In the Cut
We hear the wry, brazenly honest voice of an intelligent, self-determined woman living alone in New York City. She's a teacher of writing and a scholar of language in all its eccentricities, its vagaries of meaning and effect. She likes her solitude, when she chooses it; her students, when they don't follow her home; men, when they don't expect her to belong to them. She's as unblinking and acute in her observations about herself as she is about other people. Uncertainty interests her - the wish to be surprised: "I have a...certain incautious adaptability." She has chosen a private, if unsheltered, life, and she is utterly unprepared for the danger that awaits her. In the aftermath of a particularly gruesome murder in her neighborhood, she finds herself in the grip of an unfamiliar, mounting terror. She propels herself into a risky sexual liaison, as if to test the limits of her own safety, her knowledge of the world, and her ability to interpret it - both its language and its unspoken signs. But as her fears and passions grow, she is increasingly wary not only of this one man but of every man with whom she has contact. It becomes clear that her passion, once a way of gaining control over chaos, is, instead, chaos itself. And by the time a second murder occurs, her darkest suspicions already may have been overwhelmed by the darker desires she has discovered in herself.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
In The Cut was a quick read. It kept me turning the pages, wanting to know what would happen. The main character intrigued me at first. And that's about as close as I can get to praise for this book. If you can stomach gruesome, twisted violence and enjoy analyzing it on a symbolic or literary level, then you may appreciate this book more than I. I don't think this book had anywhere near enough to say, however, to justify its sickening level of brutality. At its heart, this is a mediocre whodunit. A good mystery of this type gives us several plausible suspects, each with motive, each keeping us guessing. I guess that Susanna Moore wasn't up to the task, so instead she gives us red herrings: clues that mean nothing; characters who are under suspicion simply because they always seem to be showing up for no good reason; a revelation at the end that is disappointing in its lack of connection to what the reader already knows. Moore apparently sees nothing good in female sexuality. It seems to me that she is portraying women as victims of their own "uncontrollable" urges, blinded by sex. Weak because of it. That's a sad perspective to take. I don't mind violence in a book or movie when it serves a purpose. Instead, here, it is both the means and the end. Again, I'm sure that some readers will get off on analyzing this book in terms of symbols -- the narrator symbolizes "this"; her use of language tells us "that" about the human condition. But the main character, who starts off so refreshingly different, never gets fully developed. The other characters are caricatures, there only to play out their role. As someone who prefers to read about people rather than mere cyphers, and who doesn't appreciate graphic violence without a strong story to support it, In The Cut doesn't make the cut.
Review: In the CutUser Review - Goodreads
This was my first Susanna Moore book, and I picked it up because of all the hype about it when it first came out. I found the book to be a darkly entertaining erotic mystery. Moore has quite a way ...