- Paperback: 380 pages
- Publisher: Ecco Press; Reprint edition (9 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060733861
- ISBN-13: 978-0060733865
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 354 g
- Customer Reviews: 46 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Basic Eight Paperback – 9 May 2006
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About the Author
Daniel Handler has written three novels under his own name, including The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, and many books under the name Lemony Snicket, including All the Wrong Questions, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the picture book 13 Words.
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Top international reviews
This one features a pretentious 'it clique' who refer to themselves as 'The Basic Eight', going about their lives, planning dinner parties, hosting plays and partaking in the odd absinthe induced murder.
In all honesty I wasn't expecting the novel to be so smartly written, and the self-referential style of someone re-writing their diary as they read through the events in the present makes for an interesting insight into the character. The narrator has a habit of pointing out certain bits of important information but can also be untrustworthy in her descriptions leading you to wonder if what is being described is the actual truth, or just her version of it. The characters while caricatures all stand out in that over the top, comedic way, and the confused, delirious absinthe party chapters are definitely a highlight of the book.
Why have I only given this three stars then if I seemed to like it so much? That would be the twist. The twist that is so obvious it barely even deserves the word. The twist that I suspected in the first fifty pages and thought so cliché it couldn't be true. The twist that makes me roll my eyes.
For such a smart novel, the twist is just far too predictable to the point where I felt they didn't even need it. Overall though, an entertaining read that I would love to see an over the top, 'Heathers' style movie version of.
Daniel Handler is an awesome writer and I'm looking forward to reading his other books :D
Wunderschön konzipiert, tanzen die Protagonisten zu einer unbekannten Musik, wie Ballet, gleichzeitig nicht von dieser, der normalen, der alltäglichen Welt und doch nicht unnatürlich, authentisch, auf ihre Art.
Mit einzeiliger Poesie dazwischen gestreut, clever und witzig oder weise und ernsthaft, aber nie arrogant oder posierend.
Ja man merkt es, ich bin wirklich begeistert von dem Erstling Daniel Handlers, dessen Baudelaire-Bücher ich liebe und bewundere.
Auch wenn ich mich anfangs gefragt habe, warum ich ein Buch lese über unglücklich verliebte Highschool-Schüler. Das gab es so oft, das war nicht, was ich von dem Mann hinter Lemony Snicket erwartet hatte. Ok da war der zu erwartende Mord, auf den sich alles zubewegt und der beißende Sarkasmus, der durch die Buchstaben tropft, grünlich, nach Absinth riechend, und die Englisch - Lektionen am Ende jedes Kapitels und die Erzählerin, die in jedem Satz in jeder Szene zu erkennen ist - der Autor zeigt hier eine wie es geht, der Geschichte ihre Stimme und nicht seine eigene zu geben, aber gleichzeitig schafft, Sprache auf hohem Niveau zu bieten.
Aber ist das genug, ich mein Highschool-Liebe, wie öde, wie selbstverliebt, wie nervig oberflächlich. Ja es ist genug und schnell ist nichts mehr öde, selbstverliebt, ja immer noch, aber weniger nervig und die Oberfläche bekommt Risse. Aber hebt euch noch ein wenig Begeisterung für das Ende auf. Obwohl von Anfang an klar ist Adam State wird sterben, ist das Ende überraschend und witzig und die Kirsche auf dieser Sahnetorte von einem Buch.
I didn't hate this book at all, but I didn't absolutely love it either. But I'm pretty certain I'd read it again.
This is one of THE BEST books I've read ALL year.
I loved every single complex and pretentious opera and dinner party loving character in this book.
The Quentin Tarentino esque tid bits that unravel in the novel bit by bit kept me spell bound.
The dialogue was fresh, the witty conversations SIZZLED and blended a perfect dark humor to make this book a must have and an immediate re-read
Mr. Handler, moreover, is a wonderful writer. The plotting of the book is masterful, and the pages are littered with beautiful, apt phrases/sentences--pearls, one might say--which one wants to linger over--over which one wants to linger. (For example, on p. 280: "I craned my neck to see who this person was, raised by wolves in some San Francisco wilderness and finally escaping by public transportation.")
Some reviewers have complained of inconsistencies in the narrative over the figure of Natasha--I'll not be more specific, as this isn't a spoiler. But, while I haven't reread the book to verify that everything is thus explicable, I think the point is that the whole story is being told through Flan's rather unreliable perspective. Surely that is explanation enough?
Story Telling has been described as an Art: one must capture attention and lead the listener down new paths, Well the author has doe that. I won't tell you plot or the end, but knowing the author also wrote 'Lemony Snicket' gives one the knowledge that things will go in unexpected paths. There is drama, comedy and more. After a few pages the diary style becomes a normal prose style with quoted speech and narrative joined as in the standard novel form. Read This!
His prose is smooth and had me guessing every moment what was going to happen next.
Some other readers who had checked it out before said they didn't like the ending as much. Without saying too much, they felt it had been done before. I could make the argument that was the point however.
I think this needs to be turned into a feature film!
"The Basic Eight" is a beautifully written, intelligent, and witty book, with fantastic surprises and twists along the way. The main character is deeply flawed, but innately likeable, and her group of friends is one I think we would all sort of want to be a part of. Handler's underlying theme of precocious young people holds strong presence in the novel, but suddenly he is dealing with much more adult topics of sex, drug use, and crime.
I will spoil the book no more, but suffice to say I deeply enjoyed it will definitely be reading some of Handler's other works.