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Archive: Other Books > "Snap" by Belinda Bauer (4 stars)

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message 1: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2673 comments Booker longlist #2. A real page-turner of a story with some interesting angles.

Jack is eleven when his pregnant mother disappears while calling for assistance after a breakdown, leaving him and his younger siblings alone on the roadside. This is partly a tale of what happened and why it happened (the gradual reveal), but mostly a story about how people cope (or don't cope) with tragedy, what they will do to find closure and what makes different people snap.

I really enjoyed reading this (I was particularly grateful for it after my struggle with "The Mars Room"). I'm puzzled about how it's ended up on the Booker longlist, though. They clearly wanted some more accessible books and Val McDermid is on the panel so going for a crime thriller makes sense, but I wouldn't have thought it's a contender for "best in genre". (I also don't know how you compare it with more standard literary fiction, but it's an easier task than it will be for "Sabrina" at least)... For example, the police officers are pretty stereotypical, and none of the twists were particularly startling. I also didn't think it was trying to do anything new or different, unlike some of the other entries on the list. I've obviously missed something.

But from a more psychological perspective I liked it a lot, Jack was a compelling character, and the writing was engaging and fresh. I'd recommend it.

message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I agree Kate. A great crime novel, but it’s place on the Booker longlist has me befuddled.

message 3: by Jeremiah (new)

Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments I read an interesting article over the weekend about this book and about Belinda Bauer herself. According to the article, she does not see this as crime fiction or a thriller. Her intent with Snap is to tell about the struggles and conflicts that Jack and the other characters face and the crime aspect is just a secondary level. I have not yet read the book, but I think it might be interesting to view it through this mindset.

message 4: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2673 comments Well that’s the aspect of it that I thought came off very well, JW - at least with Jack and his family (less so with the other characters). It’s completely set up like a crime thriller though, so I don’t think she should complain if people draw comparisons ;)

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