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Paint It Black: A Novel
Janet Fitch
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Paint It Black: A Novel

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  10,044 Ratings  ·  1,043 Reviews
"A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order." --Los Angeles Times Book Review Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she receives a call from th ...more
Published August 1st 2009 by Little, Brown & Company (first published 2006)
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May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
thought it was about time to add Paint it Black to my books... I have read it, a few times!
Still like it. The aftermath of a suicide in 1980 punk rock LA, picks up all my favorite obsessions: the artist's struggle, the war between permission and perfection in creative life, California and Los Angeles history, a young woman's search for the authentic self, the music of language, the vulnerability of soulful people in a materialistic world--and the poisonous effect of a narcissistic parent on a se
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, beautiful
I guess that, in light of so many boo's and hissses, I must somehow make an apology for my 5 stars. I don't care about the story. Janet Fitch could write the evening news and I would read it. Maybe the story fell somewhat flat, maybe Josie was a little predictable, but most stories are this way & as I said before, I could care less. The use of language is so very poignant. I would read a paragraph, a chapter if I could, and stop...letting the words saturate, find their mark and, time and aga ...more
Jan 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: White Oleander fans, L.A. scenesters
I don't care how un-rock n' roll it is to like something Oprah endorsed, White Oleander is one of my favorite books of all time. since I first read it several years ago I'd been waiting and waiting for Janet Fitch to come out with another novel. the concept for Paint It Black excited me, but in the end I wish it was way better.

Fitch clearly saw what worked for her with White Oleander and chose to repeat it. Los Angeles is a character in itself in her novels, and her lyrical, description-heavy pr
Asghar Abbas
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

So okay, this is what you do. Here's what. Pick up this book, open it in the middle, splitting it wide. Then put your face right in there. Inhale. And Breathe in LA, as everyone in this book comes alive.

Los Angeles has always been a bit animated in Fitch's stories, like an additional character and sometimes, even the main one. She enlivens her city in a way that you feel everything, every single thing in it. What her characters go through, stays with you even after there are no more pages left t
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Both those who hate and those who love Oprah
Many students of great literature will never touch Paint It Black, largely due to the lazy assumption that the work of any author singled out by Oprah’s Book Club best belongs in the hands of mawkish stay-at-home mothers. Fitch’s second novel is not sentimental. An artist’s suicide marks the start of the narrative, and it is refreshing how skillfully Fitch handles the tragedy. It is never treated romantically as so much art obfuscates the plain fact that death is a cold period, not an exclamati ...more
Nov 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers, lame punk rockers
Shelves: fiction
At times the writing was lyrical. Fitch showed every aspect I admire in an author, but then it just all went to hell. Josie is worse than an ordinary narrator, she is the very definition of counter-culture. Cheap references to punk rock and substances will get you nowhere, when it comes to keeping the attention of a readers. I hate it when authors mention things casually to try and make themselves and the character seem cold, or in some way used to the ways of the world. The use of the word "Bar ...more
Jun 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldntfinish
I give up. I can't finish this book. I struggled for 175 pages, but I just can't do it any more. I expected much more from the author of "White Oleander," especially with reviewers calling it a "page-turner" (Elle Magazine, did we read the same book?) and positive quotes from The Atlantic Monthly, of all things. This reminded me of "Intuition" but much worse, in the sense that the sporadic dialogue and action are interspersed with lengthy descriptive paragraphs about the main character's inner l ...more
Jun 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredibly powerful...but also incredibly painful to read. It follows the story of Josie Tyrell, a young woman growing up in the late 70s/early 80s and a punk model who falls in love with the intelligent, brooding (you know the type) Michael Faraday, who ends up committing suicide. The book details Josie's process of grief, and how it interacts with Meredith's, Michael's mother's process as well. The detail is incredible and takes you through everything; love, the shame and darkness ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
uggh. i loved janet fitch's WHITE OLEANDER, and now i am doubting whether my memory actually serves me right. this book is so poorly-written: 400 pages of little more than melodrama, unrealistic scenes, lame dialogue, and unresolved problems. and the sentences themselves infuriate me. here is an example of what i think fitch meant to be a powerful ending to chapter 20, to demonstrate how the main character misses her dead boyfriend:

"She lay on the couch for the rest of the morning, like some cra
J. Dru
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am somewhere between 'abosultely hated it' and 'liked parts of it'. Of the many characters in this book, the already dead boyfriend and his mother are the only strong characters although they are still slightly cartoonish.
The things that made this book awful are the the constant similies - Fitch couldn't describe anything without comparing it to something else. It distracted me from the story and actually made me angry. Also, I felt the language used to show how Josie was low-class and 'count
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think they will/should make a movie 2 40 Aug 27, 2013 10:55PM  
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Janet Fitch was born in Los Angeles, a third-generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers. As an undergraduate at Reed College, Fitch had decided to become an historian, attracted to its powerful narratives, the scope of events, the colossal personalities, and the potency and breadth of its themes. But when she won a student exchange to Keele University in England, where her pas ...more
More about Janet Fitch...
“Girls were born knowing how destructive the truth could be. They learned to hold it in, tamp it down, like gunpowder in an old fashioned gun. Then it exploded in your face on a November day in the rain.” 160 likes
“Whenever she thought she could not feel more alone, the universe peeled back another layer of darkness.” 122 likes
More quotes…