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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Hannah Pittard
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Robertson Davies
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Save Yourself

Save Yourself: A Novel - Kelly Braffet

As you read this review, keep in mind that I am probably not the intended audience for Save Yourself. This is one of those Suspenseful-Thriller-thingies. I am not a reader of thrillers. But in my old age, I’m trying to be open-minded, so I gave it a go. And you know what’s most shocking is that I sort of liked it.


Now, let me say straight out that what I didn’t like about the novel was the thriller element, but that has to do with personal taste. I like what I like and mysteries and thrillers just don’t appeal to me. Toward the end, as the novel was getting to its climax, my interest began to seriously wane. The “thrilling conclusion” was anything but thrilling to me. So clearly this book didn’t change my mind about the genre; nevertheless, I enjoyed it.


Prior to the book getting all dark in a Psycho-way, it was dark in a more Lars von Trier sort of way. Are you following me? Anyway, Braffet does a wonderful job creating characters whose lives are interesting. The ways in which they’re put on display, and the ways these characters interact with one another, gave me a deep empathy for several characters; I truly wanted the best for them. It was all very harsh and believable, which made the less-believable conclusion tolerable.


Braffet is a great writer, with a masterful sense of plotting and language. It’s just that her interests are obviously different than mine. When our interests intersect, however, I totally get her. She’s good, and I expect she’ll go far.