Guyville.' Her overarching themes about love, disappointment, and speaking up for yourself, even when being a woman makes that difficult, had a major impact on me.

Fast-forward 26 years to the release of her book, Horror Stories. Although it contains a mixed bag of stories about her life before and after Exile in Guyville - along with lots of stories about guys - Phair clearly still has the same sense of outrage at a world that continues to try to push women down. 

All in all, this was an enjoyable read that has caused me to take quite a few trips down musical memory lane. Liz Phair fans will almost certainly be glad if they pick up a copy. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy.
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This is a memoir in essays from 90s (and beyond) music icon Liz Phair. It's a hard one to talk about because it doesn't have a central message or idea, it's more a collection of discussions about things that have happened in her life and the lessons she's learned; it bounces from period to period rather than going chronologically. It's very reflective in tone and is extremely well-written. I think her voice translated very well from music to prose and she's extremely present on the page.. Both her music and her writing are very assertive. She's extremely honest, she's okay with being herself, she's okay with showing herself as a sexual person, she's okay with pointing directly at her own mistakes. I think anyone who likes her or has an interest in hearing more about her experiences will likely enjoy this book.
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This is the second memoir I've read in the past few months by a musician whom I admire and enjoy. This book offered more details about the author's personal life struggles and not as much about the music but I did enjoy reading it and getting inside her head and subsequently her world.

This is an early copy from Net Galley that I started too late to be able to post an early review. I'm a fan of her music and I think you would have to be in order to fully appreciate this book. Liz Phair has a tremendous memory too. I admire her introspection and how she is able to reflect on her own life.

It seems to be that even those who do not know Liz Phair's music beyond her radio hit of 2003, will enjoy this book because the book focuses more on her childhood and later relationships.
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These little slices of Liz Phair’s life are meaningful moments that vibrate. This book is set up a lot like an album with different “tracks” or stories that make up a collection. Don’t expect a standard autobiography/memoir format.

Liz is slightly biased, but shows her flaws, allowing herself a bit of healthy empathy, but doesn’t dwell in self-pity. I enjoy how she interrupts events and her writing style.

I was a little let down that there wasn’t a lot about her music, more a focus on the industry and a reflection on the level of professionalism she exhibited, even in the intense and uncomfortable moments.

What isn’t addressed is what I really want to know- Why did she stop making new music?
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I am a long time fan of Liz Phair (in fact I own all 6 of her albums), and also a fan of celebrity memoirs, so I was excited to check this book out. This is definitely not your typical celebrity memoir - in fact I'm not sure whether memoir is in fact the right term for it - it's more of a collection of autobiographical essays. They are each themed loosely around something that was sad or scary or upsetting that she either did or observed, and they are not in chronological order at all and skip over large chunks of her life - but they are also deeply personal and revealing. So it's very interesting in that you get only the barest outline of the overall story of her life - but yet come out with a searingly intimate feeling for who she really is as a person. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this since her song lyrics are so sharp, but she is actually an astonishingly good and powerful writer. I'd actually love to see her try her hand at writing fiction.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley, which omitted chapter 14 which apparently is about sexual harassment/me too. I don't imagine it would have changed my opinion of the book but if I do end up reading that chapter at some later point I'll update this review as needed.
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