Re: RARA-AVIS: recent reads

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 16 May 2007

At 03:26 PM 16/05/2007, wrote:

>miker was recently lamenting that he had been having a bad run of books.
>I've been having a particularly good on.
>The Follower by Jason Starr
>Starr could well be the new Highsmith. Not that I've read that much
>Highsmith (Strangers and the first Ripley), but Starr is very good at
>writing sociopaths (or is in psychopaths?). This one, set among young,
>just post-college singles in NY (sometimes bordering on the annoying,
>but that's more the characters than Starr's depiction of them), revolves
>around one such sociopath tracking down and insinuating himself into the
>life of a young woman he knew a long time ago, clearing his path of all
>obstacles. Plays out with the inevitability of a car crash watched in
>slow motion.

Yeah, I liked it too. Struck me as a combination of Manhattan Manners
(Sex in the City) and New York Gothic (Bonfire of the Vanities) deftly told with Jason's patented noir twist. We're going to have to start calling it Starr Noir soon, he keeps this up.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one annoyed by those young, well-educated twits running about trying to figure out how to behave, unable to decide what constituted date-rape, for instance. Given their confusion it's no wonder the socio/psychopath moved so fluidly through society. I wanted to slap them and send them home before the adults came out to play. But the adults, the cops really hadn't a clue and couldn't care less they were so engrossed in their own, high-school politics. There's real corruption. Hilarious, but not much comfort to those who believe we survive because evil people are fingered by stern-faced cops to receive their just punishments from God. Still, in the end, somehow Starr's civilization carries on, tra la.

Mark, did it strike you as it did me that the socio/psychopath was as confused as his victims about right and wrong, but so self-assured he was willing to act on his own version?

Great stuff, Kerry

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