By Mona Awad
Viking, 9780525559733, June 2019, 320pp.
The Short of It:
Considered a dark comedy but I failed to see the humor.
The Rest of It:
I won’t pretend to know exactly what went on in this story because it could probably be interpreted many different ways. In fact, I’m sure the majority of it went right over my head. Not because I couldn’t lean in and decipher what exactly was taking place, but because I wasn’t motivated to do so. At all.
Samantha Heather Mackey is working on her MFA at a prestigious New England university. She’s part of a writing cohort that includes a group of girls who think alike, dress alike, and apparently, write alike. Think Heathers meets Mean Girls. There’s a lot of pink and shallowness but then there’s this writing program and the fact that they do seem to possess writing talent, which seems out of place. They refer to each other as “Bunny”. Thanks, Bunny. That was great, Bunny. You know what’s best, Bunny.
Samantha hates them, but also wants to be like them. There’s the problem.
As they begin to work together as a cohort, certain things come to light rather quickly. They have special parties that involve rabbits. These parties also involve imaginary creations of their doing. It’s like they “write” them into existence but with witchery and a lot of alcohol and drugs.
Are these things actually happening or is this a product of Samantha’s imagination? What you need to know is that there is a lot of darkness here. I saw some reviews that categorized it as a horror novel but others say dark comedy. There is nothing funny here and if you have a soft spot for furry, little rabbits this story won’t sit well with you. It’s disturbing and weird.
I like to think that what goes on in this novel IS a product of Samantha’s mad skills as a writer but I’m not so sure. It has a very Naked Lunch feel to it and the visuals are just so disturbing and nightmarish.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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