Generation Loss (Cass Neary Series #1)

Generation Loss (Cass Neary Series #1)

by Elizabeth Hand

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Generation Loss 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
alexdallymacfarlane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oh wow, I loved this book. Cass Neary's voice is so compelling: damaged, perceptive, viewing the world with the vocabulary of a photographer. She's a difficult person, with her odd acts like hiding a stranger's keys or stealing photos, but Hand makes her utterly convincing, real and raw. Her fascination with death, her appreciation of Denny's photos certainly complicate her likeability. Nonetheless, she carried my interest right through to the end, and her final decision felt like a natural extension of her thoughts for the islands throughout the novel. "Happy ending" is too upbeat a phrase, but it's surprisingly optimistic. About the only criticisms I can make are the lack of surprise around the killer's identity and that she gets back the film from the turtle-shell too easily. Perhaps she deserves to be right, to have things go well, for once. Those issues did not detract much for me. The characters are all real (though only Denny and Aphrodite match Cass' odd layers), the setting evoked well, the voice absolutely perfect.
ben_h on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Okay, so this was really good. Tons of atmosphere, a nice creepy suspense story. I've read several reviews that say the last third is a let-down, with everything falling into place a little too neatly, and I can see what they mean. The first two thirds are basically scene-setting, so the story arc gets a little rushed at the end. But the scene-setting is really the point of this book. Post-punk New York, disturbing isolation in backwoods Maine, photography's dance with sex and death... Hand is largely known as a fantasy novelist, and I wonder if this crime novel will please her established fans, but it's a solid piece of work by any standards. The text is largely dialogue and first person narrative, which tends to make the characters a bit two-dimensional, but in the context of this story that's not much of a criticism. [book: Generation Loss] is all about getting into someone's (rather uncomfortable) skin. It's not large enough to be Great, but it does what it sets out to do, and it does it well.
paperhouses on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hrmmm, a post-punk protagonist with a heart darker than my own. A nice foray into some mid-february self-loathing. I constantly craved a shot, a cigarette, and the smell of the old 9:30 club while reading this novel. DC or NYC punk survivors will appreciate it and cringe.
nicole_a_davis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't realize this was going to be so gory. And, it makes Maine seem like such a spooky place, disconnected from the rest of the word--in a bad way. I wish the author had spelled out more of the Maine accent to make the characters a little more endearing. Still, it is a very thoughtful book about the art making process and how we evaluate oureselves.
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A surprisingly good read. I expected to dislike the main character who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, but instead I found myself immersed in her world. Cass Neary is a has-been punk photographer sent to a remote island off the coast of Maine to interview another photographer. Strange things happen on Paswegas island - people disappear every few years. The story moves solidly and holds one's interest. A well-crafted novel.
TonyaJ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are generous people in the world and writers can be some of the more generous. Writers have opened up whole worlds for me to explore and without writers and their worlds, I probably would not have survived my childhood. I keep sort of harping on that when I write about books because I believe having reading skills gives you entree to so many thoughts, feelings, inspiration, and ways to think about the world, and to start thinking for yourself.I took Elizabeth Hand¿s novel Generation Loss with me on my recent vacation (December '07) and finished it after I returned. It was not an easy read (you¿ll see why below), much like Richard Beymer¿s book Impostor was not an easy read (actually, a much harder read than Impostor), and oddly enough both in many ways about the photographer¿s gaze and protagonists who struggle mightily, and both containing autobiographical elements.Elizabeth has a forum at Nightshade Books where she, again that word, generously, talks about her novels, her writing, even her life experiences, in a friendly and open way. I didn¿t write a review of Generation Loss but I left her a short note with my impressions: I don¿t know all the fancy words and meanings behind what writers do with their own prose style, but I believe this novel might be called ¿stripped bare.¿ I finished the book a few days ago and have had to let it sit awhile with me. Never have I read, at least that I can remember, a tale so grim and unrelenting in terms of a protagonist I sort of loathed, while at the same time, I rooted for. And every time Cass screwed up again or did something unethical or dishonest, that cycle of loathing and rooting for would repeat. Well, all art is a journey and this book took me someplace wild, weird and different. And touching.The imagery evoked is not lush like Waking the Moon, but it has its own elegant beauty within the harsh landscape of nature, and human being.This is why I read your work, Elizabeth. Because I love not only the places it takes me but how it makes me examine my own humanity.I high recommend anything Elizabeth Hand writes.
Jannes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weird, bleak, beautiful and strangely compelling, "Generation Loss" is much like the landscape it portraits. Equal parts thriller and travelogue, and with one of the more interesting protagonists I've come across in quite a while. The "mystery" bit kind of sneaks up on you in a way that's a bit unusual, but not unwelcome. The ending feels ever so slightly rushed because of this, but it is a minor issue. The visual theme, with a story of photography and perception; seeing and being seen, is clear but never overstated. It is also a very "visual" book in the sense that it masterfully and efficiently conveys the look and feel of the desolated north of Maine where it takes place. I have rarely come across a novel that gives me such a sense of "place" as "Generation Loss": the way it looks, the way it feels, how it gets inside of your head - it's all here.
hairball on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My husband asked if I'd heard of Elizabeth Hand--apparently there'd been a lot of buzz about her books lately "on the blogs." Thank goodness I didn't buy this book--short, but not to the point. If one writes a thriller, shouldn't one try for a compelling plot early in the book, especially a short book? A character's anger and angst are plot points, perhaps, but do not count as actual plot. Alas. Has some surprise gory stuff, but whatever--I just didn't care.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a big Elizabeth Hand fan. I read all of her (non Star Wars) books in high school and college. It's been a few (10) years since I've read anything by her but when I saw that she had written this book I was eager to read it and to see if I still liked her writing style. This is a dark book, but at the same time it is a beautiful book and I really, really enjoyed it.Cass Neary made it big as a photographer in the 1970's. She was part of the punk scene and specialized in photographing the dead; people who overdosed or died of other causes. Almost thirty years later she is a has-been. Constantly strung out on drugs or drunk she just barely ekes out a living slumming it in New York City and working at a used bookstore. Then a buddy of hers gives her a call, he has a job for her...they requested her specifically. Suddenly Cass is trekking out to rural Maine to interview a photographer whose work inspired Cass to start doing photography. Only nothing is what it seems out in this isolated community and strange things are happening...cats ending up dead, humans going missing. Cass finds that this isolated region holds secrets darker than she ever imagined, and for Cass that is saying something.I loved this book. It is in keeping with her previous works, although there is less supernatural/fantasy element in this book and more mystery/thriller to it. This novel is a bit creepy, but very atmospheric. Hand has a way of describing settings that really makes them come alive...you can smell them and see them. She also has a way of making dark things beautiful. First and foremost this a dark book.The characters are interesting and full of depth. Cass herself is definitely not someone to idolize (she spends the majority of the book either strung out or drunk) but she has a sort of wondrous naivete about her that is endearing. You kind of understand why she does the things she does and Hand helps you to understand why Cass finds beauty in the destruction and darkness of the world. So despite her amoral character and stupid decisions, somehow you end up kind of liking Cass. The same can be said for the old photographer's son Gryffin; he is mysterious and dark yet somehow likable.This book also talks a lot about photography so that is interesting; it touches on rural living and fishing as well as tourism.It is, all in all, an excellent book. Hand's writing style continues to awe me. I am always impressed with how engaging her books are, how intelligent they sound, and how they pry into dark places and find beauty there. Her description is amazing, as is the raw way she depicts her characters. The plot was very well done and Hand creates an excellent mystery/thriller.There is a lot of drug use, swearing, and casual talk about sex; so this book is definitely meant for a more mature audience.Overall I enjoyed every single word of this book. I couldn't put it down and was sad when it was over. Next on my list to read by Hand is Mortal Love; which I own, it is the only Elizabeth Hand book I haven't read yet. I also saw that she is coming out with another book later this year; a children's book called Illyria. So I am eager to pick that up to read too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a thought provoking unusual mystery. It has the same feel as The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. A great heroine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good