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My Absolute Darling

by Gabriel Tallent

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9566615,572 (3.84)21
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST NBCC JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FINALIST ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF NPR'S 'GREAT READS' OF 2017 A USA TODAY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AN AMAZON.COM BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A BUSINESS INSIDER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR "Impossible to put down." --NPR "A novel that readers will gulp down, gasping." --The Washington Post   "The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." --Stephen King A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul. Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.… (more)
  1. 00
    Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (shaunie)
    shaunie: Both have a girl growing up in unusual, deprived circumstances at the centre of the story. My Absolute Darling, whilst flawed, is far better written.
  2. 00
    Elmet by Fiona Mozley (hairball)
    hairball: Leave civilization behind, and varieties of disaster ensue. The fathers and reasons are different, but it always ends in flames.
  3. 00
    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood (KatyBee)
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» See also 21 mentions

English (62)  French (3)  German (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
Exceptional. The final 30 pages or so, in addition to the excitement, capture the essence of PTSD in a subtle (is that possible?) and very authentic way. Just a first rate story. So glad I read this before it becomes a movie, which seems inevitable. ( )
  shaundeane | Sep 13, 2020 |
Well written. ( )
  kpf506 | Jul 31, 2020 |
This is a difficult book. But like difficult people, difficult books are often incredibly rewarding to read. And this was. It was in turn, horrifying, hopeful, disgusting and yet beautiful. Going along with Turtle on her journey to com e into her own as she breaks free from her abusive father...

It wasn't a happy story, but it was amazingly done. Honest, raw, gritty. ( )
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
The book is disturbing. I am very torn as to whether the author was attempting to create sensationalism by the explicit detail of the abuse or whether he wanted to engage the reader. Based on my own experience, he did capture the emotional response of a child to an abusive parent which is what had captured my attention. I am rating this book a 5-star not because I think it's wonderfully written or even a wonderful plot but because it provokes thought, and for me that's one of the important elements of a good read. I also want to mention another thing, the flap of the book indicates he was raised by two mothers...how is that even relevant? Is that the same sort of comment as " I have nothing against x ethnic group, I have a friend who is x ethnic group" ( )
  EvaJanczaruk | May 31, 2020 |
My Absolute Darling is not for the faint of heart--it's gritty, brutal, and shocking. The language is incredibly foul, with more profanities thrown around than a Quentin Tarantino film. Misogyny is rampant, with women and girls mostly referred to as b*tchs and c*nts. Be warned: there are graphic depictions of sexual deviancy/abuse, including incest and pedophilia. I'm normally a person who can read a book, cover to cover, in one or two sittings. But I had to step away from this book multiple times because of the visceral reaction it elicited in me. I'm not sure that I agree with all the acclaim this novel has received, but I do think that Gabriel Tallent does a commendable job of tackling a deeply disturbing subject matter. ( )
  hianbai | May 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST NBCC JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FINALIST ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF THE WASHINGTON POST'S MOST NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017 ONE OF NPR'S 'GREAT READS' OF 2017 A USA TODAY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AN AMAZON.COM BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A BUSINESS INSIDER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR "Impossible to put down." --NPR "A novel that readers will gulp down, gasping." --The Washington Post   "The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." --Stephen King A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul. Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

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