Monday

Book Reviews for In The Cut by Susanna Moore

~ Susanna Moore's book is an edgy, taut, fast paced thriller. The story begins with Franny an NYU professor working with students from the projects in a writing class. This is a convenient relationship for her as she is able to work on her own book and fulfill her obsessions with language forms, particularly slang usage in this area of NYC. Some professors comment on her inappropriately close relationship with her students as she often sees them outside of class to discuss their projects as well as her interests. On one particular night she goes to a bar with a student where she witnesses a man and a woman engaged in a sex act and this sets the plot for the book. This book includes a lot of graphic sex scenes that Franny witnesses, recalls and engages in. She is not a particularly likable character and becomes less so as the plot moves along and she becomes involved in an investigation involving the murder of the girl she saw in the bar. The primary detective on the case, Malloy, is an interesting character who Franny senses is dangerous as well as exciting. As their relationship heats up, she begins to feel that she is being drawn into a dangerous, erotic game but doesn't want to stop herself. The last chapters of the book are page turners that I was unable to put down with an ending that doesn't disappoint. This book isn't for everyone though, it is graphic in both its sexual content and violent descriptions of the crime scenes. It is an exciting novel that will leave you thinking about it and its characters well after the book is closed.

~ It is absolute dreck. The "heroine" of the novel, while book smart, is so incredibly lacking in street smarts that it makes her character totally unbelievable and ridiculous. She's such a highly selfish and pathetic character, that I found myself groaning in parts because of the stupid situations that she puts herself in.

~ This book is the literary equivalent of a snuff film. Whatever Moore was trying to say gets lost amidst the gore and sex. This is a novel best forgotten.

~ When I finished the book I promptly threw it away rather than keep such bad juju in my house. I was left with a profound sense of disgust and disappointment that such a talented author could spend her time creating something that was, perhaps, technically laudable, but reprehensible on practically every other level.

~ It's blatant Grand Guignol, blood and gore and sadism, peopled with characters devoid of humanity with whom it's not possible to empathize. I also feel it is totally anti-woman. The macho detectives' attitude toward women is sick-making, but the "heroine" just laps it up, panting to be abused over and over again. P.S., it deserves no stars whatsoever.

~ Moore seems to think that by piling cliche onto cliche and then hanging 'shocking' sex scenes onto an empty plot she can thrill the reader. But she can't. The erotic writing was FAR from erotic and I ended up laughing out loud at the corny situations the characters found themselves. It misses out on a real opportunity to explore the complex and real dangers that women face in an urban environment. Two-dimensional characters and a real sense of laziness about the plot-line combined to make an eminently forgetable experience.

~ Such a boring, pointless story that only an antisocial might find appealing, with an ending that will probably leave you yawning. If you could care any less about the central character, you would be in a coma.

~ The story failed to engage my interest: the main character (what was her name again?) is a smug, would-be brilliant but hopelessly mediocre NYC single woman who pairs up with a big bad cop, delivered straight from Central Casting. One reasonably good sex scene does not a good thriller make. I found the ending neither sensational nor genre-bending; it struck me as a calculated, completely so-what solution to a not very interesting problem.

This movie, starring Meg Ryan, opens Oct. 22 (limited, wide on Oct. 31). I wonder what the reviews of the movie will be like…

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