In the Cut by Susanna Moore

In the Cut, Susanna Moore, 1995


My favorite quote: I think the following quote nicely sums up the tone of Susanna Moore’s not-so-thrilling erotic novel, In the Cut: “I think it may have something to do with something I heard when I was a kid. Something I think I heard. Actually, I know, know for a fact, that I heard something.” Yeah. Chew on that for a while, then you can move onto In the Cut’s next suspenseful sentence

Most interesting characters: Some idiot whose name I can’t remember. She’s super interesting. And super smart. Just wait till you see how smart she is. No one is smarter 

Opening scene: Some idiot whose name I can’t remember goes to a bar with one of her students … because she’s smart like that

The gist: Some idiot whose name I can’t remember goes to a bar one night and sees a guy, his face hidden in shadow, receiving oral pleasure from a pretty redhead in a darkened corner. He has a tattoo on his wrist. Anyway, days later, the redhead is found dead and a cop comes to question the idiot whose name I can’t remember — and guess what? He has that same tattoo on his wrist! (DUN DUN DUN!) Naturally, the idiot whose name I can’t remember begins an immediate sexual relationship with him because, why not? I mean, what could go wrong?

Greatest strengths: I’ve never seen a book try so hard to prove that its protagonist isn’t a complete idiot despite that protagonist’s complete idiot decisions. Case in point: the idiot whose name I can’t remember from In the Cut. She’s one of the dumbest people I’ve ever met in the pages of a book and yet, because she knows a lot of words, because she’s a teacher trying to help a poor uneducated black kid, we’re supposed to not realize that she’s actually just really, really dumb. She knows lots of words and history and stuff, so it’s okay, you’ll like her. Oh, and she knows a lot about human anatomy, too. Just get a load of this: 

“He rubbed his forearm across my breasts.

“ ‘You’re not wearing a bra,’ he said. He slid the razor down my neck, across the hyoid, across the glottis, trailing over the cricothyroid intrinsic muscle , the superior laryngeal nerve, over the little hollow at the center of the clavicle, and I thought of Pauline …”

Pretty sexy, right? And smart! I mean, who’s smarter than the idiot whose name I can’t remember from In the Cut?! I mean, if some manly killer were sexily threatening my life with a blade to my throat, I’d definitely respond exactly like that. Kee-rist …   

Standout achievements: Hailed as an “erotic” thriller, In the Cut is the first of its kind to not only NOT turn me ON, but to actually turn me OFF. In fact, I found it to be about as sexy as a paper cut. Not just any paper cut either, but one of those you get under the nail bed. I guess I’m just not turned on by hairy-shouldered racists with bad grammar or the witless women who enjoy being mistreated by them. And things just keep “steaming up” from there! When Susanna Moore starts comparing female genitalia to gashes and cuts (hence the book’s title) I could actually feel my gonads crawling into their Fortress of Nope — a sure sign I was definitely aroused 

Fun Facts: In the Cut is Susanna Moore’s fourth novel. Before writing, she worked as a teacher, a model, a costume designer, an actress, a script reader, and a production designer. Like the idiot whose name I can’t remember from In the Cut, she knows a lot

Other media: Unfortunately, some idiot saw fit to make In the Cut into a movie of the same name. It stars Meg Ryan; Mark Ruffalo; Jennifer Jason Leigh, and is produced by Nicole Kidman. It currently holds a well-deserved two stars on Rotten Tomatoes (34%)

Additional thoughts: I think Susanna Moore had her mind on a few too many things when she wrote In the Cut. If the blurbs and rave reviews and back cover synopsis are to be believed, she was trying to be “Erotic!” and “Thrilling!” In the Cut is neither of those things, largely because it was also trying to be a little of everything else, too. Worst of all, I get the feeling that In the Cut wants to be literary … which rarely works out well for anyone involved … 

Hit or Miss: I’ll take poison for 500 hundred, Alex … 

Haunt me:

Read In The Cut

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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