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
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
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
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
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
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
The story in a nutshell: Lora has always been...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
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
Seriously, I loved this book.
I think it's probably worth closer to 3.5 stars. It kept me reading at a time when there was a whole lot of other things going on in my head, but I didn't love it. The protagonist Lora was painfully constructed of cardboard - I've rarely seen such a bland and historyless lead. It made it a little hard for me to identify with her motives, even as she grew a pair throughout the novel. The...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
This is the first Megan Abbott book I've read, hopefully the first of many since I'm reading Dare Me right now and I adore it. Die A Little is a very different book with very different purposes, and you can tell Abbott has grown a lot as a writer since 2005, but this is still an enticing, well-written noir novel with a s...more
Lora King, a school teacher, has always been close to her brother, Bill, who is a junior investigator with the district attorney's office.
Bill meets a mystery woman named Alice and they marry. Not long after, as Lora gets to know Alice, things about what Alice explains in her past, bring Lora to question them in her mind. There are also things about Alice's current activities that worry Lora.
I had read her second and third novels before selecting this one to share with others in a book discussion group I was doing for my job. (I work at a library.)
A friend finished it before I did and did not like it. She was expecting things to happen, she said, but nothing did. Her comments made it hard for me to read the book. I'd rather go in without other folks' opinions influencing me.
After finishing the book, I...more
Well written, it keeps your i...more
It isn't a page turner, but it isn't terrible, and I didn't have to force myself to finish it. It would make a good beach read.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, Detroit Noir, Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year, Storyglossia, Queens Noir and The Spee...more