Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

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Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

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Jeff is obsessed with his perceived goodness, and he provides few details that make Francis out to be anything other than an asshole. Insisting that his former classmate’s “appearing out of nowhere must have sparked some old circuitry” in his brain, Cook recounts how, in his early 20s, he brought a drowned man back to life on Santa Monica beach.

We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. The author here does jab LA/Hollywood art collectors with a stinging, accurate line: "They werent the type to drop money on unknown and emerging artists. We learn that he’s travelling cheaply, but having already caught a redeye from the West Coast to JFK, New York he’s now learned that his onward flight has been delayed. Wilson weaves the narrative ever so delicately whilst always maintaining that urgent sense of foreboding, but in manner that tickles the joints as opposed to pounds the psyche. When he sees there’s a vacancy for an assistant at the man’s art gallery, he applies and gets the job.Wilson cleverly tells Cook’s story in the third person, placing an unnamed character in the role of first person narrator instead. Mouth To Mouth is good, it makes some interesting observations and it’s certainly worth reading, but I’m not sure it’s quite as brilliant or profound as it’s made out to be. Cook’s Tom Ripley-like story — and the wary narrator’s retelling of it — is loaded with fateful encounters, hidden agendas, shrouded identities, adulterous betrayals and brushes with death . He put one in front of me, announcing that he’d found a nonalcoholic brew, and that he wasn’t sure if I drank them, but he thought it might make things feel more ceremonial—that was the word he used—for us to catch up over a couple of beers, alcoholic or not, for old times’ sake.

This leads him into both the man’s art-dealing business and then his personal life, making him think about the consequences of having saved a life when that life may not be a very commendable one.I should also mention that this book utilizes one of my favorite plot devices: Cliffhanging chapters, done perfectly! But when Arsenault continues to cheat on his wife and treat others with disrespect, Cook asks himself: Was saving him worth it? He was winner of the San Fernando Valley Award for Fiction, and has been a finalist for The National Magazine Award, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award, and the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award.

At least this is the story as he tells it, as he begins to first stalk the man, then takes a job working for him, finds out more about his business dealings and begins to question all he finds out.Though the frame narrative can feel contrived, and Francis might not be as memorably monstrous as, say, Graham Greene’s Harry Lime, the extended scenes of self-fashioning and occluded vision make good use of Patricia Highsmith’s influence. The only reason Francis is in this business is because it’s the most easily manipulated market in the world, and he’s a master manipulator.

This one builds slowly but all-the-while doing so without the reader having any idea whatsoever where the story is going to end up. I confess to being a little disappointed by the ending; I think I was expecting something much more startling. Parts of it were interesting and hearing about how Jeff had saved the drowning man was quite an engaging bit of writing, but beyond that I got a little lost. I would have preferred to be given a slower, more thoughtful, and more revealing ending, but the one that he provides is powerful and, in retrospect, inevitable.At the end of the novel, after an emotionally turbulent chain of events, Wilson seems to tie up all loose ends. And then there are books like this one, that leave you feeling maybe the author couldn’t figure it out either! Jeff is attempting to paint himself as a great person for saving a man’s life, but the narrator asks to what end did he want to be a part of the dealer’s life? In the great tradition of morally murky narrators such as those in Gone Girl , The White Tiger or The Talented Mr Ripley , comes a compelling, one-sitting literary thriller of imposters and Faustian bargains, in which a man pulls another man from the rough surf. Arsenault’s life becomes complicated, threatening to divide his family, and he presses Cook for loyalty.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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