Tuesday, May 29, 2018
SOCIAL CREATURE: A NOVEL (2018) by Tara Isabella Burton
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
FIRST SENTENCE: "The first party Lavinia takes Louise to, she makes Louise wear one of her dresses."
THE STORY: Louise came to the city to become a great writer, but working a variety of menial jobs has worn her down. Then she meets the extraordinary Lavinia and her life takes off.
WHAT I THOUGHT: This may make you think of The Talented Mr. Ripley, but it is not exactly that. It definitely is different in style employing 'selfies' and other social media conventions to comment on what's happening in the story as well as the brief sentences we use to communicate on social media.
The psychological suspense creates a sense of dread in the reader. Other reviewers have mentioned Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt and although I've read and loved both those authors I have to say that Tara Isabella Burton has created something uniquely her own in this story.
None of the characters are very nice. The story is dark, addictive, and not for the squeamish; but it is impossible not to be fascinated by the decadent lifestyle of the young and beautiful in New York.
BOTTOM LINE: Everybody will be reading this book this summer. It has already appeared on lists of best reads. Did I mention I devoured this book in two days?(It is not however for the squeamish.)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (June 5, 2018)
DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of Social Creature: A Novel by Tara Isabella Burton from NetGalley/Doubleday Books for my honest review.
TARA ISABELLA BURTON is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Winner of the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for Travel Writing, she completed her doctorate in 19th century French literature and theology at the University of Oxford and is a prodigious travel writer, short story writer and essayist for National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist's 1843 and more. She currently works for Vox as their Religion Correspondent, lives in New York, and divides her time between the Upper East Side and Tbilisi, Georgia. She is also at work on a nonfiction book on cults. Her first novel, Social Creature, is forthcoming from Doubleday in June.