Die a Little
How does a respectable young woman fall into Los Angeles' hard-boiled underworld?
Shadow-dodging through the glamorous world of 1950s Hollywood and its seedy flip side, Megan Abbott's debut, Die a Little, is a gem of the darkest hue. This ingenious twist on a classic noir tale tells the story of Lora King, a schoolteacher, and...more
Lora King- a straight-laced school teacher, and her doting brother Bill- a junior investig ...more
I've arrived at Die a Little, Megan Abbott's debut novel, after weaving a serpentine course through her other noir books. It sure doesn't read like a first novel. All the things I love about her later novel are there, fully-for ...more
Given how much I enjoyed the three other books I've read by Megan Abbott, I was surprised with how disappointed I was with this one, her debut novel. I really wanted to like it more than I did, bu ...more
The day ...more
I started to doubt the rave reviews after about 40 pages; a lot of time was spent on listing household items being bought by one of the characters which felt like an attempt to showoff all of the research that was done by the autho ...more
Megan Abbott channels the hallowed echoes of ghosts from the golden era of pulp in her depiction of a small town school teacher and her square world turned upside down by a double dose of femme fatale.
'Die A Little' provides protagonist Lora King, a cops sister, and deer-in-the-headlights sch ...more
The short, fluid paragraphs capture the intensity of the story through Lora our main character whose sheltered life with her brother as companion is being threatened by his new wife Alice an enigmatic character with a shady past.
Lora is simply unable to ignore her instinct that Alice is not playing straight and risks everything to enter a world she doesn't understand to uncover the truth.
Gobbled it up!
Delicious and delectable!
This book proved to me that I can and should venture out of my comfort zone.
I read this at every possible opportunity even if it meant that I could only read two pages at a time. It called to me when I was away from it.
Will write real review this coming week.
Her POV character in this book, Lora King, is a young woman in her early 20's in 1950's Los Angeles. Lora's Brother is a tough DA investigator who has just become married to a woman with a dark past. Lora attempts to get to the bottom of some things and hilarity ensues.
I am caught between what I thought of as a dreary f ...more
This is a little like James Ellroy's books about the dirty cop who's in love with his sister, only with a woman's touch. It's also a little like well-informed fan fiction that plays with the tropes and cliches of classic noir films: this ...more
There is something about Abbott's writing that I find strongly appealing, and it goes beyond her ability to recreate the perfect 40s/50s crime noir-esque feeling.
This is the third novel I've read by her, the second crime noir, and so far my favorite.
Reading this for me was like reading Shirley Jackson or even Flannery O'Connor. Though stylistically different, all three women had the ability to explore the darker side of human nature in a way that leaves you rooting for the bad guys, or rath ...more
This is a great book, and I don't know how I have missed Megan Abbott until now.
'Die a Little' was first published almost ten years ago but I stopped reading at one point to check that it wasn't actually a novel from the 1950's that had maybe been re-published at this later date.
Another reviewer here on Goodreads, Michelle, nails it with perhaps the best one-liner I have seen in a review: Megan Abbott's writing is a mixture of "Jim Thompson, James M Cain and Doris Day".
Lora King is a Doris Day, ...more
Lora King is a straitlaced schoolteacher who shares her home with her brother, Bill, who is a police investigator. Brother and sister are very close to one another until the time that Bill meets an erotic and beautiful wardrobe assistant named Alice Steele. He falls completely under her spell, even after they marry. In every way, she is the perfect woman--physically beautiful, magnetic personality, devoted to her husband—their life together seems almost like a fairy tale. A ...more
Leaving aside the fact that the cover is absolutely wonderful and the title is glorious, the style very atmospheric and the build up interesting (woman with a "past" who marries a cop, cop's sister smells a rat, digs), something about the delive ...more
Halfway through I started to become worried that she wouldn't be able to pull it off; that the mystery or the answer or the en ...more
The story in a nutshell: Lora has always been ...more
The prose is very odd too. It feels stunted, almost like an early, incomplete draft at times. Sentences feel abridged. There is very little flow to t ...more
The women with secrets in Die a Little are Lora and Alice. Alice comes into Lora's life when she literally crashes into Bill, Lora's brother. In short order Bill and Alice are married. Lora is a schoolteacher and Bill is a junior investigator for the district attorney's office. Ali ...more
Seriously, I loved this book.
It could be because I read this as an audiobook, and the reader's voice - flat, crisp and older-sounding than the protagonist was meant to be - did the story no favors. Also, the audio format meant I couldn't skip over the tedious ...more
"Die a Little" was my second Megan Abbott book - the first one being "Dare Me" - and although this one has a very different setting (1950's LA), the key elements seem to be the same: complicated relationships between women, a heady atmosphere, prose that feels intoxicating and pleasantly disorientating. I got sucked into it from the very first page.
The main character is Lora King, a suburban high school teacher in her twenties who has always been very ...more
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los An ...more