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Looker

Narrated by: Katherine Fenton
Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
3 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Vogue's "Most Anticipated Books of 2019" 

Entertainment Weekly's "One of January’s Hottest Reads" 

Literary Hub's "Most Anticipated Books of 2019" 

Southern Living’s “Best New Books Coming Out Winter 2019” 

An Indie Next pick 

A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge. 

I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence - placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure - and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me.  

In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor - the actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment lies between them. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat. 

When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Searing and darkly witty, Looker is enormously entertaining - a psychologically suspenseful and fearlessly original portrait of the perils of envy. 

Praise for Looker

"In prose that moves between lyrical and caterwauling, the poet Laura Sims has pulled off the high-wire act of making bitterness delicious." (Vogue, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019") 

"This debut is a penetrating and unsettling psychological thriller... It’s a novel about identity, appearances, and envy, and it’s one of the season’s most timely reads, an innovative experiment in what a thriller can be." (Literary Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019")

"In this electrifying Hitchcockian debut, an unhappy woman’s obsession with a nearby actress will push the boundaries between insanity and desperation." (Washington Independent Review of Books, "16 Fiction Releases to Watch for”)

©2019 Laura Sims (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Was this going somewhere?

With so many novels out there about stalkers or about women whose life unravels, this one was a waste of time. The main character was unlikable, which would have been OK, but she was also boring (as was the story). The secondary characters are mere shadows (none come to life). Was skeptical about a novel that could be read in only five hours (seemed like ten). Was right. Would only consider another novel by this author if it gets raving reviews.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Depressing

Do not know what the purpose of this story was. It was a depressing, angry, sick book. I only read because it was a book club selection. If I could un-read it, I would.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Stupid book

I wanted to like this book but found the story incredibly stupid. Don't bother reading!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Depressing

I think this book had a ton of potential, especially with a troubled narrator; however, the story was flat and boring.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Darkly Demented

Darkly demented with brilliant, sharp writing!

"I'm grateful they've never thought to install blinds. That's how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they're probably right, except for me."

This is a very unique book, told from the point of view of an unnamed woman who is rapidly coming apart at the seams and turning her rage against everyone she meets. Reviewers have noted the relative short length of the book but I chose to listen to the audio which was OUTSTANDING! Katherine Fenton did an amazing job at channeling all the intelligence, heartbreak and pathos of the unnamed protagonist.

The main character of 'Looker' is a voyeur who has become obsessed with an actress who lives on her block. If only the actress would give her a glance or a comment, then everything would be okay! The narrator is a seemingly intelligent woman whose husband has left her after their battle with infertility took a heavy emotional and financial toll on their marriage. The narrator has been left all alone in the couple's apartment in New York City.

"Emptiness inside, emptiness outside; this is what's mine."

The narrator quickly falls apart and be warned, there are scenes of cruelty in this book. There is also razor-sharp writing and almost poetic observation of relationships and human behavior. This is a wildly creative story with dark, poignant themes. My favorite parts of the book occur later in the story when the narrator begins to totally lose her grip on reality.

"I am sick to death of women. Kind women, careful women, strong-and-silent women, caretaking women, lonely women, old women, young women, perfect women, dead women, crazy women, haunted women, bitter women, hateful women, harsh women, hounded women, all women! I am not one of you! Leave me alone, leave me to the straightforwardly horrible men."

The ending was very inventive and perfect for this book. I applaud the author for not wrapping everything up neatly in a bow. 'Looker' was imaginative and unique and very gripping. Even the cover choice is perfect! This book is not so much a thriller as it is a psychological study. Laura Sims is a talent to watch.

  • Overall
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Disappointed

The story seems to drag on and on for three quarters of the book, but I am faithfully waiting for a great ending. That is when I am disappointed in the ending and in the fact there was so much potential. The writing style itself is quite good.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful