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The Savage Girl

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  297 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In the wake of her sister Ivy's widely publicized suicide attempt, Ursula Van Urden arrives in the metropolis of Middle City with hopes of starting her own life anew. In an attempt to understand the events leading up to her sister's breakdown, Ursula meets Ivy's mysterious boyfriend, Chas Lacouture, and joins his trendspotting firm, Tomorrow, Ltd. Armed with only a sketch ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published September 18th 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 546)
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Marie
I loved this book. The second half is more absorbing than the first half, and it becomes one of those books you lose sleep over because you just want to read it til the end. This is one of those books where the ideas stick with you--postirony, the art of trendspotting, the fine and sometimes nonexistent line between bullshit and a marketing strategy. I'm still sort of mulling them over and sometimes find myself analyzing what I see others wearing and doing in terms of what an overall 'trend' wou ...more
Lee
I first learned of The Savage Girl a couple years ago when I googled the word "postirony" in preparation to write my dissertation proposal (on postirony, of course). This debut novel follows a cast of trendspotters as they romp around the cartoon-like Middle City, trying to spot trends before they happen, and trying to find their misplaced souls. I consider this book to be a companion to William Gibson's Pattern Recognition.

To my great pleasure, the novel turned out to be not only very relevant
...more
Elaine
The book was OK. It dragged on though and although I would get drawn in I just as quickly lost interest. I think the author tried too hard to make the book be meaningful… he tried too hard to provide an analysis of the state of the world today and where it could go. His language was very heavy and seemed contrived at times. Again, simply stated, the author tried to create a story with a lesson to be learned and in his attempts he stumbled and left me more annoyed than enlightened. I don’t mind “ ...more
GONZA
Era un sacco che non leggevo un libro così particolare, sono proprio contenta, così ho pensato di consigliarvelo assolutamente.
La casa editrice potrebbe, a torto, farvi pensare ad un libro di fantascienza, ma così non è se non nel senso strettissimo del termine, e cioè quello di scienza fantastica o teorie applicate dai nuovi guru del marketing: i trendspotter.
In questo caso la parola sta ad indicare un gruppo di persone, i protagonisti poi del romanzo, tesi alla ricerca ed all'individuazione
...more
Cris Mazza
Few maie writers could carry this off. Few young writers have this kind of complex vision of society/culture. You may think it's distopian, and maybe it was in 2001, but it hits awfully close to home (now).
Ash
"In the Soviet Union advertising was every bit as prevalent as it was in America. The only difference was that the Soviets' advertising campaigns were run by the government and were called propaganda, whereas ours were called marketing and were run by private business. The purpose of propaganda was to manipulate people into believing that all was as it should be; that the citizens had everything they could want; that they lived in a great country founded upon a great ideal; that their work was i ...more
chambejd / Joy
This was a very weird read...weird, but interesting. I wouldn't call it a favorite by any means, but it is a different type of story than I usually read so it was a nice change.
Annie
Very interesting in the way it is written. Hard to get into at first but the story makes it worth persevering. Quite chilling and thought provoking but not for everyone.
Demetria
The quirkiest observation about conspicuous consumption.
Mirchil27
When I read the summary of Savage Girl, by Jean Zimmerman, I got the basic outlines of the story which sounded interesting enough: girl supposedly raised by wolves found in a silver mining boomtown in 1870s Nevada, taken by the filthy rich owner of the largest mining concern to upper crust, turn of the century New York society. I was expecting a Tarzan/Lord Greystoke kind of story; I was not prepared for the psychological depth and brilliant imagination of Jean Zimmerman.

Under the wing of the D
...more
Judy
If a candidate for a PhD in marketing were to write a novel as his thesis, The Savage Girl might fit the bill. Therein lies the trouble with this clever novel. Clearly Alex Shakar had done his research and measured the pulse driving marketing at the turn of the millennium, but his characters are hard to fathom.

Maybe all people involved in marketing become soulless robots who look at consumers as witless marks to be conned into buying crap. Perhaps that was the point?

Ivy Van Urden was on a fast t
...more
John
Entertaining Debut Novel on Marketing That Mixes Genres Well

Irresistibly funny and smart, Alex Shakar’s “The Savage Girl”, is a great blend of genres, throwing in elements of fantasy and science fiction into a briskly paced fictional exploration of marketing that is written in a literary style which resembles Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon, while also evoking Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jose Luis Borges in its reliance on magical realism. It’s also a fine satirical critique of popular culture as
...more
Robin
Sep 28, 2013 Robin rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy bleakness and despair
I wouldn't normally have picked this one up. It's urban, the adults are all 'broken,' and it's cynical. But I'm pretty sure a friend of mine dated the author in high school. I do like that the main characters are becoming more interesting (rather than less) as the pages go on.

Boy, these characters are hateful. Wouldn't want to go to a party or have a conversation with any of them.

I know it's supposed to be satirical, but the humor is slim and grim. I also felt like the author was giving the read
...more
selena
i don't know how to properly define it or explain it. it's meant to be about trendspotters and the way consumer culture affects everything. it's so far beyond that. it's almost a book about life. trandessence.

it left a mark on me because it's so true in such a grotesque way. they try to market anything new, foresee the new trend that will not only affect fashion, but lifestyles. it's about affecting the entire person. everything

reminds me of genuine feelings. such an awkward story, an awkward lo
...more
Yasmeen
Alex Shakar has thus far been impressing me. This is so different from Luminarium; it tackles different problems and is probably more cynical, but I enjoyed it just as much. A lot of people try to criticize consumerism and pop culture, but its a lot harder to do it cleverly while still keeping an emotional connection to the characters and the story itself, and I thought it was pulled off pretty well here. The Ursula/Ivy relationship kind of reminded my of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, whic ...more
Tanvi Chaturvedi
"Paradoxical Essence" - Simulating and relaxing.. :)
Adam
this was an amazing novel, aside from the plot, it provides great style
you get the feeling the author hones in on all your senses and satiates them completely, puts himself in your shoes and forces you in everyone elses -- people watching and trendspotting, being perceptively aware of others surfaces and depths
every chapter's symbolism is rampant, injecting a car alarms pattern into an annoying situation and forcing you to feel it and deal with it, but conclusively "perfecting the love of human
...more
Unky Dave
This was a decent book about what marketing is all about, about how trends can be created, or seized upon, or how one can miss the boat on a trend and yield the capitalization of such a trend to a rival. There was a plot metaphor where this same system was applied to human relationships, but it was heavy-handed and kind of predictable. I believe this is a first novel, and as so, was still commendable.
Melissa Luna
At first I thought it was a great story, but that the author's blatant puppeting of every character prevented it from being a great book. But more than halfway through it hit a sweet spot, and was a pretty zippy read after that. Certain scenes and turns of phrases and characters have left their impression upon my mind despite my slight grumpiness toward the author.
Liz
About a woman in marketing (well, trend prediction) with a schizophrenic sister, so a little too close to home for my comfort... but very well written and a satisfying read. If you can take the sadness and paranoia.
catherine
very interesting, a little slow in the beginning but it picked up. I really enjoyed the observations and criticisms of our fame crazed society.
Jennifer
May 24, 2009 Jennifer marked it as couldn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
Just couldn't get into this meta-metanarrative in my current brain-dead state. I'm shelving it for now.
treva mccroskey
no thanks. if anyone liked the devil wears prada they might like this.
Kelila Eichstadt
Very quotable. There's a basis of Rewilding ideals below the surface.
pearl
Dec 21, 2011 pearl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This looks like a bloody hot mess. But I'll bite.
Simon
seriously. it's amazing.
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Shakar was born in and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Yale University in 1990. He was a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas. Shakar attended the University of Illinois and received his Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing.

In 1996, Shakar won the National Fiction Competition and received Pick of the Year from the Independent Presses for City in Love. The Savage Girl was cho
...more
More about Alex Shakar...
Luminarium City in Love

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