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Die A Little by Megan Abbott

Die A Little (edition 2008)

by Megan Abbott

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209None55,609 (3.7)35
Title:Die A Little
Authors:Megan Abbott
Info:Pocket Books (2008), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Crime, Noir, TBR

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Die A Little by Megan Abbott

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Or at least mostly read. I should have loved this book, its a topic I like (noir, dark, mysterious) and written in the style of [b:Raymond Chandler|2052|The Big Sleep|Raymond Chandler|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AGA624Z5L._SL75_.jpg|1222673]. Yet, for some reason I couldn't just sit down and read the whole thing. I read about 1/2 of it, then started skimming to get to the end. The writing style might have had something to do with it, its written in very short (often a paragraph or two) burst, switching topics, places or events at the end of each burst. I also didn't care all that much for the protagonist, she almost came off a little incestuous to me in her devotion to her brother. Hated the brothers wife, but that was the point so no surprise there.

This might be just the thing for someone who is really into noir and can handle the writing style but it didn't work for me. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
Megan Abbot's "Die A Little" brings back the 1950's and a mystery in the mode of Raymond Chandler.

Lora King, a school teacher, has a close relationship to her brother, Bill, a young investigator in the DA's office.

Bill meets a mystery woman named Alice and they marry soon after.
Lora gets to know Alice and becomes suspicious when some of the things she says about her past don't add up.

Alice introduces Lora to a good time woman named Lois and the three woman share adventures with Lora becoming fascinated in the lives of the other women while still maintaining a protective attitude of her brother and the mysterious woman he married.

The setting is in the Hollywood area with scenes at movie studios and minor people from the films. It's a story that will capture most reader's attention right from the start.

The reader will like Lora and her mystery solving activity. There was also some excellent surprises which add to the entertainment of the novel. ( )
  mikedraper | Feb 10, 2013 |
DIE A LITTLE is the first in a series of books frm Megan Abbott flagged somewhat unhelpfully as "modern noir". I'm not at all sure what that should imply in terms of expectation, but whatever caused it, something didn't really work about this book for me.

Leaving aside the fact that the cover is absolutely wonderful and the title is glorious, the style very atmospheric and the build up interesting (woman with a "past" who marries a cop, cop's sister smells a rat, digs), something about the delivery of this story simply flat out didn't hold my interest. I suspect part of this is because the "sister" whose viewpoint is paramount, didn't seem to fit with the noir stylings. For a while I wondered if the "bad girl" telling the story, might have helped, but ultimately I think the problem was partially the complete lack of suspense. Noir can be predictable to my mind, but it shouldn't be flat. It shouldn't drone on leaving a feeling of impatience for the damn thing to get to the point.

I suspect part of the problem really was that the focus on the sister's viewpoint isn't supported by her being a character that you can get involved with. It wasn't too long before I was forced into thinking I'd be on side of the bad girl wife, regardless of the question. ( )
  austcrimefiction | May 26, 2011 |
Why: I greatly enjoyed the only other book of Abbott's that I've read, Queenpin.
This book has a lovely, lovely pulp cover.
It is set in what seems to be 1950s L.A., and the story concerns the narrator, Lora, a schoolteacher probably in her late twenties, and a brother to whom she is extremely close, a fast-rising police detective named Bill. Equilibrium is upset when Bill marries the vivacious, mysterious Alice, who is not what she seems. Lora's own dark nature is exposed to her when she is willingly drawn into the world of Alice's dark past. This book was deftly done: the story gradually sheds its layers, as much as by what Lora doesn’t say as by what she does. And similarly the characters remove their coverings to reveal what is truest about them. Perhaps none of them are what they seem. I love Abbott's spin on hard-boiled prose, of which I’d love to give an example, but I don’t have the book handy. Maybe later. ( )
1 vote citygirl | Dec 29, 2010 |
Ordinary girl gets dodgy.

Because her brother gets involved with a dodgy Hollywood hanger-on, and as a result and even worse, she gets involved with a Hollywood PR and coverup merchant type. Hard to get dodgier than that.

Her fascination and amateur investigations into what is going on in the background lead her to booze joints, madams, and other usual suspects.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2010/11/die-a-little-megan-abbott-2/ ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Nov 6, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743261704, Hardcover)




How does a respectable young woman fall into Los Angeles' hard-boiled underworld?

Shadow-dodging through the glamorous world of 1950s Hollywood and its seedy flip side, Megan Abbott's debut, Die a Little, is a gem of the darkest hue. This ingenious twist on a classic noir tale tells the story of Lora King, a schoolteacher, and her brother Bill, a junior investigator with the district attorney's office. Lora's comfortable, suburban life is jarringly disrupted when Bill falls in love with a mysterious young woman named Alice Steele, a Hollywood wardrobe assistant with a murky past.

Made sisters by marriage but not by choice, the bond between Lora and Alice is marred by envy and mistrust. Spurred on by inconsistencies in Alice's personal history and possibly jealous of Alice's hold on her brother, Lora finds herself lured into the dark alleys and mean streets of seamy Los Angeles. Assuming the role of amateur detective, she uncovers a shadowy world of drugs, prostitution, and ultimately, murder.

Lora's fascination with Alice's "sins" increases in direct proportion to the escalation of her own relationship with Mike Standish, a charmingly amoral press agent who appears to know more about his old friend Alice than he reveals. The deeper Lora digs to uncover Alice's secrets, the more her own life begins to resemble Alice's sinister past -- and present.

Steeped in atmospheric suspense and voyeuristic appeal, Die a Little shines as a dark star among Hollywood lights.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Suspicious of her new sister-in-law's inconsistent personal history, Lora King delves into the woman's possibly shady past while pursuing a questionable relationship of her own with a press agent who appears to know more than he reveals.

(summary from another edition)

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