Looker
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Looker

3.41 (376 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

*Vogue's "Most Anticipated Books of 2019"
*Entertainment Weekly's "One of January's Hottest Reads"
*Literary Hub's "Most Anticipated Books of 2019"
*Southern Living's "Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019" A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge. I've never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence--placed there as a sort of screen, I'm sure--and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I'm grateful they've never thought to install blinds. That's how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they're probably right: except for me. In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor--the actress. The unnamed narrator can't help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband's cat. When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining--a psychologically suspenseful and fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 23mm | 567g
  • English
  • 1501199110
  • 9781501199110

Review quote

"In prose that moves between lyrical and caterwauling, the poet Laura Sims has pulled off the high-wire act of making bitterness delicious."
--Vogue, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019" "This debut is a penetrating and unsettling psychological thriller ... It's a novel about identity, appearances, and envy, and it's one of the season's most timely reads, an innovative experiment in what a thriller can be.
--Literary Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019" "In this brief, haunting novel, Sims chronicles the inner life of an unnamed woman ... Looker is a powerful sylph of a book about creation and destruction and the permeable boundary between them.
--Literary Hub, "13 Books You Should Read This January" "In this electrifying Hitchcockian debut, an unhappy woman's obsession with a nearby actress will push the boundaries between insanity and desperation."
--Washington Independent Review of Books, "16 Fiction Releases to Watch for" "Tense, twisted and briskly paced, poet Laura Sims's debut novel, Looker, is the progressively disturbing story of one woman's grief-fueled spiral downward to an irredeemable rock bottom... Somewhat surprisingly, the most disturbing thing about Looker is the creeping sense of complicity that Sims engenders in the reader... By the end, Sims compels us to ask: Have we been deranged, predatory voyeurs into the actress's life--or into the narrator's?"
--Shelf Awareness "Laura Sims' sharp debut novel is a thriller about an unhealthy fixation between neighbors, one that's propelled by the unnamed narrator's unraveling as she descends into a vortex of resentment and obsession."
--Southern Living, Best New Books Winter 2019 "Jealousy rears its ugly head in Sims's chilling and riveting debut. In this tightly plotted novel, Sims takes the reader fully into the mind of a woman becoming increasingly unhinged, and turns her emotionally fraught journey into a provocative tale about the dangers of coveting what belongs to another."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review "Readers fond of protagonists who profess to guzzling wine at nine a.m. will breeze right through this one's bad decisions, moments of shocking clarity and cruelty, and--no spoilers!--total undoing. A dark and stylish drama featuring a self-aware yet unstable narrator."
--Booklist "[A] gripping and intense debut . . . . This twisted and tightly coiled tale will define obsession on a new level."
--Library Journal
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Rating details

376 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 20% (74)
4 28% (107)
3 30% (112)
2 18% (67)
1 4% (16)
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