Thursday, February 28, 2019

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (by Stuart Turton)

This is a very fun and original mystery. The premise is that an investigator gets plopped into a single day on a grand estate, and the day ends with a murder.  The catch is, he has to solve it by reliving the day eight times from eight different points of view, and he has no memory of who he really is.

It's quite intricate and well-done, but I almost quit when I got to the third point of view, when he's in the body of a fat man and is completely disgusted by it. The whole thing is an extreme example of how supposedly loathsome fat bodies are. (For one example, the man takes a bath, then walks across the house, and then has to take another bath because he now apparently smells so bad. It's beyond offensive.)

The mystery kept me interested and I wanted to find out how it turned out, so I finished it, but it's one of the most extreme and disappointing examples of fatphobia I've ever read in a novel.

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