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Beyond the Pale Motel Hardcover – September 16, 2014
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“Beyond the Pale Motel is a fast-paced, original, and highly sensual novel, set in an L.A. characterized by isolation and darkness, where true love is elusive in any of its forms. Block paints a convincing portrait of a woman in crisis, abandoned to her own self-destructive devices.” ―Steph Cha, Follow Her Home
“Beyond the Pale Motel is sadder, darker, grimmer [than anything Francesca Lia Block has written], yet still glinting in spots with ethereal light and her trademark belief in the saving power of love.” ―Denise Hamilton, Damage Control
“With a protagonist who's looking for love in all the wrong places, Francesca Lia Block's new novel is sexy and grim.” ―Ellen Datlow, editor of The Best Horror of the Year
“Mesmerizing and at times haunting, Beyond the Pale Motel is about how longings can warp us or shape us into something stronger.” ―Gary Phillips, Warlord of Willow Ridge
“Beyond the Pale Motel is a can't-stop-reading, gasp-out-loud sexy thriller that keeps you guessing at every turn. Block holds up a dark mirror to the traditional love story. She creates characters so real you feel they've done your hair, heard your sob story, slept in your bed. Block reflects Los Angeles with as much distinction as Raymond Chandler and John Fante, but her Los Angeles has the cotton candy colored sunsets in the smog and the dark magic of the shadows.” ―Laura Lee Bahr, author of Haunt
“Ariel Silverman shimmers in the very air between page and eyelashes. Tam Lin meets the tabloids.” ―Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, on The Elementals
“Well-paced and lushly written.” ―Kirkus Reviews on The Elementals
“The Elementals [is] a fever dream of a novel, an exercise in the surreal.” ―Booklist on The Elementals
“A compelling and quick read... will keep readers engaged and guessing as the pages fly by.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Elementals
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Top Customer Reviews
Catt is a recovering addict. She and her model pretty best friend, Bree, are hair stylists at trendy salon Head Hunter. Although beautiful in her own way, the voluptuous maternal Catt strives to look like the stereotypical LA ideal – spending hours working out at her gym Body Farm. Her life centers around Bree, Bree’s son Skylar, her few close companions, and her rock musician husband Dash. Caregiver for her circle of friends-turned-family, Catt channels her desire to be a mother into her love for them. This need for closeness also shows itself in her hyper-sexuality; she is always aroused and hungry for even platonic physical affection. When Dash leaves her, Catt’s carefully cultivated happy life falls quickly to pieces. She becomes obsessed with the brutal Hollywood Killer who is murdering beautiful women then butchering select body parts from his victims. Her pain at losing Dash is exorcised in a series of graphically detailed, intensely hot flings with a series of different men. These lead to new dangerous fixations. Relationships with everyone she holds dear are quickly jeopardized as Catt spirals out of control. Most affected is her friendship with Bree.Read more ›
Beyond the Pale Motel is Francesca Lia Block's newest adult novel. It's a bit more sexy and dark than her teen work, but just as lyrically written. I loved how the horror theme extended to unexpected areas of the story. Catt's salon is called Head Hunter and her gym is called Body Farm. Her blog is called Love Monsters and she has monster labels (vampire, manticore, zombie, or goblin) for the types of men there are. The story centers around Catt who has it together. She's been going to AA for years and her relationship with her husband is solid as can be. Her family consists of those she has chosen: Dash, Bree, and her son Skyler. Everything is idyllic and happy right up until it all falls apart. It was hard to read Catt's life just disintegrate. She is a sensitive person who needs people desperately and wants to be a mother above all else. Her need for people translates into hypersexuality after her husband leaves her and she invites man after man into her bed to fill the emotional void. This doesn't work out since they turn out to be scumbags. These encounters don't help her initial pain from her breakup, create more pain, and send her spiraling out of control, ending her sobriety.Read more ›
This is by no means an easy read. Block will obliterate any preconceived notions you have on the traditional thriller and show you something much more complex and imaginative. Beyond the Pale Motel is powerfully written and will leave you on edge right until the very end where you will be stunned into disbelieving silence ...
What I found was a work that clearly conveys Block's fondness for Los Angeles, although through a more nuanced lens. It's also every bit as sexy as her Weezie Bat books, actually a lot more so. What might surprise her longtime fans is that it is also a genuinely suspenseful and, at times, pretty darn scary novel.
The protagonist of BEYOND THE PALE MOTEL is Catt, a hairdresser and recovering alcoholic who finally seems to be on the right track. Catt longs to have a baby of her own, but makes do by spending lots of time with her godson, Skylar, the son of her best friend and coworker (and fellow recovering addict) Bree. At the opening of the novel, however, Catt's volatile relationship with her rock star husband, Dash, finally seems to be over, which sends her into a tailspin that results in a crisis of self-confidence and a series of bad decisions (including having sex with a number of men who may be hot but just don't love her).
By sleeping with strangers, Catt may be putting herself in danger. There's a murderer on the loose, dubbed the Hollywood Serial Killer by the media, and his victims are getting uncomfortably close to Catt and her circle. By the time Catt recognizes that Bree falls into the serial killer's "type," it may be too late to save either of them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a great book from FLB! It's not as magical as, say, Weetzie Bat books, but this book has a more grown-up, edgy charm. A page turner!Published 1 month ago by Lilli Stauffenberg
Francesca Lia Block tends to write about messed up people. That trend does not change in this book, and to be honest I didn't care for reading about Catt. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Swank Ivy
Another wonderful read from the beautiful and whimsical mind of the very talented Francesca Lia Block. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Diamond
The ending.. Enough said. Good book overall just not my pick on the endingPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very predictable, if sex sells, this may appeal to some but in my opinion very few. Even the sex was somewhat redundant. New name same scenario. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Fasstreader
Story-wise, I don't feel like this is the best FLB book. But it's still captivating and so relate-able. And the ending is just beautiful.Published 12 months ago by C. Marts
Couldn't even get through the first chapter. Trashy and juvenile.Published 14 months ago by Marilyn L. Mills
I've been a fan of FLB for almost two decades. She writes in a way that makes you question the experience of reading. Read morePublished 15 months ago by biabrea
This is another wonderful story from Lia Block. Her stories are always beautifully written full of mystery and romance. They always speak to the dark insecure girl inside me. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kindle Customer