Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dead End Follies Book Club : THE DAMAGE DONE


I made a lot of fuss about Hilary Davidson's uncanny ability to write books since last summer. Her debut novel THE DAMAGE DONE blew me away for its treatment of many of my personal pet peeves in novels. For example, she wrote one hell of a female protagonist. Do you know how hard it is to write a good female protagonist that both male and female readers will love alike? Yet, Lily Moore is someone you wish you had as a friend, period. Her name could've been Larry, it would've been no different. So Davidson tapped into traits that make humans universally likeable with her main character.

Otherwise, THE DAMAGE DONE is just so fresh and original, it will keep you riveted by its sheer difference from other crime fiction. The most experienced and tenacious readers often forget the feeling, but it's exhilarating to stumble upon a completely new universe that no other writer can replicate. Reading a Davidson is like reading a hardboiled novel mixed with an Agatha Christie mystery, drawn into a graphic novel. I mean, THE DAMAGE DONE is not a graphic novel, but it really could be in the future. The elements and more important the TONE would really translate well.

THREE REASONS TO READ : THE DAMAGE DONE

1) Tariq Lawrence. What a great, complex character. As a reader, I like nothing more than form an early judgement on a character and having to reconsider everything, a hundred paged later.

2) The balance. THE DAMAGE DONE has a strange, but efficient balance between hardboiled elements and classic (almost cliché...but not quite) mystery novel characters. It fascinated me.

3) Lily. There is so much to like about her. She embodies that very balance in Hilary Davidson's universe and THE DAMAGE DONE is about the collision of who Lily was and who she is now.

THREE TOPICS ABOUT : THE DAMAGE DONE

1) Do you think it's possible to transcend who you were raised to be? Will Lily's early life always cast shadow on her life and her aspirations?

2) What did you think of male figures in THE DAMAGE DONE? Particularly Martin, Tariq, Jesse and Officer Bruxton? What kind of portrait they offer of their gender?

3) What, in your opinion differentiates the novel from most crime fiction and what are its flagship themes?


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