Saturday, 4 July 2015

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter Review


While it’s listed as a short story, Karin Slaughter’s Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes is more of a prologue to her latest novel, Pretty Girls. It’s just sold separately for some reason (coughmoneycough!). 

Set in 1991, Julia’s a pretty 19 year old college student studying journalism. There’s been a spate of attractive young women being abducted in the area and it’s worrying everyone. Guess what happens to Julia at the end of this story? 

It’s not just the predictability of the narrative, it’s how absolutely nothing happens that annoyed the crap out of me. Sure Slaughter can write a convincing portrayal of a young woman’s life but give us a reason to care about what we’re reading! 

She goes to classes where her teacher’s a birruva perv. Her roommate’s a bitch. She feels marginalised as a woman when pitching stories to her editor in a male-dominated newsroom. She goes dancing. The cute boy she likes asks her out and they do it. She has irritating sisters. 

That’s it? After reading Three Twisted Stories which were fast paced, imaginative short stories, reading Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes was like reading a totally different writer. This Karin Slaughter was ponderous and dreary, content to subject the reader with page after page of uninteresting rubbish. If this had been my first exposure to the writer, I wouldn’t have bothered with any of her other works and would’ve missed out on the brilliant fiction of Three Twisted Stories. 

After reading just Slaughter’s short stories, I’ma gonna give her novel, Pretty Girls, a shot. If it’s anywhere near as brutally boring as Blonde Hair was though, I’m giving up on this novelist. Also, given that Pretty Girls is being marketed as a standalone book, you could probably skip Blonde Hair entirely without missing anything important - definitely do that and read Three Twisted Stories instead for much better short fiction!

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

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