My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of My Absolute Darling

Plot Summary Part 4

They get into Grandpa's truck and drive away.

Turtle goes to Jacob's house, but Jacob isn't there. Turtle is worried that Martin, who knows that Jacob is her sort-of boyfriend, will try to kill Jacob.

Martin shows up with an assault rifle. The kids who live at the house find this alarming. Martin asks Turtle to come home.

Martin gets down on his knees and hugs his face against Turtle's v_gina. Turtle, fearful Martin will shoot Brett and the other teenagers, agrees to go with him. Brett attempts to interfere.

Martin shoots Brett and Turtle.

Turtle is injured but not dead. She and Martin have a gunfight. During a pause in the fighting, Turtle notices a bullet wound in her belly and puts duct tape over it, probably because she didn't have any scotch tape readily available, heh heh.

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Turtle and Cayenne run away to hide on the beach. Martin follows them.

Turtle shoots him with a shotgun. Kaboom! Then she says, "Daddy, I love you!" and cuts his throat and drowns him in the water.

Some months later, Turtle is still recovering from her bullet wounds and takes up gardening. Cayenne went to live with her aunt. Her aunt didn't have a p_nis, but Turtle still worried for her.

The townspeople think Turtle is a hero for saving the lives of Brett and Cayenne.

One night Turtle killed a deer with a knife. Turtle still enjoys killing.

Turtle's intestines were damaged so they had to make a new hole for the shit to come out of her body, and she needs more surgery to fix that.

Turtle lives with Anna her teacher. Anna does not bone Turtle. Anna couldn't even if she wanted to, unless she used a strap-on.

Turtle had told Jacob that she didn't want to see him for a year, not until she was making shit through the proper hole again.

There's a LOT of talk about Turtle gardening for 20 pages. I think you would find it really exciting. Not.

Turtle is still upset by past events--Martin boning Cayenne, Martin boning her, Martin shooting her, her killing Martin on the beach. She wished she had killed him sooner.

Turtle decides to go to a dance where Jacob will be. Maybe he will bone her, if he doesn't smell the bag full of excrement she carries around that's attached to her intestines.

The end.

Literary Criticism:

This book was shock porn. By that I mean the gimmick of the book was to shock readers with the cruel treatment of a little girl by her abusive father.  Look at how Turtle is forced to shoot dangerous weapons! Look how Turtle is beaten up by her father! Look at how Turtle is raped by her father! Look at how Martin uses Cayenne for target practice and then cuts off a finger!

Shock porn is meant to horrify the reader. But don't confuse horror, and sensationalism, with drama. The story was all too obvious, and all too simple, from page one. Little girl is abused by father. Little girl is conflicted, and takes more and more abuse. Eventually, little girl will run away from and/or kill father.

Not only was the story much too obvious, but it was much too simple. There were no twists or turns or unexpected events. Aside from Martin and Turtle, the other characters were two dimensional. There was enough material here for a short story, but not a novel.

If someone seriously wanted to write out a novel, they could have done so by writing about interactions with other characters. Have the mother, believed to be dead, suddenly reappear and fight with Martin. Have interfering aunts and uncles appear. Have Turtle and Martin fight with other psychopath neighbors. Have them capture one, then decide to befriend him, then have him betray them. Give Martin a brother who is also crazy, but in a different way.

These events would have added complexity to the novel; these events would have added uncertainty, which is a key ingredient of drama which is sorely missing here. All we have here in this simple two person story is a roller coaster ride of pedophilia. It's shocking, but not intrinsically dramatic.

And finally, the ending was a big disappointment. Turtle goes gardening for 20 pages. Pardon me while I yawn. It felt like the author had no idea how to end the book. Turtle is slowly recovering. Yawn. What if something dramatic happened? What if Turtle went on a killing spree, or cut off Jacob's balls, or went otherwise crazy and had to be put down? That would be dramatic to read about. Gardening, not so much.

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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