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True Story Paperback – 3 August 2021
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"[I] found a lot of comfort in the recognition (and awe!) I felt while reading True Story." --Tavi Gevinson, The Huffington Post "Part thriller, part social commentary . . . a masterclass in creative form . . . [True Story] underscores the way trauma reverberates through decades." --Good Housekeeping "Among the best [books] I've read this year. It's an exhilarating read...and the twist at the end all but requires you to go back to page one." --Perrie Samotin, Glamour "Blurring genres and subverting structure, Petty examines the ways narratives are woven and take root while trying to untangle the truth." --The Millions "Extend[s] the legacy of Speak." --Bitch
A powerful and thought-provoking examination of how the manipulation of stories can shape whole lives. --The Guardian
"Electrifying . . . [Petty] melds genres, narrators and narrative style with such ease and confidence, you'd swear she'd been at it for years . . . Each section is a vignette on its own right--but together they form a sly commentary on the nature of trauma and the question of agency when telling a story. Like any good horror romp, this one has a delicious twist . . . Ultimately, however, the true terrors come from within--our own demons, our own memories, our own dissonance between fiction and reality." --PureWow "[S]imultaneously scratched all my favorite itches: thrillers, movie nerddom, and literary fiction, and done so innovatively and ambitiously but also never stopped being a page turner." --Brightest Young Things "[An] innovative, genre-busting debut . . . Readers will be unable to put it down." --Booklist (Starred Review) "Fast-paced, gripping, and unforgettable." --Debutiful "Captivating . . . Petty's page-turner is as sly and devastating as the nature of truth." --Publishers Weekly "A genre-skipping, shape-shifting drama . . . the year's most unheralded gem." --NJ.com "I literally cannot believe this book exists. A mind-blowing, page-turning, un-put-downable, heartwarming, empathetic, formally inventive horror suspense thriller, with a life-affirming and timely feminist message? What? This would be an amazing fifteenth novel for a person to have written and it is Kate Reed Petty's first one. What an incredible talent!" --Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot "Kate Reed Petty is such a gifted writer that she can make even a college application essay feel utterly heartbreaking. And in True Story, she has given us a riveting and totally innovative novel about the power of lies to shape the truth, a book built like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle whose picture becomes thrillingly clear only after you've locked in the very last piece." --Nathan Hill, author of The Nix "Brilliant--a darkly gripping enigma of a book. Petty boldly plays with genre and voice to tell the story of an assault and a rumor that shapes the trajectory of a woman's life. The result is a beautifully prismatic and profound meditation on victims and perpetrators, lies and truth, and above all the dangers and powers of storytelling and what it means to finally claim your voice." --Mona Awad, author of Bunny "True Story is a spectacular first novel--innovative, convincing, daring, suspenseful, heart-wrenching, and altogether astonishing. Kate Reed Petty is a force. What a beautifully unified, richly imagined, and skillfully composed work of literary art. I hope it wins the prizes Petty deserves." --Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried "True Story is a brilliant achievement--original, powerful, and playful, flipping formats like a kaleidoscope whose fractals rearrange with each twist until the truth comes into final focus. But beyond its formal daring and assurance, it's a thoroughly engrossing read. I may have held my breath through the whole thing, and I will think about it for a long time. This is a shapeshifting, sneak attack of a novel that leaves a permanent imprint." --Lauren Acampora, author of The Paper Wasp "I loved it. Such a smart, powerful, ambitious book, very high concept and so effectively realised. Definitely one to look out for this summer." --Daisy Buchanan, author of How to Be a Grown-Up, via Twitter
About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin Books (3 August 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1984877704
- ISBN-13 : 978-1984877703
- Dimensions : 13.82 x 1.78 x 20.9 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Well the Eagle has landed.
I bought True Story based on the editorial reviews and was completely unprepared for the talent that erupted from this book. Petty clobbers you with her talent. NOTHING in this book is lackluster, recycled or cliche.
Petty writes as a man in this novel (also as a woman) but much of the story is told by Nick who we meet as an eager young kid on the high school Lacrosse team. Nick evolves into a man in this book and does it so well it was literally like watching Meryl Streep morph into Margaret Thatcher, Julia Child, or a scowling nun wielding a stick. Rarely, do I come across a woman that can write (mannerisms, dialogue, inner monologue etc...) so convincingly as a man. Perhaps the author has 15 brothers. Perhaps she is a actually a man but she's very feminine and pretty and I really cannot really envision her with a mustache. All I know is that I've never read a woman who could literally make me swear they were a teenage boy or a man spending a weekend in the woods (fulla killers by the way...) Yes, the plot is also sinuous and menacing and twitching with suspense....
Which brings me to Stephen King.
Stephen King is a true master of suspense and his characters generally aren't the flimsy, one dimensional characters that frequently populate thrillers and mysteries. I love a fiendishly twisted thriller but I often put a book down halfway in because the protagonist or antagonist is too stale or generic. I crave indisputable, uniquely drawn characters and it's hard to find writers that are capable of dazzling you with both plot and characterization. King is capable of it. Petty is also capable. Remarkably capable.
If you yearn for literary characters that rival Meryl Streep in their authenticity and a plot like an Alfa Romeo careening around a steep mountain pass look no further.
True Story is a stunning debut.