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Paint It Black
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Paint It Black

3.9 90
by Janet Fitch
 

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"A dark, crooked beauty that fulfills all the promise of White Oleander and confirms that Janet Fitch is an artist of the very highest order."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Josie Tyrell, art model, runaway, and denizen of LA's rock scene finds a chance at real love with Michael Faraday, a Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist. But when she

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Paint It Black 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like White Oleander, this book was written with such vivid description that you feel as though you know the characters and have visited the places she writes about. This book does leave you feeling heavy but I couldn¿t put it down. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Faraday hated college so he left Harvard without a diploma to become an artist. He became a painter with growing accolades in Los Angeles. As his fame grew, his dark side also grew until by 1981 he committed suicide.---------------- Art model Josie Tyrell was falling in love with Michael, but could never get him to fully commit his heart and soul to her because of his deep ties to his famous mother, concert pianist Meredith Loewy. Each woman holds the other culpable for why Michael killed himself. Meredith blames the white trash Josie on the other hand Josie blames the aloof affluent Michael. However, ironically each begins to find solace with one another as they mourn the loss of the cherished one they both loved.--------------- PAINT IT BLACK is a fascinating relationship drama as the two women compete for the affection of Michael until he kills himself and they turn to one another for solace. Janet Fitch gets inside the souls of her triangle as the audience sees what drives Michael to suicide, why his mother lives in a sterile cold existence and how Josie is obsessed to overcome her trashy roots. Fans of contemporary character studies will enjoy Ms. Fitch¿s strong look at how relationships change when a pivotal life event (in this case death) occurs.------------- Harriet Klausner
osaka More than 1 year ago
Not as good as White Oleander. This book was not a feel good book, quite dark. Characters were very well developed, however, the story was a little slow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ellonkah More than 1 year ago
Rough-around-the-edges Josie Tyrell loses the love of her life, and what follows are pages and pages…and then some more pages, of Josie trying to understand the tragedy and reclaim her life.  In the 418-page book that I read, I would estimate that there are less than 40 pages of things actually happening, including conversation. The writing is brilliant, and Fitch certainly has a way with words, but there was just too much introspection in this book to keep me interested. Credit to the author for being able to describe Josie’s emotional tar pit so vividly for such a large part of this novel, but after a bit I was left yearning for something to happen.  White Oleander is one of the best books that I have ever read. If, like me, reading that book makes you want to read this book, I caution you:  the only thing these two books have in common is the writing style. You could love this book - you could get sucked in to Josie’s mind and her struggles; you could be enchanted by the dirty punk scene; you could feel with Josie. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t, as much as I worked at it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is no holding back the raw emotions of death of those left behind. Wonderfully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Purchased this book not expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Can be dark at times, going into Josie's thoughts, and not knowing if she will take her own life. All said and done, I really enjoyed Paint it Black.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Ive read it multiple times and the same can be said for white oleander. I love janet fitchs writing style and i am always checking to see if shes writing another book, shes my favorite author by far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A novel for a brilliantly sunshiny day and a night of your favorite sitcom. You'll need it to counter this utterly depressing work that leaves you exhausted. If you're a fan of the melodramatic (as I am) it's right up your alley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book ever written! Janet Fitch is an amazing author, I love her work!
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