Customer Reviews for

Paint It Black

Average Rating 4
( 88 )
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5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Brutally Real

With intense imagery and often painful scenes, Janet Fitch has painted a masterpiece. You may not like it's graphic nature and it's punk characters, but if you know the rock scene and have lived through hard times you will understand it. It is beautifully put together b...
With intense imagery and often painful scenes, Janet Fitch has painted a masterpiece. You may not like it's graphic nature and it's punk characters, but if you know the rock scene and have lived through hard times you will understand it. It is beautifully put together by some one who knows the true nature of words. For me, it has been the most interesting book I have read since her debut novel, White Oleander.

posted by Anonymous on July 19, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Interesting Conflicted Characters, but Oh Did This Story Drag!

From reading previous reader reviews, it seems people either loved the book or hated it. I fall somewhere in between. The main characters were interesting, conflicted, and--especially with regard to Josie and Meredith--presented at great contrast to one another. However...
From reading previous reader reviews, it seems people either loved the book or hated it. I fall somewhere in between. The main characters were interesting, conflicted, and--especially with regard to Josie and Meredith--presented at great contrast to one another. However, I think I would have enjoyed this book more if it were about 100 pages shorter. In real life when someone dies, those closest to the person suffer for a long time--months, often years--with little relief. I understand that. And since this novel took place over a period of only about two months from the time Josie first learns of her boyfriend Michael's suicide, it is only natural that both Josie and Michael's mother, Meredith, would be mourning throughout, but it is hard to make that work in a book and keep the reader interested.

That being said, there were some excellent scenes between Josie and Meredith which created great intensity and conflict in the story. Meredith constantly plays on Josie's sympathy only to use that sympathy as a ploy to get something she wants. Such as asking to see where Josie and her son lived, then using that knowledge to ransack Josie's home and take everthing that she and Michael once shared. For this reason, I kept waiting to find out some devious hidden reason for why Meredith befriends her again offering to take her to Europe with her, but that part of the story just dropped away. Getting back to the ransacked home, I also felt Josie's actions were implausible. Why didn't she call the police? Sure, it is explained away that she did not like the police, which is not so surprising with her heavy substance abuse problems--but, come on now! We're talking breaking and entering and robbery of all all the stuff that made up her life with the man she supposedly so desperately loved!

Like so many of us, when we are going through a difficult period, we often look for some kind of sign, and Josie, between drug and alcoholic hazes, keeps on doing that again and again. (What the recurring coyote image was supposed to mean is anyone's guess.) She believes she gets a sign out of something she finds at the end of the book, but it wasn't much--anything really--to go on. No matter. It helps her to get some closure, which after more than 400 long drawn-out pages made me just glad to see it come to an end. Just wrap a bunch of enigmatic thoughts and emotions in some deep French girl references, and let the reader make of it what she will. I was so hoping for Josie's character to grow some, but even as she attempts to rescue another forgotten girl at the end, I found it impossible to forget that she was still driving back to L.A. with drugs in her purse.

posted by JustMyTwoCents on January 5, 2009

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    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted January 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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