Sunday, 16 May 2021
"To be unemployed and wearing his wife's jeans is concrete."Is 2021 the year of Millennial Soft Porn? Okay, I'm kind of joking here, nevertheless this debut novel is chock full of awkwardly unemotional sex and sexual commerce. A young black artist, Edie, living in squalor ( well actually cockroaches are everywhere) dates an older man who takes her to Disneyland on their first date - hello red flag. Things get stranger and stranger as she meets the man's wife and becomes a fixture of the couple's life. The white couple had adopted a young black girl and the wife is perplexed as to how to deal with her 'otherness', next thing Edie has moved in and things just get rather strained. All of these situations combined make for some truly problematic circumstances and part of the appeal of the novel is to find out where the hell this ride is heading.
"I could never tell if other people genuinely believed their own bullshit or not."
Friday, 9 April 2021
"The desire to shock, scare and thrill by depicting the supernatural is as old as the moving picture itself."
What a fabulous coffee book, combining twin passions of fashion and cinema. From the gorgeous cover featuring the amazing Jane Fonda, to the contemporary catwalk interpretations of classic cinema this is a feast for the eyes.If you've lusted over Catherine Deneuve's YSL in Belle de Jour or felt a pressing need to buy multiple cheongsams after watching the unforgettable In the Mood for Love, then this book should take pride of place on your display cabinet and will end up particularly well thumbed.Fantasy and desire are enveloped in visual escapism personified by the silver screen and Butchart's book will give the uninitiated a quick course in cinematic looks. Interestingly there are a few films referenced that even this devoted cinephile has yet to experience and that adds an extra flourish.
4 out of 5 - I long to be as fabulous as Michael Caine's sunglasses in The Italian Job.
“At least I have discovered that online dating is not for me. You can have too much choice in this world. And when everyone has too much choice, it is also much harder to get chosen. And we all want to be chosen.”
Friday, 26 February 2021
“If you think I’m putting my bra back on for this bullshit, you are so sorely mistaken.”
“It wasn't a fancy space. It didn't need to be. Clients didn't come to her for interior decorating tips.”
I was torn on this one initially. Getting into the novel took a little time because I was distracted by the length of prose dedicated to dresses and earrings. Another aspect that jarred was the overtly film noir stereotypes. I'm a big fan of Tara Moss and think she's an excellent human from what I've seen of her, so my expectations were very high.
The mystery of the novel certainly dragged me in once I got over my initial concerns. I love noir, I love a mystery, this should have totally won me over. Part of its charm was the Australian setting which I found endearing at times, and jarring at others. Whenever any character said or did something that seemed quintessentially noir, but not particularly local to Australia; I was taken out of the tale.
Ultimately, I enjoyed this trip back in time and while my praise seems less than effusive, that perhaps links closely to the expectations I had. Confusingly there are two versions of the title and I stupidly bought the paperback and the kindle, such was my enthusiasm for the premise. This broken reader who has avoided dating since breaking up with Voldermort wanted some romance for the protagonist. At least one of us should be having more excitement in that area.
Perhaps that was what was lacking and maybe that will be developed as the series progresses. Reading about another workaholic is not the escapism I need right now. Putting that aside, the novel certainly held my attention and the tale was interesting.
4 out of 5 Sydney, back in the day, also had some seedy characters