Cass Neary made her name in the 70s as a photographer embedded in the burgeoning punk movement in New York City. Her pictures of the musicians and the hangers-on, the infamous, the damned, and the dead, earned her a brief moment of fame. Thirty years later she is adrift, on her way down, and almost out when an old acquaintance sends her on a mercy gig to interview a famously reclusive photographer who lives on an island in Maine. When she arrives Down East, Cass stumbles across a decades-old mystery that is still claiming victims, and she finds one final shot at redemption.
Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith in this mesmerizing literary thriller.
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Patricia Highsmith meets Patti Smith
It was very dark.
It was unexpectedly atmospheric.
I came by this book quite by chance; while reading a review for Available Dark, the next book in Hand's Cass Neery series, I became intrigued with the first title so I decided to order it from Audible.com. I listened to it over a long weekend and I'm glad that I gave it a chance. (And I really wish that I'd been the first to post a review.)
Cass Neery, a washed up post-survivor of NYC's punk era is an edgy photographer whose book of photographs was a mild sensation, is given a chance to interview a famous photographer who has become a legendary recluse on a Maine island. Once there, she's mystified by posters of people who have gone missing, all without any clue as to why or how.
I'll admit that Cass is unlikable. She's a loser, she's selfish, she's caustic and rude, and seemingly without morals. But there is something about her that is broken and it seems that deep down she knows this to be true. Her armor of disdain, powered by drugs and alcohol, doesn't seem to be working for her as well as it used to.
Generation Loss is dark and edgy, and it's disturbing which makes you want to avert your gaze. Yet at the same it's painful and powerfully atmospheric, and there's something about it that keeps you peering in.
I really liked Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand and found the narrator to be perfect for this novel and I highly urge you to give it a try. But do stay away if you're looking for the traditional mystery that has likeable characters, where the good guys always win and the bad guys get what they deserve.
Facts: Booklist and Publishers Weekly gave Generation Loss starred reviews; Elizabeth Hand is an awarding winning author of science fiction and contributes to The Washington Post Book World and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Edgy and enthralling.
This book features my favourite combination of a great original character in an interesting, beautifully described location. Cass Neery is almost an anti-heroine, you find yourself questioning her motives a lot of the time but she's gutsy and fascinating.
It certainly made the state of Maine sound as if it would be a very interesting place to visit. The way the author brought the location to life was integral to my enjoyment of this book.
I also loved the in-depth (to me anyway) analysis of photography. Made me drag out some of my old photography books.
Yes and yes again. How does she achieve this? By being an exceptionally talented writer would be my guess.
The narrator is one of the best I've heard.
I fell into this book from the beginning. Cass Neery is a wonderful character who kept me a bit unbalanced while wanting to know more and more about her. I wouldn't let her anywhere near my medicine cabinet but would like to share a drink with her now and then.