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In the Cut [Paperback]

Susanna Moore
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 14 2007 Vintage Contemporaries
Frannie Thorstin is a divorced English professor, living in a two room New York apartment. She spends much of her time alone, working on a book about dialects and idiomatic language. One evening at a bar, Frannie stumbles upon a man and a woman engaged in a sexual act. A week later a detective shows up at her door. The woman’s body has been discovered in the park across the street. What follows is a chilling tale of lust and murder as Frannie finds herself drawn to the detective. In the Cut is a masterpiece of literary suspense and sexual exploration.

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From Publishers Weekly

Several stunning shocks await Moore's longtime readers in her fourth novel. First, there is the change of genre and locale. Her previous books (My Old Sweetheart; The Whiteness of Bones) have been lush, sensitive explorations of coming of age in a dysfunctional family in Hawaii, in an atmosphere permeated by island spirits and traditions. Here, Moore has honed her prose with knife-like precision to construct an edgy, intense, erotic thriller set in bohemian Manhattan. Her protagonist and narrator, Franny, is a divorced NYU professor deliberately closed off from emotional entanglements. She teaches a class for ghetto youth, meanwhile pursuing her obsession with language; she is writing a book recording the street vernacular and the black lingo of New York's seedier neighborhoods. Though on the surface her life seems circumscribed, she is a woman who takes risks, especially sexual risks. One night, she observes a man with a tattoo on his wrist in an act of sexual congress; though she does not see his face, she remembers the red-haired woman who had performed fellatio when she becomes a murder victim. Questioned as a possible witness by homicide detectives James Mallory and his partner Richard Rodriguez, she enjoys the frisson of danger when she takes Mallory as a lover, in spite of the fact that his wrist bears the same tattoo as that of the probable killer. The predatory, slightly corrupt Mallory is a coolly skillful lover, forcing Franny to push beyond sexual barriers into areas she has never explored. But in testing those erotic boundaries, she puts herself in mortal danger. Moore's control of her material is impressive: as she sweeps toward a knockout ending, she employs the gritty vernacular, red-herring clues and cold-blooded brutality of a bona-fide thriller without sacrificing the integrity of her narrative. The question is: will readers be disturbed?and perhaps repelled by?explicit descriptions of sexual acts, scatological language and gruesome violence? 100,000 first printing.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Billed as an "erotic thriller," Moore's (Sleeping Beauties, LJ 9/1/93) latest is erotic, but it's certainly no thriller. The heroine is an English teacher who muses endlessly on the meanings of language, even at times when she should be experiencing intense emotion. She witnesses an event that leads to a grisly murder and becomes sexually involved with the cop investigating the case. Her closest friend, with whom she discusses sexual experiences in detail, is viciously murdered and mutilated by the same killer, and she herself falls victim, an interesting trick in a story told in the first person. Not only is the heroine distanced by language from her emotions, but so is the reader. Not recommended, although Moore has a following and larger collections may want to have a copy.?Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a "shameless erotic thriller"? July 6 2004
By A Customer
Although I found the ending disturbing, I generally enjoyed this book. There is a real economy of language, an edgy tone, the pace moves briskly and the dialogue seemed very realistic. Even though it's short, the book raises a myriad of questions and issues, most interesting to me, issues of Feminism and female desire. Yes Franny is highly educated, yes she knows better than to start an affair with Malloy, yet she does it anyway. What does this say about the effect of a woman's education and accomplishments on how she views herself in a sexual relationship? The disturbing thing is that this intelligent woman lets herself be dominated, humiliated and ultimately destroyed. Do we educated women really just want to be passive objects of desire.
Don't pay attention the blurbs found on the covers of this book. A "shameless erotic thriller"? As if shame should be involved in the first place. Also, the way Franny objectifies her inner-city students, studying their language like Jane Goodall and the Gorillas. A bit patronizing, interesting racial dynamic. Highly recommended.
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This book is fantastic. Yes, it's brutal and yes, it's at times painfully graphic, but the prose is remarkably intelligent and witty, the story moving along at a mesmerizing clip. The ending truly is a jarring surprise. Moore keeps you guessing the entire time, but she also keeps you interested, something few novelists can do, in my estimation. I also loved the protagonist's preoccupation with etymology; I loved her narrative voice; I loved the gentle and not-so-gentle ironies laced throughout.
It's refreshing to read a book where the narrator (and for that matter, the author) is expansively, demonstrably intelligent. It's refreshing not to have to read a rehash of Patterson or Cornwell or Kellerman. Moore's style and voice are decidedly different, authentic and full of life.
I recommend this book wholeheartedly, though don't expect to be charmed. It's lovely like Silence of the Lambs (the book) was lovely. It's riveting like Lovely Bones was riveting. Which is to say although it is most certainly harsh, it's nonetheles cruelly captivating, therefore a worthwhile read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Erotic Thriller - Not For The Faint Of Heart! April 3 2004
Susanna Moore's tight, crisp, descriptive prose lends a special flavor to this darkly erotic thriller of a woman who lives life on the edge. Moore's novel is literary eroticism at it best and not just a mystery thriller about a vicious serial killer. Her manner of telling the tale is what makes it so unique.
Frannie, the novel's narrator, is an attractive 35 year-old divorcee who lives in a two room apartment on Washington Square. She teaches creative writing at NYU to a group of inner-city "low achievement teens" with high intelligence. She is also a connoisseur and scholar of language and is writing a book on street slang and its derivatives. Frannie takes chances. She is a sexual risk taker. However, she lives in her own private world where she spends an incredible amount of time pondering the nature of language, which leaves her vulnerable to her surroundings...and reality. Frannie is not at all street savvy. And her near-sightedness allows her to disengage even more from the potentially dangerous world in which she lives. One late afternoon in a neighborhood bar she makes a trip to the ladies room and inadvertently walks-in on a couple engaged in an intimate act. The man's face is obscured by shadow but she does notice that he has a unique tattoo on the inside of his wrist, (she has her glasses on). A few days later a NYC homicide detective, James E. Malloy, seeks Frannie out for an interview. There has been a brutal murder in the neighborhood. The victim is the woman Frannie saw performing the sex act in the bar. The evening Frannie saw her was her last.
Malloy takes risks also. He totally defies all rules about relationships between a detective and potential witness and acts on the tremendous sexual attraction between Frannie and himself.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious, silly, and idiotic.... Beware! March 12 2004
Let's consider the 'official' reviews of Susanna Moore's In the Cut. 'Brilliant.... beautifully crafted,' says the SF Examiner. 'Extraordinary,' says Time. 'Remarkable, erotic, intelligent, and daring,' says Vanity Fair. Wow. Even if we allow for the typical hyperbole of book reviewers, In the Cut must at least be pretty good. Right? Wrong. And wrong on so many levels that it's difficult to know where to begin.
I'll start with the 'heroine' Franny. She is a professor at NYU; she thinks about language quite a lot, particularly obscure street slang; she invests the most mundane actions with overwrought meaning. Thank goodness Moore didn't include a chapter with Franny shopping for groceries. I can imagine it now.... Franny torn between red wine vinaigrette and zesty ranch dressing. The possibilities are endless. Franny, you see, is deeply silly but we're clearly supposed to find her intelligent and interesting. The fact that she is having sex with a detective who may be a serial killer - well, it's just an edgy risk, dear reader. You can't expect her to be sensible. Nothing about this book makes sense.
The main characters are all ciphers. There is no depth, nothing to stir our interest or sympathy. The police officers are portrayed in a consistently lousy light. Franny's black student Cornelius is the typical 'noble savage' of modern lit. Heaven forbid we could have a minority character of complexity and wit and real humanity. Actually, in this particular book, I think Cornelius is the most believable character. He seems as disgusted and dismayed by Franny as the reader. Franny's lover, Detective Malloy, is supposedly great in bed. How do we know this? Franny tells us so! The 'daring' and 'erotic' sex scenes are thankfully brief, but do provide a few laughs.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the detractors; read this book!
Despite being tagged with the unfortunate label "erotic thriller" and having a bad movie made out of it starring the woefully miscast Meg Ryan, I decided to give this book a try. Read more
Published on March 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars I Truly Enjoyed This Book!
To those who did not I can only assume they were looking for Patricia Cornwell crap.
These characters ring true in almost every sense and the book is beautifully written. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by merry
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
I thought this book was excellent! The descriptions do get annoying sometimes because Moore takes so long to fully descibe them, but other than that it was awsome! Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This novel reminded me of LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR. The protagonist is another teacher, only this time she teaches creative writing to ghetto youth. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003 by Dave Schwinghammer
3.0 out of 5 stars Irony is the spine of Moore�s odyssey
You don't have to go further than two paragraphs in Suzanna Moore's 'In The Cut' to understand that the whole novel is about irony. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2003 by A. T. A. Oliveira
4.0 out of 5 stars An Erotic thriller that isn't either- just a brilliant book
The eroticism and the thrills are in the mind of the pathetic protagonist. Fannie is fascinated with words and the romance of poetry. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2003 by David Dix
4.0 out of 5 stars riveting
I picked up this book after reading a book/movie comparison-review and all I can say is what a shame that the movie bombed because now all these people will never know the thrill... Read more
Published on Dec 10 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars In the cut - certainly doesn't make the "cut"
This book is certainly far from an "erotic thriller" as it seems to billed. i was left confused and disappointed...where were the thrills? Read more
Published on Dec 3 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant to say the least
Despite being warned, I gave this book my time. And what a waste of time it was. This book was the worst book I have ever read. The writing style was jumpy and choppy. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003
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