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Sucker by Lana Citron - Book Review

Title
Author
Publisher

Sucker
Lana Citron
Vintage

Fiction-Net Rating 4 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Sucker takes the reader on a warped ride through London and the lives of four different characters struggling to understand the meaning of love in the nineties. They know it's all just a game, even if the rules are bent and the players less than honest. There's Bea, the neurotic, who is bred to wed and wants to win the heart of a man - any man. There's Brian, in search of an easy life and an easy lay. Mucky Marcus, the travelling sugar daddy and Nonny, the finest gameplayer of the lot, who plays by the rules because she knows it's the best form of sabotage.

Written with striking originality and quick incisive humour, Lana Citron's debut novel tears a strip off the pretensions of 1990's twentysomethings and provides a blistering insight into the dating game and the darker fringes of the modern sex war.

We Say

The synopsis above doesn't read like something that's going to set the world on fire. Twenty-something love lives in the nineties and set in the hip and happening city of London. You would be forgiven for thinking - don't we have more than enough books with that kind of premise? Well yes, we do. But, believe me, there is certainly room for a book like this.

Sucker is different - it has a style and a tone all of its own. The prose is fast and clever. It's also experimental - Lana Citron has not shied away from incorporating poetry and more weird devices to get the readers' attention at certain moments. If this kind of thing is done poorly in a novel then it can be irritating but Citron uses it well.

The plot itself is a tangled web - the characters' lives inter-connect and collide in a variety of relationships. Lana Citron switches narrative perspective throughout - Nonny's story is told in the first person (I saw, I am, etc.) and Bea's is in the third person (she saw, she is, etc.). It could get confusing but Citron has formed these characters with such confidence, that you never miss a beat. The tone for each of them is expressed clearly - it becomes obvious who is who very quickly. After all this complexity, the story comes full circle in a very neat and unexpected way but it is probably best not to give too much away.

This is Lana Citron's debut novel. In my view, she has played the writing game and won. Sucker is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read this year.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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