Imatge de l'autor

Tara Isabella Burton

Autor/a de Social Creature

9+ obres 817 Membres 46 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Crèdit de la imatge: Rose Callahan

Obres de Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature (2018) 421 exemplars, 34 ressenyes
Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World (2020) 186 exemplars, 4 ressenyes
The World Cannot Give (2022) 112 exemplars, 5 ressenyes
Here in Avalon (2024) 36 exemplars, 1 ressenya
The Destroyer (2016) 16 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Father Luigi's Chameleon (2003) 1 exemplars
Blackout 1 exemplars

Obres associades

Some of the Best from 2016 Edition (2017) — Col·laborador — 139 exemplars, 5 ressenyes
Granta 144: Generic Love Story (2018) — Col·laborador — 57 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Shimmer 2014: The Collected Stories (2016) — Col·laborador — 3 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
País (per posar en el mapa)
Lloc de naixement
New York, New York, USA
Trinity College, Oxford (PhD)



The main character is straight out of a romcom — the practical, type-A businesswoman, successful but secretly unfulfilled. Her sister, in contrast, is the manic pixie dream girl — an impulsive and whimsical artist, living halfway in a fairytale.
I enjoyed some of the attempts to explore the appeal and danger of cults. The darker aspects of Avalon were weaved in subtly enough that I could see how the characters could justify or overlook them, while they still felt unsettling and built the tension for the reader. But the simplistic nature of the main characters and their rote development took something away from that. The story is all about what drives people away from their mundane lives and what entices them to believe the fantasies cults sell — in the case of Avalon, buying into the “magic” and believing yourself to be the savior or the fairy godmother to other suffering souls — and I would have liked stronger characters to show that off.… (més)
solenophage | Feb 22, 2024 |
Within the genre that calls itself "dark academia", there's a certain self-flagelating tendency I've noticed, a Very Special Episode tone in which the authors puts the brakes on the whole thing and all but turns to the audience to say, Don't worry! I know elitism is bad actually! It's definitely totally fascist and not cool at all! I'm not like one of those asshole Donna Tartt enjoyers who don't constantly disclaim that it's totally definitely a satire and that's it!!

I find it, frankly, bizarre, not to mention narratively counter-productive. Burton makes it clear from the jump that Virginia and Co. are uncool, hypocritical, proto-fash losers—despite the fact that our narrator Laura supposedly idolizes them. I can't tell if it's a sincere distaste for her own characters bleeding through despite her best efforts or if it's out of fear of being accused of endorsing the very thing she's criticizing, but if your plot entails a gradual disillusionment with a person or a group or an idea, it simply does not make any sense to show that person or group or idea as obviously distasteful the whole time.

This is an authorial tendency that has always bothered me. But it's especially tragic here, because Burton does create complex and interesting characters — or at least potentially complex and interesting. But Burton takes the position that, actually, all of them are straight-up unambiguously bad people but do all things for bad reasons. It's a morally pedantic position, an easy way out, and it undermines the few gems of good writing this book has to offer.
… (més)
maddietherobot | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Oct 21, 2023 |
This had a lot of promise, an academic setting, themes of obsession, idealism, transcendence. Wanting more from the world than it has to give. It was just too pretentious and also somehow earnest and messy though. The Secret History did it best, and anything comparing itself to that is doing itself a disservice.
KallieGrace | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Jul 17, 2023 |
Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from Da Vinci to the Kardashians, by Tara Isabella Burton, is a fun and fascinating read whether you're here for the larger historical/sociological argument or simply the biographical sketches of those highlighted throughout this account.

My interest was mainly the big picture, seeing how we as humans have changed in the ways we view ourselves and the world. I expected some of the accounts but was intrigued by many of the ones that were entirely new to me. The larger idea, from collective and religious to more individualistic and, well, still religious but placing ourselves in the center, is not new. What this book does so well is trace that progression (digression?) in a narrative that helps to answer, or at least speculate about, the reasons.

Some who might not really be interested in the historical change but more in how and why we are where we are may find themselves preferring the biographical sketches than the arguments linking them. That is understandable, and the book offers enough of that to keep those readers happy, though it appears the interest area may differ. I, for instance, found the people further back in history more interesting, theirs were creative in a way that differs from the "creativity" of those simply modifying what has already been done. But many readers prefer staying in their comfort zone and prefer the more recent stories. Either way, there is plenty here.

This is the kind of book that could easily please someone considering an area of study, or information for a present area of study, as well as the popular reader who just wants to know a little more about how we have become a society not so much of people but of brands.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
… (més)
pomo58 | May 8, 2023 |



Potser també t'agrada

Autors associats


També de
½ 3.4

Gràfics i taules