91. SADIE THE SADIST, BY ZANÉ SACHS
Recommended by my bestie, Eliane. They say good friendships are based on shared inappropriate humor and twisted common interests; how true is that in our case. This book is very heavy and gory, though, even if it is presented in the most delightful black humor form, so trigger warning for all kinds of stuff (murder, gore, rape, sex, kink, golden shower, poison, disgusting stuff, weird food, etc.)
Synopsis: Sadie is a minimum-wage worker at a supermarket. Tired of all the shit that comes with her job description, she taps into her alter-ego, Sadie the Sadist, and starts venting her frustration.
Overall enjoyment: I liked American Psycho when I first read it (and so did Eliane, btw), although I have to admit that some of this was due to my eagerness to impress other people at the time (I was 14). It’s pretty much impossible not to compare this book with it, so that’s probably what I’ll be doing throughout this review (I believe that was what she was going for, anyway; she even describes Sadie’s running shoes in a suspiciously familiar way sometimes). Starting now, I’d say I liked it a lot more. It’s much more well-rounded, and does not entirely rely on shock value (but there is a lot of it). Sadie is a much better character, and a lot more likable/relatable than Patrick ever was.
Plot: It is quite well constructed, and a lot more complex than American Psycho. And it’s actually foreshadowed, as opposed to “SURPRISE! Bet you thought he actually did all those things, didn’t you? Well, he was delusional all the time!” But she doesn’t give it away; you discover it piece by piece, and you’re still left with some questions after the ending. And Sadie has very clear motivation (it’s always good to make it clear: there is no excuse for murder, but it’s still nice for the characters to have some motive).
Characters: Sadie is amazing. She’s so complex and well written. I kept having chills while I was reading, she felt incredibly real. She would have been a great character on her own right, but when you compare her to the privileged ax-wielding blank space that is Patrick (from American Psycho, in case you couldn’t tell), she positively shines.
World/setting: Working in retail sucks. Working in large-scale retail sucks even worse. Sadie works in a huge supermarket, and she’s at the very bottom of the chain. The atmosphere of frustration and exploitation is oppressive throughout the story, perfectly constructed and delivered.
Writing style: Such sarcasm and black humor it will make you giggle and feel guilty for it afterwards. She even gives you fucking recipes, man.
I can’t get over this book.
Representation: The only true character here is Sadie, everyone else are basically puppets that come in and out of play when required.
Political correctness: This is an interesting category. Given the overall theme of the book, it is exactly what most people would call “politically incorrect”. But, thinking about it, I actually have to disagree. There is a lot of very black humor, yes, and lots of gore, and some very heavy subjects being treated in a very weird way, but, unless you’re triggered by those in themselves, it’s actually not offensive. Sadie is a superbly complex character, and it’s clear you’re seeing everything through her eyes.
Up next: Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor