Review: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

The Life and Death of Sophie StarkTitle: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

Author: Anna North

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Group/Blue Rider Press

The Blurb

Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a haunting story of fame, love, and legacy told through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist. Sophie Stark begins her filmmaking career by creating a documentary about her obsession, Daniel, a college basketball star. But when she becomes too invasive, she finds herself the victim of a cruel retribution. The humiliation doesn’t stop her. Visionary and unapologetic, Sophie begins to use stories from the lives of those around her to create movies, and as she gains critical recognition and acclaim, she risks betraying the one she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew Sophie best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art. It is “not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story” (Emma Donoghue).

The Review

Well, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark was a curious little read. The eponymous character doesn’t narrate the story. Her life is told from the perspective of those who loved (and at times, hated) her and we get a full bodied picture of this strange and creative character. One thing I got from the descriptions of Sophie Stark is that her art was more important than the people around her. She would go to lengths to get what she wanted and her destructive path often came at a cost to the people she loved the most.

The clever way in which the story unfolds is almost documentary-like. If this were made into a film you could see it being told that way which then kind of becomes art imitating fictional life imitating art which then makes my head hurt.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is a really good read if you like your literature like independent cinema, quirky but memorable.

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North is available now.

For more information regarding Anna North (@annanorthtweets) please visit www.annanorth.net.

For more information regarding Penguin Group (@Penguinusa) please visit www.penguin.com.

For more information regarding Blue Rider Press (@BlueRiderPress) www.penguin.com.

35 Stars

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