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Jardine Libaire

Teoksen White Fur tekijä

5+ teosta 375 jäsentä 61 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Image credit: Author Jardine Libaire at the 2017 Texas Book Festival. By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63924521

Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

2033: Future of Misbehavior (2007) — Avustaja — 47 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Kanoninen nimi
Libaire, Jardine
Virallinen nimi
Libaire, Jardine Raven



I have such mixed feelings about this book. There were so many things I liked, and I was enthralled and wanting to know what happens all the way through, but ultimately I was disappointed in both the overall unfolding of the story, and in the ending.

What’s really interesting about this novel is the way nothing’s quite clearly “good” or “bad” in my opinion, but more of a mixed bag (hence my overall mixed feelings). This is a fast-paced read, written in quick vignettes that read more like short stories at times. The writing style is often absolutely beautiful, poignant, and heartbreaking. Yet just as frequently it’s overdone, pretentious and comes across as though the author’s simply trying too hard. This is the kind of book you know has to be written by an English major eager to show her skill with a turn of phrase.

You’ve read this story before: star crossed lovers from opposite sides of the track come together and fall in love despite all odds. There’s nothing new here, though the 80s setting adds some interest to an otherwise predictable theme. And while Elise and Jamey are well-developed, most of the secondary characters come across as caricatures. Though colourfully described, the rich are stereotypically selfish, self-absorbed, pitiful creatures moving through their luxury penthouses and looking down on everyone. The poor are desperately hopeless, embroiled in domestic violence, filth, and misery. It’s clear Libaire wanted to show just how wide the chasm is between these two classes, but we all know this, don’t we? The message was so heavy-handed, as though there was no room for grey in a very black and white world.

I enjoyed visiting New York in the 80s, though I was hoping for more… balance, I suppose. In this book, NY comes across as dirty, decrepit, violent and despairing. I read a review of White Fur that mentioned this book is a “love story to New York”, but I didn’t feel that way at all. It read more like a cautionary tale, a seedy documentary about a place you should avoid at all costs.

Finally, we come to the ending, which I found extremely disappointing. While I thought Libaire cleverly twisted the reader’s expectations based on the foreshadowing she’d done in the first chapter, I expected so much more. But then again, I expected more from the plot as a whole. Instead, the story meandered, and ended up nowhere in particular.
… (lisätietoja)
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Elizabeth_Cooper | 56 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 27, 2023 |
There were parts of this book that I liked and parts that made me scratch my head. I was intrigued enough to push myself a bit to keep reading. I enjoy gritty characters and this novel was full of them. They were genuine and not altogether likable, but the author does a great job of bringing them to life throughout the course of the story. In the end, I cared that they found what they were looking for in one way or another.
This book will not be everyone's cup of tea. It's best for readers who don't need steady action or entertainment, but want to get under the skin of the people they are reading about. You won't fall in love with them or wish they were friends, but you might learn something about how life experiences create many different responses in individuals and how they function with each other.
One of my favorite quotes of the book comes from the thoughts of Ray, an older, tough guy biker who is unable to communicate with his lover, Staci, other than fighting and making up with sex. "He'd know some pieces of work, he thought, taking a deep drag and exhaling. But this gal, who'd been pulled through the mud, who'd been high and lost, she stayed angelic, or maybe even got more angelic. Ray thought it was bullshit, her recovery talk, her self-esteem books, the lectures on cassette tapes she listened to over and over. But there was something beatific about the effort. He didn't always feel like this, the way he felt this morning, generous and able to give her credit where credit was due.
Sometimes these very things he was musing on and loving her for were the very things that made him sick of her. But aren't we strange, thought Ray, looking now out the window, aren't we all so strange..."
Yes, we are strange and yet we all need love and acceptance in some form and will find it where it presents itself. Therein lies the beauty of this story.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
… (lisätietoja)
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c.archer | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Sep 7, 2023 |
It took me a little while to get into this book. At the beginning, the story was a little confusing with a lot of characters. It got more interesting when the focus shifted to Ernie, Coral, Ray and Staci. The characters weren't unlikable, but I also couldn't relate to them. Coral, in particular, was a very strange character. The writing was good but I don't know if I would go out of my way to read the author's other books. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
susan.h.schofield | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 30, 2023 |
Libaire gives us three misfits. Ernie, Staci, and Ray are a trio of outlaws who cook meth for sale and live for the moment. Libaire solidifies their status as outlaws, not too subtly, by giving them a couple killer motorcycles. These characters think little of society’s expectations. Right and wrong; moral and immoral; good and bad mean little to them. Their world turns on its head, however, when the commune where they live in Oklahoma burns to the ground following an unfortunate accident cooking up a batch of drugs. They decide to flee to Texas with a stash of money stolen from the commune. They take along Coral, a young woman who had been abandoned at the commune by her stepsister for being mentally defective.

Coral does not speak but communicates minimally with gestures. Yet, she has a mystic quality characterized by an uncanny ability to commune with nature. Although this is never explicit, it is tempting to place Coral somewhere on the autism spectrum. Her superpower as a savant of the wild becomes readily apparent when Slash is introduced into the mix. Slash is a cheetah that the trio obtain as a pet for Coral. Clearly, Slash represents the potential dangers presented by animal instincts. Libaire would like us to consider this as a counterpoint to the confines of conformity that Ernie, Staci, and Ray reject. Coral’s presence in the setting, and especially her bonding with Slash, become normalizing influences on the trio of misfits. Each is struggling with an evolving self-identity. Ray is a self-centered misogynist who is beginning to accept his need for a permanent relationship with Staci. Meanwhile, Staci is beginning to realize her own independence, especially from Ray. Ernie is a good-hearted doofus, whose main talent seems to be cooking meth. He becomes increasingly bothered by his attraction to Coral and the fatal possibility that she will reject him. Strangely, he sees Slash as his rival for her affection. Moreover, Slash seems to accept that role with several very human traits.

Libaire’s writing style is often quite lyrical, but her narration occasionally loses momentum with excessive repetition. The abrupt ending is particularly disturbing as it is just an extended epilogue with short descriptions of each character’s final situation. One gets a sense of ending an intriguing road trip by being dropped off at a random bus stop. “See ya’ latter and take care.”

Despite these shortcomings, Libaire’s introspective approach to how tension between societal expectations and individual freedom can lead to self-discovery is provocative, especially when one considers the potential dangers imparted by deep dives into animal instincts.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
ozzer | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 7, 2023 |


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