My Date with Satan

My Date with Satan

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by Stacey Richter

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"The Beauty Treatment" is narrated by a teenager who has had her face slashed by her best friend. Theirs is a brand of girlfriend rivalry common at any high school, but with Richter's agility and unique language, their story becomes an epic of empathy and forgiveness. Any self-respecting Scandinavian Satanic heavy metal band - even one with a chick keyboard player -…  See more details below


"The Beauty Treatment" is narrated by a teenager who has had her face slashed by her best friend. Theirs is a brand of girlfriend rivalry common at any high school, but with Richter's agility and unique language, their story becomes an epic of empathy and forgiveness. Any self-respecting Scandinavian Satanic heavy metal band - even one with a chick keyboard player - always knows it must "corrupt the world / spread the metal." But by the end of "Goal 666," the Lords of Sludge are possessed by a different kind of uncontrollable urge. In "Sally's Story" a family's decline parallels their greyhound's rise to fame in the art world, and in "Rats Eat Cats" a depressive young woman tries to find sanctuary in a living art project in which she becomes a reclusive Cat Lady ("an old woman who lives 'by herself' with as many as seventy-five cats in a one-bedroom apartment") only to fall in love with her neighbor and arch enemy, the Rat Boy. "A Prodigy of Longing" renders the impossible domestic situation of a child genius navigating the terrain occupied by his father and stepmother - both believers in alien abduction - and the biker boy next door.

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Gleick
Richter's stories are many things: sometimes very funny, sometimes too bizarre for their own good, and most definitely eccentric....all are linked by a delicate understanding of the fundamental humanity that underlies our put-on personas...
The New York Times Book Review
The Advocate
Readers will find perhaps the year's most stunning voice in short fiction in this collection by the Pushcart Prize--winning author. Wonderful in tone and setting, selections run the gamut from hilarious Sally Story to unsentimental Rats Eat Casts.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
MTV-generation readers will see some of their favorite targets--fallen celebrities, chat room junkies, privileged teens--lampooned in this energetic debut collection. Richter's 13 tales rambunctiously combine irony and sex, black humor and piercing glibness. "The Beauty Treatment," the collection's strongest story, delivers a convincing look into the minds of overindulged kids, though its cavalier treatment of teenage violence loses some humor in the wake of recent school shootings. Another charismatic first-person voice drives "The Island of Boyfriends," in which a suburban teenager finds herself shipwrecked among primitive hunks. "Goal 666" offers a witty portrait of a group of would-be heavy metal rockers, who despite their satanic trappings demonstrate a simple desire to croon sentimental love songs and bliss out. Other pieces aren't as spry; the title story concerns two chat room rough-sex partners who attempt some real-life interaction. The revelation that people talk tougher in cyberspace than in person holds little surprise. Similarly, "A Groupie, a Rock Star" covers some familiar territory exploring the life of a washed-up teen idol and his stalker/lover. The stories yield many compelling lines--though at times these hooks delight more in isolation than in developing character. Richter's voice holds promise and wit, and this book is likely to attract an appreciative audience among the younger generation of hipsters looking for a fresh spin on cynical sensibilities. (July) FYI: "The Beauty Treatment" won a Pushcart Prize in 1998. Other stories in this book are forthcoming in GQ, Granta and Seventeen. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Pushcart Prize-winner Richter's debut collection of 13 short stories exhibits an odd sensibility--her situations are ordinary but the characters are slightly twisted. She writes about teenage girls who are best friends...until one slashes the other's face with a razor blade. The members of a heavy-metal band, who strive to fill themselves with hatred and violence, also have an overwhelming desire to help those in trouble and rescue stray animals. A former TV star remarks, "I'm a has-been, but I take solace in knowing that to be a has-been, you have to have been something once." This comment is typical of the characters, whose lives are in crisis. Richter's writing has an irony that is familiar yet fresh; her stories are extremely well written and engaging. Recommended.--Kimberly G. Allen, MCI-WorldCom, Washington, DC Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Thirteen stories, most depicting the various confusions of the clever and the young. Richter's characters are usually young, and the better part of these carry their youth as heavily as they would a family curse they had not quite succeeded in forgetting. Rootless and ostensibly amoral, they sometimes succeed in accidentally uncovering some meaning in their lives—just as the teenaged narrator of "The Beauty Treatment" finds herself unexpectedly reconciled to the venomous classmate who once slashed her across the face with a razor. Similarly, the very Goth narrator of "Goal 666" finds that the musical style of his Doom/Black Metal band undergoes a sudden and completely unexpected transformation (i.e., it becomes melodic and harmonious) once all of the members have fallen in love with the young woman who joins it. "Prom Night" is precisely that: the recollection of a dance attended by several very stoned teenagers, at least one of whom comes to suspect by the end of the evening that she may once have been young and innocent after all. There's also a certain amount of art-world surrealism: "Sally's Story" describes the art career of a family dog who becomes famous for her sculptures and performance art, while "Rats Eat Cats" is the grant application (addressed to an arts committee) of an eccentric lady who lives alone with dozens of cats and makes sculptures (which she eventually sets aflame in performance work) out of their fur. The title story describes a typically modern take on the blind-date-from-hell routine, in which a San Francisco dominatrix acquires a slave through an Internet chat-room and eventually agrees to meet with him in person—with all the usualblind-date disappointments, and then some. A bit self-consciously arty, but a debut that's nonetheless saved from its own pretensions by a good ear for dialogue ("�Do you think we're going to remember this, Bucky?' �We can get our picture taken,' he said. �Then it won't matter' ") and a strong eye for character.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.74(h) x 0.81(d)

What People are saying about this

Rick Moody
Stacey Richter's comic voice is the most soulful, the deepest, the most persuasive around. I laughed out loud, sure, which never happens, and I learned a lot, about Swedish heavy metal, cybersex, Polynesian mating rituals, lots of stuff. Buy two copies, one for yourself and one for your aunt who infrequently smiles. -- (Rick Moody, author of Purple America and The Ice Storm)

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My Date With Satan 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I was very disappointed by this book, after all I had heard about it. Sure, there were a few stories that were entertaining, such as 'The Beauty Treatment' and 'Island of Boyfriends', but most of the others seemed rather pointless and unsatisfying. I had alot of trouble relating to ANY of the characters, and alot of them were just downright confusing. This book seemed like it was trying to be weird, just for the sake of being weird. Alot of the stories did have interesting plots, but the way the stories were told left alot to be desired.