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Social Creature

Walmart # 567407176
$11.99$11.99
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Customer Review Snapshot

3.7 out of 5 stars
6 total reviews
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Most helpful positive review
To begin with, this kept me up beyond midnight. It began in the morning, took over my lunch, I grudgingly put it down to get non-book life things done but as soon as the evening opened up, I was stuck right back in until it was over. Lavinia and Louise were a particular kind of disaster that you know is coming and instead of looking away, you crane your neck to see and hear more. I felt both women were desperate and damaged in different ways and that concoction was so toxic that there was always going to be something that sent them into the depths. That ultimately it was a man that hastens that was a bit predictable but made sense given Lavinia and Louise. I never quite knew how much of Lavinia and Louise's damage were how many parts self-indulgent or DSM verifiable. As such, they quite ruined any moment of sympathy I held for either but they were undeniably riveting. The Upper Eastside landscape was well done with people as vivid as the parties at which they found themselves. As it happens, Mimi and Hal scared and creeped me out more than anyone else. All things considered, Cordey was the best of the bunch and I'll be wondering about Elizabeth Glass for a while. Also a compliment to Burton on her rather lush prose which upped the enjoyment.I'm not trying to give too much away, because it's really worth reading and I definitely recommend it (especially for those who enjoy looks at class in the current day). This felt to me like a blend of Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford, Highsmith's Ripley and an episode of the ID channel's real crime program, The 80's: The Deadliest Decade featuring the murder of Kirsten Costas. I received a free galley of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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"A sharp, biting, and irresistible debut about parties and ambition in New York City--introducing a talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, with all the glitz and grit of Bright Lights, Big City. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Louise Wilson is an expert at just barely making it. She's mastered the tricks and shortcuts that a penniless small-town girl needs to survive in New York City. When she meets the beautiful, wealthy, eccentric, and aimless Lavinia Williams, she thinks her dreams of a cosmopolitan existence may be coming true. Lavinia introduces her to a rarified life of beauty and indulgence: private opera boxes, secret bookstores in brownstones, Shakespearean masked balls, underground cabarets, closets full of hundreds of dresses, and the finest champagne money can buy. The more Louise tastes, the more she wants. Could she ever truly be a part of this world? She can speak with the right affectation, wear the best makeup, drop the appropriate references, but she is always afraid people can see her true nature, which is darker than anyone can imagine. She finds herself haunted by the disparity between them. Lavinia has so much, and Louise so little, despite her yearning. Nightlife--the music, the buzz, the dim lights--is the great equalizer. But morning always comes, and Louise will do whatever it takes to keep the party going. This delicious debut takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it undeniably modern"-- One of the Best Books of the Year:
Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Vulture
NPR

"Social Creature is a wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn)." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times


For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste...

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

Specifications

Publisher
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Book Format
Hardcover
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
288
Author
Tara Isabella Burton
ISBN-13
9780385543521
Publication Date
06/05/2018
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.52 x 6.42 x 5.00 Inches
ISBN-10
0385543522

Customer Reviews

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1-5 of 6 reviews

To begin with, this ke...

To begin with, this kept me up beyond midnight. It began in the morning, took over my lunch, I grudgingly put it down to get non-book life things done but as soon as the evening opened up, I was stuck right back in until it was over. Lavinia and Louise were a particular kind of disaster that you know is coming and instead of looking away, you crane your neck to see and hear more. I felt both women were desperate and damaged in different ways and that concoction was so toxic that there was always going to be something that sent them into the depths. That ultimately it was a man that hastens that was a bit predictable but made sense given Lavinia and Louise. I never quite knew how much of Lavinia and Louise's damage were how many parts self-indulgent or DSM verifiable. As such, they quite ruined any moment of sympathy I held for either but they were undeniably riveting. The Upper Eastside landscape was well done with people as vivid as the parties at which they found themselves. As it happens, Mimi and Hal scared and creeped me out more than anyone else. All things considered, Cordey was the best of the bunch and I'll be wondering about Elizabeth Glass for a while. Also a compliment to Burton on her rather lush prose which upped the enjoyment.I'm not trying to give too much away, because it's really worth reading and I definitely recommend it (especially for those who enjoy looks at class in the current day). This felt to me like a blend of Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford, Highsmith's Ripley and an episode of the ID channel's real crime program, The 80's: The Deadliest Decade featuring the murder of Kirsten Costas. I received a free galley of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Social Creature from T...

Social Creature from Tara Isabella Burton is one of the few books I have read that I have a very difficult time deciding how much I like or dislike it. Oddly enough, that alone makes me like it a bit more, I like things that are, in themselves, problematic. First, the characters are largely not very likable, which is fine. The scene we're thrust into is one of money, entitlement, and drugs/alcohol, so there aren't going to be many likable people in this world. If you must have a person to like in a novel, you probably won't like this one (or you're an unlikable person and relate to them too well). Of course, being unlikable doesn't mean there aren't things about them we can relate to. We all want to be loved, respected, appreciated, and all those other types of things. While most of us don't and wouldn't go to the extremes of these characters we can, if we make the effort, relate to there basic needs and/or what in their past made them particularly susceptible to a particular aspect of this toxic scene. The part that is scary, in a "this might be something that could happen" way, is the role social media plays in the plot. Is what happened in the novel likely to be something one could get away with? Probably not to the extent the plot allows it to go to. However, that does not mean social media can't be used in these ways to a lesser extreme but with equally dark results. I have seen that some readers didn't like the ending. While I understand their complaint, I found it to be an excellent illustration of Louise's true character. You would think with all that happens to that point we would already know her, but the end really drives the point home. Those relatively positive points are countered by some things I found less enjoyable. I could put aside the fact I thought what Louise was getting away with was far-fetched, that is part of this genre. But it just seemed that some things were on a continuous loop which made the story drag a bit for me. Similar scenes illustrating characteristics we have already been shown. After several of these types of scenes I was a little bored. While the writing was good it just seemed like the premise, as Burton had developed it, didn't make a full length novel so some repetition helped fill in the middle and later portions. This may have worked much better as a novella than a novel, or perhaps had more background prior to Louise and Lavinia meeting. What background we did get was through a sort of reminiscing, which I did like, so any other background would have needed to still allow for those moments. For it was in those moments that we glimpsed what might help create a person like either Louise or Lavinia. I would recommend this to readers who can still enjoy a well-written novel that has some flaws. I do think the basic premise is a large part of what made me give the rating a slight boost. Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.

I received an ARC of t...

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself. To say Louise is struggling in life would be an understatement. But when she meets the rich and beautiful Lavinia, Louise thinks everything is going to change for the better. Louise is drawn into the parties, the decadence, the drugs and the drinking, as well as finally being part of a group where she has the chance to matter. But what the reader knows from the start is that Lavinia is going to die. Louise tells us herself. Knowing this from the start ups the suspense as readers know they are in the hands of a narrator who can't afford to lose. I really enjoyed Burton's writing style, and am excited to see what she writes next.

Remember the party gir...

Remember the party girls, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Ritchie? Their nightly exploits posted everywhere. The beginning of the book reminded me of them, Lavinia, extroverted, larger than life, heavy drinker, partying nighlty. Louise, quieter, introverted, attracted to Lavinia with her outrageous personality and lifestyle. Constantly taking selfies, posting everything on social media, or outrageous scenario after another. Under the glitter and glitz, this is actually a dark novel. These characters and the way they act is appalling, dislikable, and yet I couldn't stop reading. Like a fly on the wall I observed these lives that are so very different than my own. Then it takes a rather startling turn, though I realized afterwards,the clues were there, but I missed them. After that I kept reading wondering how this could possibly end. I have to admit I loved the way it ended. This took the use of cell phones and social media to a whole new level. A warning maybe to those who live their lives, documenting it all, always on their phones. Despite the fact that I probably shouldn't have, I found this novel fascinating. ARC from Doubleday.

This book originally s...

This book originally sold me just based on the cover. The premise was interesting enough but the characters were unlikeable and the book felt a little flat for me.

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Electrode, Comp-447756901, DC-prod-dfw7, ENV-prod-a, PROF-PROD, VER-30.0.0, SHA-4c05261de7b7524702d8d137579365498522abc0, CID-7841b34e-099-16de4eec001638, Generated: Sat, 19 Oct 2019 16:51:55 GMT