Dope

Dope - Sara Gran Sara Gran is becoming one of my favorite writers, and this little gem is my favorite of her books so far. It was close enough to perfect that I rounded it up to 5 stars despite finding the ending a little abrupt and confusing. I think I sorted out the details, but I had to stop and think it through for a while. This isn't really a problem with the book. It's common in noir for the protagonist to give you slightly less information than you need, and the circumspection of the narrator adds to the mist that seems to float through this sort of book. If Raymond Chandler wrote about New York, if Raymond Chandler was a woman, this is the sort of book he would have given us, and his influence is clear in the language and the structure.I can see Gran working her way towards the kind of story she tells in Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, a book I gave one less star than this one though I loved it too. That book is more ambitious than this one, and the simplicity of Dope allows it to be perfect. I think it was Edward Albee who said his best play was probably whichever one was shortest because there would be the fewest mistakes in it. Dope is a fairly short book, with no mistakes that I could see. Gorgeous writing, excellent story and pacing, a main character who I bought into completely, a glimpse into Hell's Kitchen in 1950, I fell in love with this novel and will be rereading it probably several times. Love.