The Shards: A Novel
The Shards: A Novel by Bret Easton Ellis
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers
No. of Pages: 741
Date of US Publication: 17 January, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
The 80’s have barely begun and new high school senior Bret, is just seventeen, and he and his clique of popular cool friends are already jaded, and coasting through life comfortably numb, until things start to get decidedly uncomfortable…
Way long, but pulled me under the bright-lights-of-LA-in-the-early-80’s vibe and I read it in far less time than I had originally anticipated. I watched almost nothing during my reading of this because I didn't want to stop reading - I needed to know. I haven't had this level of antsy excitement about a book in… I don't even know when the last time was.
Seductive, and immersive, heady and wonderfully atmospheric, these are but a few descriptors I can accurately use to describe what I just read. Speaking of, let me be among the many to congratulate the author on a seriously fantastic new novel.
The Shards has a strong recommendation from me, and I’m still not entirely sure what I just read - okay, I just read that this was originally published as a podcast, which I was completely unaware of (I haven’t yet found a podcast that I actually want to listen to, and I gave up looking a few years ago). This story in that format makes sense to me and in my thinking - I would probably recommend listening to the audiobook of this one, as it’s read by the author.
quotes that stood out for me - "Writing this now, I can't believe that I was left to my own devices for twenty minutes, just idly sitting there, thinking about things, about Thom and about Susan, waiting without a phone to look at, waiting without something to distract me."
"Matt had never felt about me the way I'd felt about him, which would be a recurring theme for the rest of my life, though, of course, I didn't know this yet on that September afternoon in 1981, when I was seventeen and still navigated on hope."
* in the novel, the author mentions a young actress killed by one of the chefs at Ma Maison chef- this was Dominique Dunne (daughter of Dominick and Ellen Dunne, niece of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne), notably of Poltergeist. More can be read about her and what her family suffered in Dominick Dunne’s past writings as well as articles online.
Thank you to A.A. Knopf and NetGalley for the DRC!