Sarah's Reviews > Gossip of the Starlings

Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont
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May 04, 10


This is a good book for someone. It's well written and articulate, and even though the author telecasts from page one what will happen through out the whole book, you still want to read all the way through, maybe just to see if the ending is really telecasted, and maybe you don't actually need to test that theory and are positive it's telecasted, but just to want to see the how and why, if not the what. And I'm ok with that, as a device- I'm basically of the school of thought that there are 6 basic stories that are fundemental to the human existence, and all other stories are deriviations around that, and so after awhile almost all reading is about the how and why more than about the what. A good story these days is one that deals well with the hows and whys, is this story deals- if not brilliantly- than at least adequately- with those questions.

With all of that said, and with the caveat that this is a good book for someone, and a well crafted book (with really, really pretty font)- I have to admit up front, that someone is probably not me. This is an issue of demographics, I suspect. This novel features the intensity of friendship between two teenagers who are attending a boarding/prep school in New England. They come from extreme wealth, and are extraordinarily attractive, and have all manner of privelege, and do cocaine, and basically all of the above makes it pretty difficult for me to relate to their problems and struggles. Added to this is a strangeness about class issues, a weird fuzziness of view which is difficult to ascertain- is it that the narrator, who is one of the main characters and a 17 year old girl, is fuzzy about class issues and we are supposed to see that fuzziness at a remove, or is it that the writer herself is working out her own ideas about class, in which case we are supposed to be, I guess, more working through those issues with her? It makes for the sense that parts of the book are meant to be read underwater or while perhaps on vicodin or something. Or perhaps that this book is written for a very, very specific audience- woman in their thirties who come from just such a background, and went to just such a school- and that all others really need not apply?

With all of that said, I do look forward to the writer's treatment of other subjects. And I would not not recommend this book. I just wouldn't necessarily give it to anyone as a present or anything.
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