About The Book:
The sensational new story collection from one of our sharpest, most original, and daringly cinematic stylists, National Book Award finalist and O Henry Prize winner Christine Schutt.
In one eponymous novella and ten stories, Pure Hollywood brings us into private worlds of corrupt familial love, intimacy, longing, and danger. From an alcoholic widowed actress living in desert seclusion to a young mother whose rejection of her child has terrible consequences, from a newlywed couple who ignore the violent warnings of a painter burned by love to an eerie portrait of erotic obsession, each story is an imagistic snapshot of what it means to live and learn, love and hurt.
With Pure Hollywood Christine Schutt gives us sharply suspenseful and masterfully dark interior portraits of ordinary lives, infused with her signature observation and surprise. Timeless, incisive, and precise, these tales are a rush of blood to the head, portals through which we open our eyes and see the world anew.
Release Date: March 2018
My Review: 2 stars
Thank you to NetGallery for an advance copy to read, in exchange for an honest review. First of all, I have to say I got 33 % through this short novella, with an hour and a bit left to read, before I decided to stop. In these cases when I can’t finish a book (which is hardly ever I hate starting and not finishing), I never leave a review, if I did not finish. However, as a professional book reviewer for NetGallary they are expecting a review either way so here goes….
*sighs* I wanted to love this anthology of short stories, in fact I was so sure that I would. The first story was engaging to start, and very interesting, I loved the diversity of the character line up as I read. But as a reader (for me personally) it is the writer’s writing style and general writing that I found hard to read. Some sentences did not make sense, I had to re-read three or so times to be sure of what I had read and understood, the writing it chopped and changed with no warning or build up. At one point I was convinced a character had been shot dead, but then on the next page it appeared that she was alive… I could not make head nor tail of what was going on. This is a real shame, as the cover and blurb really appeal to me as a reader.
I went back and looked at this book’s blurb again and read the reviews on NetGallary, from the thirty odd reviews on NetGalley it was on an average of two stars, when I checked. It’s sad as I really wanted to enjoy this novella. Overall, I’m giving Pure Hollywood two stars based on what I read of the novella, as it’s NetGallary policy is to review once you request a book and have been approved as a reviewer. The two stars are for the colourful characters, and very original plot lines which I loved. I can’t say that I enjoyed the first story I read 100%, as the writing style made it hard for me to take it in easily. That said, from what I read it seems like this writer could knock out plots that I’d like, from the blurb, so maybe I’ll read another anthology if she writes one, and hope that it’s a little easier to read and make sense of. Thank you for the chance to read your work.