Lynn's Reviews > BUtterfield 8

BUtterfield 8 by John O'Hara
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's review
Feb 24, 2009

it was ok
Read in November, 2008

This was confusing and depressing. I somehow had the vague and erroneous impression all my life, based on the movie box covers with Elizabeth Taylor, that this was some kind of suspense story. It might be because the title is a telephone exchange, and movies about phones or phone calls, and pretty girls are usually ominous. Oddly, the phone and phone numbers have nothing special to do with the book.

This is just a cynical, trashy story about a wayward girl who gets mixed up in an affair with a married man and then dies. There's a lot of attention paid to incidental characters, including good descriptions of everyone's problems and thoughts. But mostly it's a character study of the trampy girl. I ended up not seeing the point of it.

Supposedly this novel is based on the real story of a New York socialite, who died under mysterious circumstances in 1931. Here's a link to a new story about that case, which makes it sound a lot like "Twin Peaks."


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