Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Snapped by Pamela Klaffke

Snapped is the story of Sara B, who has made her living from taking snaps of people and categorising them as DOs and DON'Ts for fashionista mag Snap, which she co-founded. As she approaches forty, Sara starts to realise that she is losing her ability to tell the DOs from the DON'Ts and what follows is an entire self-destruct of her life - and the discovery that life can be more than fashion.

This was an odd little book - at times very funny, at times extremely dark, at times dull. If I were one of the people that only gives a book a certain amount of time before putting it down, then I'm not sure I would have made it to the end. As it is, I did read the whole book and found a truly delightful ending that made the rest of Snapped worthwhile.

You spend the entirety of Snapped in Sara B's head, which is a place full of thoughts about mutant babies and mushroom-headed dicks, and this part of the novel I couldn't stand. Sara B's nasty reflections on people became tiresome very quickly, and I didn't like her drinking or casual sex. I felt her dislike of old people was a point made too heavily.

In fact, Sara B was the low point of the novel. The high point for me was the character of Esther, an elderly lady who guides Sara towards the life that she should be living. Esther is a wonderful character, heart warming and wise. Without her presence this would be a very empty novel - as it was, Esther ensures that there is a real heart to Snapped, a journey to enlightenment.

There are also some very funny parts of Snapped - slapstick humour, snarky comments and a bite to the dialogue that I enjoyed. Klaffke presents the life of a fashionista with skill, showcasing the bitchy relationships and the nastiness of presenting ordinary people as DON'Ts.

I would genuinely give this novel a chance. Push past the self-absorption of Sara B and allow yourself to delight in the cast of secondary characters that really bring Snapped to life. And the ending makes it all worth it. A cautious recommendation.

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