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Bury Me Deep: A timeless portrait of the dark side of desire ... Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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About the Author
Megan Abbott was born in the Detroit area, and has taught literature, writing and film at universities in New York. She lives in New York City. Visit her website at www.meganabbott.com
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This one was almost a thriller..I couldn't stop reading,
the characters were multi-dimensional..
Good as a stand-alone..and I was sorry when it ended..certainly a description of a long-ago era..
Great if you are just discovering Megan Abbott, already a fan, or like noir thriller.
This story is based loosely on the real life crime tale of Winnie Ruth Judd (a.k.a. The Trunk Murderess) in the 1930's. However, don't think you can just head on over to Wikipedia, read the story of Winnie Ruth, and think you have Ms. Abbott's novel all figured out (I made this mistake, but it made the ending all the more enjoyable). Ms. Abbott has altered the actual events into a 'What would have happened if...' , and it makes for a riveting story. Marion Seeley does not meet the same fate as her real life counterpart, and some key players involved in the crime and Marion's life, have a very different ending to their stories as well.
While the beginning of this novel frustrated me, the rest more then made up for it. Overall, I absolutely recommend this. I am not a regular fan of dark novels filled with sex, drugs and murder, but Megan Abbott is one of the ONLY authors of this genre that I always keep an eye out for. While her style of writing may take a little getting used to, she has a way of pulling you right into the seedy side of a long-past era of glitz and glamour.
But Megan Abbot's "Bury Me Deep" won me over with its direct and forthright narrative and it's poetic, sometimes verging on surreal, language and imagery. Marion's internal dialog, for example, as she tries to reconcile her blind attraction to "Gentleman Joe" with what she knows to be his "dead-eyed", self-serving nature, is reminiscent Sylvia Plath's "confessional" poems in which she broadsides the reader with some admission of complicity in her own doom--usually brought about by love or admiration for some unworthy male object of desire. Like Plath, Marion Seeley sees trouble from the get-go in "Bury Me Deep" but can't keep herself from walking into the fire. It's full of too many tempting fruits.
Especially effective is Abott's choice to have Marion's dead friends "haunt" her throughout the book, giving it the feel of a lopsided fairy-tale in parts. Another nice touch is the "imagined last act" she gives the real-life case. What if things had worked out differently for Winnie Ruth Judd? Like the remake of "Carrie" and Johnny Depp's, "From Hell"--a retelling of the Jack the Ripper tale--both of which added imagined happier endings to their source stories, "Bury Me Deep" may be fun for enthusiasts of the Judd tale, who would otherwise know the ending from page one.
In a final chapter, Abbot tells how and where she converged and diverged from the real Judd story which I think was a good choice too. It helps to know as you read and re-read the story what is based on factual account and what isn't. Her theory on the details of Winnie/Marion's deadly fight with her friends for example--which to this day remain shrouded in mystery--is just as plausible or implausible as any out there. And as the case remains partially unsolved (all we know for sure is that Winnie shot her friends and travelled to L.A. from Phoenix with their bodies checked as baggage in trunks) every theory, even those devised for the purpose of entertainment, deserves consideration.