The Basic Eight
Flannery Culp wants you to know the whole story of her spectacularly awful senior year. Tyrants, perverts, tragic crushes, gossip, cruel jokes, and the hallucinatory effects of absinthe -- Flannery and the seven other friends in the Basic Eight have suffered through it all. But now, on tabloid television, they're calling Flannery a murderer, which is a total lie. It's true...more
Popular Answered Questions
REALISTIC ☻ PRIVILEGE ☻ SARCASM ☻ SAN FRANCISCO
UNREALISTIC ☻ PRETENSION ☻ FRIENDSHIP ☻ GREG
On a technical level the novel is somewhat impressive, given that it is a first novel from a novice ...more
This book is part of the Secret History tradition of contemporary literature. But, as the cover of this book would seem to allude to for anyone who grew up in the late eighties, it also points towards the movie Heathers. This book, Don ...more
So many people have compared this to Donna Tartt's THE SECRET HISTORY, and definitely there are lots of similarities. In THE BASIC EIGHT, an exclusive group of friends who are super rich and pretty pretentiously into high culture enter their senior year of high school. There are crushes, drinking, drugs and teachers involved, and yes finally a murder (not a spoiler).
I love the whole unreliable-narrator-editing-her-own-diary-after-the-crime format and mode. It's been done a lot, but not ...more
I like the not-subtle-at-all skewering of pop-TV-psychologists, and the narrator's merging of the past of her journal entries wit ...more
It's so self-aware it's ALMOST annoying, except that it rings so completely true. Apparently the author drew quite a bit from his own San Francisco high school experience, wh ...more
Landta. This book is doing things to my brain. I can’t think properly. I think I shouldn’t have read I am the Cheese right before this one.
Rated: PG-18, this book has it all. Sex, dru ...more
On the plus side:
• The voice of the first-person narrator (and murderess), Flannery Culp, is irresistible - smart, irreverent, quirky (OK, maybe a little insane as well), and highly entertaining.
• Handler is a good writer, and knows how to ...more
Comments to skip if you h ...more
Not that 'The Basic Eight' lacks merit. I found it to be an interesting read. My complaints are two-fold. I thought the execution was rather clumsy. I think if this had been a bit more streamlined, it would improve and ele ...more
I've seen The Basic Eight described as Heathers meets The Secret History which fits this novel perfectly: it's messy, daring, genius. The main character was terrible; and that's part of why I loved it so much.
I had a few small issues with the narration sometimes, and I might lower my rating just, but overall this was so good.
(trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[sexual assault, body image, g ...more
I can't remember the last time I had this much deliciously dark fun with a novel - and felt so thoroughly entertained while being constantly aware that I'm watching a deadly trainwreck spiral out of control. The writing is top-notch and very polished for a debut novel, the foreshadowing, the guns on the shelf pitched just right to keep me hooked, and the narration! I'm almost inclined to say that Flannery is the best unreliable narrator I have ever had the pl ...more
I was riveted at first, then about 150 pages in got bored and thought I'd just jump ahead to the murder (this is not a spoiler, the back blurb mentions the murder). As I was looking for the murder, I ...more
I wanted to give this 4 stars, but I couldn't? Don't get me wrong, I loved many many parts of it, Flannery's unreliable POV is one of the most hilarious I've read and the pretentiousness of the gang was amazing to me, and most importantly I thought the whole style/conceit of the book was incredibly engaging and creative. But when it was winding down to the end, Handler lost me during the pages and pages of describing the garden party - 99% of which was way too absurd for me to accept even aft ...more
Absolutely DELICIOUS. I don’t even know how this book made it to my “to read” list*. I’m so thankful Goodreads is here to help prod my senile mind along. I was completely thrown into the way-back machine with this one – it was reminiscent of ...more